Update 15:49 UvA responds to occupation of P.C. Hoofthuis
Update 15:49 Occupiers demand that Geert ten Dam send away the mobile unit (ME) before she can enter the building. Ten Dam: ‘That is not my decision but that of the mayor. It’s unfortunate that this last attempt at a discussion has not worked’.
The trio of the mayor, the Public Prosecution Service and the police have announced that this morning they discussed the situation in the P.C. Hoofthuis. The mayor is in contact with both the UvA Executive Board and the students. The trio states that a peaceful end to the occupation is in the interest of all parties: ‘Everyone in Amsterdam has the right to express their opinion. At the same time, the owner of a building has the right to continue using it.’
The mayor has made it known that if the P.C. Hoofthuis occupiers leave the building at 15:30, they will not be arrested and can go to the debating centre in De Balie (Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen) to talk further.
Geert ten Dam: ‘It would mean a lot to us as well if we could reach an agreement together and the occupiers respond to this offer. We are always ready to engage in discussion and will certainly take the municipality up on its offer.’
The mayor, Public Prosecution and police have made it known that they will take action to evacuate the P.C. Hoofthuis if the occupiers choose to stay in the building.
Activists broke into a UvA building, the P.C. Hoofthuis, on Friday morning, 28 September. They entered the premises by forcing and damaging the access doors. We spoke with the occupiers this morning. They have formulated their demands; many of these demands are addressed to The Hague. We have already expressed the need for structurally better financing of higher education in our sharply worded letter to the Minister of Education.
The importance of diversity is endorsed by the UvA. We indicated in our discussion that staying overnight on UvA premises is not an option. We therefore asked the occupants to leave voluntarily. We would like to emphasise that our door is always open to those who have questions or want to discuss the UvA’s future. This message will be updated as soon as there is new information.
Stay informed on Twitter: @UvA_Amsterdam
The lectures that were scheduled to take place today in the P.C. Hoofthuis have been relocated and students have been informed. Some lectures have been cancelled on the initiative of lecturers. This was for practical reasons in all cases: the lecturers were unable to access their belongs or reach the new location.
Geert ten Dam: 'We support the demands of #WOinactie. We will also always respect the employees right to strike, and for us as well, diversity is sometimes disappointingly slow.' Ten Dam mainly wants to join forces in approaching The Hague. ‘Fred Weerman and I have said that we would like to come and talk, and hopefully we can do that today. We support a number of the things that they’re demanding.’
The Central Works Council (COR) has issued a statement in response to the occupation of the P.C. Hoofthuis.
All lectures scheduled until 12:00 in the P.C. Hoofthuis have been relocated and students and staff have been informed. We are now working on new locations for this afternoon’s the lectures.
The occupiers have been asked repeatedly to leave voluntarily and they have been requested to leave. The UvA has also filed a trespassing report. The occupiers have not responded to the request to leave. At noon, Geert ten Dam and Fred Weerman will answer questions from journalists. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Humanities is working hard to find alternative locations so that the teaching and graduation ceremonies scheduled to take place in the P.C. Hoofthuis can go ahead, and the inconvenience to students and staff be as limited as possible.
Geert ten Dam, president of the Executive Board, and Fred Weerman, dean of the Faculty of Humanities, have gone to P.C. Hoofthuis gone to speak with the occupiers. The occupiers did not wish to enter into a discussion.
Students who enrolled in lectures that were to be held today after 11:00 in the P.C. Hoofthuis will be informed by email about eventual cancellations or a new location for the lectures as soon as this information is known. Other buildings of the Faculty of Humanities are accessible.
The P.C. Hoofthuis is currently not accessible to employees and students. As a result, lectures and meetings in the building are cancelled at least until 11:00. In the meantime, efforts are underway to move educational activities scheduled from 11:00 onwards to other locations. The graduation ceremonies scheduled for this afternoon will be given priority.
Dear colleagues and students,
We would like to inform you about the following: activists broke into a UvA building, the P.C. Hoofthuis, on Friday morning, 28 September. They entered the premises by forcing and damaging the access doors.
We spoke with the occupiers this morning. They have formulated their demands; many of these demands are addressed to The Hague. We already expressed the need for structurally better financing of higher education in our sharply worded letter to the Minister of Education.
We indicated in our discussion that staying overnight accommodation on UvA premises is not an option. We asked them to leave voluntarily.
We would like to emphasise that our door is always open to those who have questions or want to discuss the UvA’s future. This message will be updated as soon as there is new information.
Geert ten Dam, Karen Maex, Jan Lintsen
UvA Executive Board