Monday, February 23, 2009

Students occupy Edinburgh University, in solidarity with Palestine.

University ends its contract with Israeli water company.

"Edinburgh students hail victory after university occupation ends in success"

16 February 2009

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A STUDENT occupation at Edinburgh University in solidarity with the people of Gaza ended in victory on Monday.

Students ended their six-day sit-in at the George Square lecture theatre after the university agreed - partially or fully - to all of their demands for solidarity with the besieged Palestinian territory.

Gaza was devastated by Israel's 22-day onslaught in December and January, killing 1,300 of its 1.5 million residents.

By the start of the next academic year in September, the university will end its drinking water contract with Eden Springs, an Israeli company accused of water theft from the illegally occupied Golan Heights area of Syria.

The management also agreed to provide scholarships for five Palestinian students in Gaza and to participate in a drive to collect material aid for the territory.

Edinburgh will host a series of lectures and debates on the Palestine-Israel conflict. Progressive academics Ilan Pappe and Noam Chomsky have already expressed interest in taking part.

Although the university did not agree to a further demand to cut ties with arms companies BAE Systems and QinetiQ, it conceded that the protesters could make their case to the university court.