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Are the occupying students being frozen out?

December 3, 2010

This morning, the heating system in the Rupert Beckett Theatre, occupied by @OccupiedLeeds students, mysteriously went into summer mode, and is still blasting out cold air this afternoon. Given that the fire alarm also went off twice during the night, the occupiers are suspicious that these may be covert tactics to force them out of the space. The university to date has been very tolerant of the occupation, and have not sought to evict the students or restrict access to them, as has been seen with other University occupations.

An email to managers in the Faculty of Arts working in the Michael Sadler building this morning stated:

“You might know this already, but I am writing to let you know that there is a problem with the ventilation system in or around the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, with the result that the area is, I understand, very cold.   Estates staff are trying to identify the cause of the problem as I write, but I am assured that it is not affecting the rest of the Sadler building, and that the temperature in departmental offices and meeting rooms should be normal.   (If you do experience any problems in that regard, you should contact the Estates helpdesk in the usual way.)

I understand that the occupiers of the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre are claiming that the cold temperatures there have been deliberately engineered by the University management in an attempt to bring the occupation to an end.   For the record, that is emphatically not the case.”

The Leeds occupiers have this bog post on this issue: http://bit.ly/coldairintimidation

Here’s word from Ian Pattison, MA politics student, who is the press officer for the occupied students. He speaks to the issue of the cold, and to the future plans of the occupation:

http://www.twitvid.com/DEFYI

@OccupiedLeeds 3 December

Ian can be contacted on 07766585543

2 Comments leave one →
  1. An academic permalink
    December 3, 2010 7:09 PM

    Last night was the coldest night ever recorded in Yorkshire . In Cumbria, two pensioners died in their gardens.

    Our university sees fit to deny its own students heating in these conditions, despite its health and responsibilities to anyone on its premises. There are plenty of plug-in electrical heaters on campus that could be made available to these young people.

  2. December 6, 2010 2:30 PM

    Just wanted to say we received this at the Leeds occupation. Professor/author Ira Shor–a key thinker and doer of engaged pedagogy within the school system & student-empowered learning–has sent Leeds occupation a message of solidarity:

    “Bravo! Keep fighting back against the disastrous policies of cutting budgets and raising costs. Education must be defended as a democratic right for the majority and stopped as privilege for an elite.

    Prof. Ira Shor
    City University of New York Graduate Center”

    Please repost in solidarity with all UK occupations and those supporting us around the world. Cheers!

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