Tuesday, February 24, 2009



Dear all,

First, a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in Disarm Cardiff University up to this point. Cardiff Students Against War are now occupying the Shandon Large Lecture in the Main Building! There have already been preliminary negotiations with Director of Strategic Development Louise Casella who has guaranteed that no repercussions will be taken against students and staff for taking part in the occupation, so anyone who wants to find out more or get involved please feel free to pay us a visit (however long) :D Non-students are also welcome but strictly as guests.

We have already received many messages of support from individuals and institutions, including statements from: Alan Thomson of UNISON Ymlaen Branch; Leanne Wood AC/AM (Plaid Cymru); Anne Greagsby (from the campaign against military training at St Athan); CND Cyrmu; and John Rees, co-founder of Stop the War Coalition. Thank you all so much for your solidarity with our action and our message!

The demonstration earlier outside the Student Union was a big success and generated widespread support and interest from passing students, staff and strangers, many of whom joined in spontaneously. Rest assured that Cardiff Students Against War will be organising all manner of events in and around the occupation. Expect teach-ins, guest lecturers, live music and hosting of the live video linkup with Gazan students, organised by Federation of Student Islamic Societies. We are aiming to create a positive, fun educational space dedicated to raising awareness of the effects of the arms trade, and the dire situation in Gaza.

Our demands to the university are as follows:

  1. No repercussions for students involved in the occupation. (This demand has been met).
  1. Cardiff University to divest all shares, direct or indirect, from arms manufacturers and aerospace companies.
  1. Cardiff University to adopt an ethical investment policy that excludes the arms trade. This process is to be mediated by external ethical auditors based on responses of Cardiff University students and staff. The ethical investment policy to be freely available to all students and staff.
  1. Cardiff University to be twinned with a Gazan university, to show support for the Gazan people at this desperate time.

The twinning is to involve:

a) Scholarships for at least 5 Gazan students to study in Cardiff, and for Cardiff University to help facilitate their travel.

b) Surplus books, computers and other educational materials to be sent to the twinned university.

  1. Cardiff University to release a statement in condemnation of Israel's bombing and the blockade of Gaza, and in condemnation of the UK government's use of British armed forces as part of this blockade.
  1. An official day of solidarity with Gaza supported by Cardiff University.
  1. Cardiff University to issue a statement of support for Saudi ex-BAE trade unionist Yahya Al Faifi, who is currently fighting deportation from the UK.
  2. No Israeli products to be sold in university shops.
  1. Cardiff University to actively promote the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza, including a banner on the website, and to issue a statement condemning the BBC and Sky News for not running the DEC Gaza appeal advert.

What you can do:

  • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT - The more support the occupation generates, the more weight is added to our demands. You can show your support by demonstrating in solidarity with us, by bringing us vegan food, popping us a nice email, and by emailing Cardiff University Vice Chancellor Dr David Grant urging him to give more serious consideration to our demands. Email: v-c@cardiff.ac.uk. If you are a member of a trade union or any campaigning group or institution, we would appreciate whatever support you can generate.
  • RAISE AND DONATE MONEY - The DEC aid appeal for Gaza is ongoing; every contribution matters so please give what you can: http://www.dec.org.uk/donate_now/
  • JOIN OUR STREET TEAM - Leaflet for us etc. The street team meets at 12.00 every day in the Bute cafe, Bute Building, or if you want to get involved earlier give Jonny a call on: 07506715619.
  • ORGANISE YOUR OWN OCCUPATION - 28 UK universities have now gone into occupation over these general issues. The more academic institutions that occupy, the more weight is added to our growing campaign. So go for it!
Contact Details:

Alys: 07970311943
Jonny (Street Team): 07506715619
Facebook: Cardiff Students Against War
Blog: http://occupiedcardiff.blogspot.com

Peace, love, resistence.