Day 2 of the fees protests as it happened

21:20 Ok everyone, I think that’s it for our live coverage of the protests, thanks for reading along! We’ll be putting articles together for the paper next week (published on Tuesday), and should have more coverage up on the website tomorrow – keep an eye out for that. If anyone has any comments about the protests or the coverage, feel free to email me at news@theboar.org.

21:10 Ok, finally an update, sorry for the delay. The meeting’s over (obviously), and I have a few things to report…

– Tuesday next week will be the next day of action. Students are planning a ‘teach-in’, for which space will apparently be provided by the SU. It will begin at 11am. The idea behind the teach-in is to create an open space where education is free, and people can discuss topics related (or not) to the cuts and fee rises.

– The attempts yesterday to both occupy and hold teach-ins in the same space were deemed to have failed (people couldn’t enter and leave freely), and future attempts will separate the two. This is why they’ve chosen the SU for the teach-in – it’s neutral space and there won’t be security and access issues.

– No official word yet from the SU or the protest organisers. We’ve gotten the Uni’s (rather short) statement – see below.

17:42 A lot of this discussion is focussed on campaigning against Lorely Burt rather than on the issue of the occupation. Have a feeling it’ll take a while to make a decision, though I have to say their method of decision making is quite interesting and effective. It’s all very democratic and polite, much different from, say, Westminster!

Unfortunately I’m unable to stay in the meeting any longer, but I’ll report back in a little over an hour with the outcome and statements from everyone. Our reporter Charli Fritzner is here still, and will be emailing me her report when she’s finished. Stay tuned!

17:33 Some interesting debate going on here – Dan Stevens just spoke, asking for help with the SU’s campaign to get Lorely Burt in Solihull not to vote for fees. People accused him of not doing enough to help them in the occupation. He said the SU had done all it could, and that it supported the occupation.

There’s one guy here who seems to be thoroughly disgusted with the methods, although supportive of the message – accused them of “sitting in a lecture hall and weeing in a bucket” to get their point across, saying people talking on the bus weren’t impressed. “It’s childish and vulgar,” he said. Response from a protestor? “I don’t care what people on the bus are saying. An occupation is a powerful thing. About the urine – it happened, it’s gone, it’s done.”

17:24 I’m in the meeting with the protestors, just collecting some quotes from what they’re saying.

Sean Ruston, the SU education officer, just spoke. He said: “I think you came out of it quite dignified.” He said also that the university looked worse, preventing students’ right to protest by not allowing access.

“I think we should be throwing everything at it [the cuts and fees] – all kinds of methods really.”

17:14 Another statement from the University: “We would have been heavily criticised if we didn’t put in place measures to ensure our staff, students and the public who use our facilities here on campus, were not kept safe. We believe the appropriate steps were taken to manage the protest. A balance was struck between allowing the protestors to voice their concerns and frustration around tuition fees and keeping the disruption to University to a minimum.”

15:45 I also have a [link](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155659257812590) to the Facebook event for the 5pm meeting.

Don’t forget to keep hitting refresh to update the page!

15:39 I now have a statement from the Press Office at the University, though it says nothing about the actual occupation, nor does it answer the questions I’d put in the email. Here it is anyway, I’ll write back and see if they’ll give me anything more:

“The students are perfectly entitled to protest and, in a way, it is a demonstration of how passionately they care about the higher education system. The University is facing a cut to its teaching funding by what could be up to 80%. This would have a major impact on us and raising tuition fees is one way where we would be able to reduce the impact of the budget cuts to preserve the excellent, internationally-recognised teaching and facilities which students expect from Warwick. No decision has been made by the university around tuition fees but at the moment that is the only option suggested by government. So we will continue to observe the national debate and wait to hear if other funding options are offered.”

15:27 Ok, a small amount of news: Dan Stevens is in a meeting with the Deputy Registrar at the moment regarding the occupation. I’ve asked Sean Ruston, the Education Officer, to let me know when that finishes and what the outcome is. He wasn’t able to give me a statement from the SU without running it past the other sabbatical officers first – they’re all in a meeting so he can’t do that yet.

Still nothing from the University press office – I’ll ring them up in a second and see if they’ll say anything over the phone.

14:11 Still nothing to report, waiting for official statements from the SU and University, sorry! There’s a meeting at 5pm, our reporter Charli Fritzner will be there to report on it.

10:22 I’m going to go do some seminar reading that I’ve been neglecting for far too long, but I’ll still be updating this blog periodically throughout the day as I get more information in. I’m still waiting for an email back from the University, I’ll share that with you as soon as I get it.

Basic run-down of what’s happened so far:

– Students marched yesterday from the Piazza to University House before occupying the Arts Centre Conference Room around 1pm. They were dealt with fairly harshly by the University, who blocked access to the ACCR and wouldn’t let anyone enter the room. This meant those inside were not able to take toilet breaks without being denied reentry. The protestors, inside, read a list of demands, including that the University open its accounts to public inspection, and that the Uni condemn the Government’s plans for cuts and fees.

– The Students’ Union met with the VC in the late afternoon and managed to negotiate a deal for toilet breaks, and the VC also agreed to meet with representatives from the protest about their demands.

– The students refused to send representatives to the VC, insisting that he visit them instead. Talks then broke down, with students refusing to leave the ACCR and the University removing the toilet breaks. Students were forced to use pots for toilets (think of THAT next time you’re in a lecture in the ACCR!) or leave the protest for good.

– Students remained in the ACCR overnight, before deciding to leave around 9am today. Their reasons stated were that the University had refused to continue holding lectures in the ACCR, and the students were hoping to use the space for education. They’d also been kept awake all night by the air conditioning, and the University were refusing to back down on allowing reentry to the room.

– The scenes in the ACCR, and the conflicts with the University, were a marked contrast to a sit-in two years ago, where students protesting the Israeli occupation of Gaza took over S0.21 in the Social Sciences building. Hundreds of students took part in that protest over a number of days, and were allowed to come and go freely from the occupied lecture hall. Lectures also continued in that space, which the protestors also used for their own talks and workshops.

10:17 The [Coventry Telegraph](http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2010/11/25/warwick-university-students-sit-in-protest-over-tuition-fees-92746-27714424/) is also a little behind the times. (I should probably be nice to them though, since I’m going to try and get work experience there… Obviously, as a paper they have to be careful writing breaking news because it might change before they go to print. I sympathise entirely – we have the same issue.)

10:01 The [BBC](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-11837394) has caught up with us (again)! A bit quicker this time than they were yesterday, but we still beat them by an hour. Though they’re still using their reporter’s iPhone pictures rather than the very nice ones we kindly emailed to them…

09:45 Another statement from the protestors: “This morning, just before 9am, after the protesters terminated the occupation in the Arts Centre Conference Room, a delegation of students took a saucepan of urine to University House, in order to present it to the Vice Chancellor. This was due to the fact that whilst in occupation protesters were denied access to toilets and so were forced to relieve themselves in a variety of receptacles. We feel that this presentation accurately represents our feelings regarding the university’s failure to respond appropriately to a) our access needs and b) our demands that emerged from the occupation.”

Tash Clark, our awesome on-the-scene reporter, has her own [blog](http://thefridaynightblog-ject.blogspot.com/) with updates on the occupation.

09:38 There’s still a sign on the door of the ACCR saying that lectures are cancelled. Going to email the press office in a minute to see what their response is and whether lectures are actually cancelled.

09:35 Megan Fortune, one of the organisers: “I love when you open your bag and find a megaphone you didn’t know you had.”

09:30 The students involved are writing a statement as I type this. They’ve already put an update on their [blog](http://warwickagainstthecuts.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/statement-following-this-occupation/).

“We stayed overnight, despite being denied free and complete access to toilets since the beginning of the occupation, and with heavy security continuing to block access to the room. Despite our desire for lectures to go ahead as usual, the University had rescheduled all lectures.

“We decided to end this occupation; not because students didn’t want to join us or because we didn’t want to stay, but because it had become physically impossible for us to create the space of free education that we had envisioned.”

09:21 Remember to add your comments at the bottom of this page. What do you think of the occupations? What can be done next?

09:17 At the meeting, students plan to recap the events of the 20-hour occupation and discuss thoughts of the day and night. There will also be plans mooted for future teach-ins and other ways of protesting.

09:13 It seems the protesters left the room at around 8:30. Some went to SUHQ while others returned the toilet pan to University House. There will be a meeting at 5pm in SUHQ to discuss where to go from here.

09:07 Our reporter on the scene, Tash Clark, is reporting that **the occupation is officially over**. By the end of the occupation only eight students remained. Despite the cold weather, the air-conditioning was on all night and the protesters had difficulty sleeping. Security remained outside all night.

09:05 You can see how yesterday panned out [with our live coverage here](https://theboar.org/a/1rk), or read the main article [here](https://theboar.org/a/1rh).

08:58 Welcome back to our live coverage of the campus occupation in protest against proposed changes to tuition fees. The protestors have voluntarily left the ACCR after several hours of occupation. More to follow.

_For more images, check out the Boar flickr feed [here.](http://www.flickr.com/photos/boarnews/)_

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