On Instagram, OccupyEUR had previously announced its intention to occupy the Langeveld building. That turned out to be a diversion. The group gathered at the pond half an hour beforehand. As security guards stood in front of the Langeveld building and the Polak building, the group grew to around forty people, who tried to keep dry with umbrellas and raincoats. The security guards were instructed to let the protesters inside if they tried.
Banners on the balcony
It did not come to that. At 11am, the group left, not towards the Langeveld building as expected, but towards the Erasmus building. There were no security guards at the entrance, but the corridors towards the offices of the Executive Board and the Theil building were already closed. As in February, when the protesters stayed overnight, banners were rolled out from the balcony and several zones were set up in the hall.
In the ‘party area’, OccupyEUR is organising a drag workshop and a ‘talent(less) show’ and several lectures today. The ‘study area’ will see talks about decolonisation at the university and how the university cares for students and staff, a reading circle, a crochet workshop, and a hairdresser.
More concrete demands
OccupyEUR has specified the general demands of the previous occupation. For instance, the movement demands that the university follows the example of the VU, which recently announced it will only conduct new research with fossil companies committed to the Paris Agreement, that fossil company advertisements on campus aren’t allowed anymore and that the Trust Fund stops all investments in fossil, including indirect ones.
Furthermore, the protesters demand that the university lobbies Education Minister Dijkgraaf to cancel all student debt. All academic and non-scientific staff doing structural work should be given permanent contracts and, finally, OccupyEUR wants the entire campus to be accessible, including for people with disabilities.
Occupy protesters expect riot police, but stay overnight in Erasmus building after all
Students and staff were watching Shrek, dancing and chanting slogans. At 10:30, they were…
The protesters are considering staying overnight. According to a university spokesperson, the protesters are allowed to stay as long as they abide by the house rules, which they will be handed. One of the conditions in it is that they leave before the building closes tonight.
Occupations at universities are being organised in several countries this month to demonstrate against the fossil industry. On Monday morning, climate activists occupied a hall at Utrecht University. Some of the activists spent the night in the building.