University magazine Cursor reports that the eleven activists, from End Fossil Occupy and University Rebellion, are demanding that the executive board declare a climate emergency. They also want the university to be more transparent about the external funding they receive.

No justice, no peace

The activists have put signs in the windows of the room they are occupying with slogans such as ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘Whose campus? Our campus’. According to Cursor, they intend to stay until the board grants their demands. The room they have occupied is located in the Atlas building, which in 2019 was named the most sustainable education building in the world, according to the university.

Last spring, students in Eindhoven protested against Shell’s presence at a career fair at the university. Three activists were arrested. In October, the Den Bosch court ruled that the police used disproportionate force during their arrest.

The university’s executive board has apologised for how it handled the protest. “We agree that it should always be possible to organise a protest at our university”, the board’s vice president, Nicole Ummelen, said a week ago. “We also consider that to be one of our core values within our academic community. That’s why we were very sorry to learn that people felt unsafe that day.”

“We apologise”

Last week, there was also an occupation at Erasmus University Rotterdam, which was ended by police in the evening, partly at the request of the executive board. Several hundred academics from Erasmus University as well as some from other universities signed an open letter condemning the police intervention.

“We regret the course of events”, the university’s executive board responded in a written statement. “We acted in consultation with police because of an external security threat, but were unable to adequately consider the impact this would have on the EUR community. For that, we apologise.” The board also wrote that it would like to start a dialogue on sustainability and other social issues.

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