Activists occupied the Groningen Academy Building on Tuesday because they disagreed with the dismissal of lecturer and whistleblower Susanne Täuber. She previously criticised the diversity policy and social safety at the University of Groningen (RUG). The university considers the working relationship disrupted and is dissolving her contract.
The building was evacuated by the police in the evening. Footage shows a student being dragged down a staircase by his legs. A university lecturer tells Dagblad van het Noorden she was beaten while she did not even participate in the occupation.
Students have reacted with shock to the violence. Action group Student RUG speaks to broadcaster OOG of ‘a completely avoidable escalation’ and therefore demands that the board resign.
The Dutch Student Union (LSVb) also condemned the images of the eviction and spoke in the Algemeen Dagblad of the ‘heavy-handed dragging out’ of people. President Joram van Velzen is shocked: “This does not fit with a university that wants to be a place for dialogue and democracy”.
According to the Groninger Studentenbond, it is time for the university to do all it can to make everyone feel safe. The union said it was ‘in solidarity’ with the activists.
But the university argues that the police started evacuating after the students were ‘asked several times’ to leave the building. Actually, the activists and the administration were supposed to engage in a dialogue, but that went nowhere and the day ‘unfortunately ended in a negative way because of this’, the university said.
There was an earlier occupation in March, after which it was agreed to talk further. That remains the goal, says the board. “Our door is always open.”
A police spokesman told Dagblad van het Noorden that no arrests had been made. “In our view, it all went peacefully.”