On Monday, during the occupation of the Sanders building, the university board had already announced that it was willing to talk with the activists. The demands of the dozens of students and employees were about collaborations with the fossil fuel industry, more clarity for employees with temporary contracts, the accessibility of education and the high student debts. OccupyEUR was expecting the Executive Board early on Monday evening. The Executive Board did not turn up; instead, the police came along to end the occupation.
‘I was hoping the Executive Board would come and speak with the campaigners over a bowl of soup’
Several of the people there attested that the staff and students from OccupyEUR did not…
In an email, the Executive Board invited OccupyEUR to come with a ‘delegation’ for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The three to five people who attended must have a connection with Erasmus University. “In this discussion, we want to focus on the urgency of climate issues and the energy transition”, wrote Executive Board President Ed Brinksma and Vice-President Ellen van Schoten.
OccupyEUR refused the offer for two reasons. They claim to be a movement without leaders or representatives. They want everyone to be welcome. In addition, they say that they are unable to find three students who are willing to engage in a discussion with the university. “As the Executive Board can imagine, few students are willing to sit around the table with the people who sent the riot police to deal with them during a peaceful demonstration two days ago”, wrote the activist movement.
You don’t talk with people that once promised to talk but instead sent a bunch of armed men to drag you out of the place you have every right to be in. The CvB will resign, and only then can talks be undertaken with a new committee. Violence and lies cannot be tolerated.