Day 3 and all’s well. The media are being lovely, which is just grand. There will be a telephone interview going out on BCB Radio’s Drivetime show at 4.30 tomorrow afternoon. We have recorded the three shows we have had on BBC Radio Leeds and we believe that the Principal Freda Bridge was interviewed by BBC Radio Leeds Yesterday. There is another article going in the Yorkshire Evening Post tomorrow and we are working with them and other organisations in Leeds to arrange for coverage of the EMA rally on the 11th of January.
It really is a time of solidarity. Lauren and Andy gave a small presentation to the UCU / Unison meeting today where UCU passed a motion of solidarity from the tutors, which is amazing and we are going to be speaking to the regional reps today. For those that don’t know, they are the guys that are on the tutors side in all of this and they responsible for making sure everyone is treated fairly and correctly by their employer, the government and anyone else looking to oppress them. We will be mentioning the community meeting on the 15th of January to them as well, to try and get as many people along to participate as possible.
We have a solidarity meeting coming later today from Leeds University Occupation which will be great; they are bringing much needed toilet roll as the stuff in the toilet is not exactly great on a vegan diet. There are groups of people popping in all the time and some really amazing support from tutors in the shape of food, vegan pasta and even muffins has helped make everyone feel really supported.
We have also moved into far more salubrious surroundings. We have occupied the Senior Common Room just behind reception. This is due to be renovated, which we find odd as there is no money anywhere. While we understand that there are grants specially allowed for building which are not likely to be seen again anytime soon, we feel that this money, while being in the bank is fair game if the university is having its entire funding cut.
The move, the meetings and the massive support have taken up most of the time today, following a visit from the Evening Post reporter, He has sent us a copy of the photograph that was taken this morning which is attached here. As you can see the space we have worked from the last couple of days was cramped to say the least!
Our evening will be busy sorting out the new room and organising events that are going to take place over the next month, as we have said we are still trying to gather as much support for the EMA march on the 11th in Leeds. There is a march in nationwide on the 29th which we will be attending on in Manchester. As well as this we have several student meetings to attend some of which are as far as London, we will be pushing to attend as many anti cuts events as we can both financially afford to get to as well as have members that can attend.
Andy and Jordi’s vegan diet is still meaning that the meat eating members of the occupation are receiving large amounts of guilt imbued banter; they have a cupboard now for their own food separate from the rest which means it will reduce the glares when people reach for the food cupboard. Slowly Jordi and Andy are educating the group about the origins and evil of TNC’s, Lauran learnt that Fanta was created by a member of the Nazi party so not only did she learn something new it meant that the guilt still factored in.