Ben S | 01.11.2002 18:10 | Liverpool
In a full-page article in today’s Liverpool Echo the University was quoted as saying “The demonstration was not directed at us and we are pleased to report that it went off peacefully and that the students involved were well behaved.” Police and university security were in attendance but kept a low profile.
A crowd of several dozen supporters who were unable to enter the building built up outside, with many climbing onto the roof of the entrance. Those outside included lecturers and supporters from the local Palestinian community.
Speakers inside the occupation included representatives of Student CND and the Socialist Workers Students Society as well as officers of the Guild of Students, who last month had passed a motion supporting students taking non-violent direct action against the war. Other students led songs and chants as banners were hung from the upper balconies of the buildings. During the occupation news was filtering through of the actions and occupations at universities up and down the country.
The occupation ended at 12:30 with the students marching down Abercromby Square and up Mount Pleasant back to the Guild, with Police diverting the traffic. Other students then joined the group for a teach-in hosted by Student CND with speakers on Iraq, Palestine, Missile Defence and US policy towards the Muslim world, China and more.
At the end of the teach-in at 5pm the students joined the main Merseyside Stop the War Coalition event at St. Georges Plateau with banners, drums and even a coffin. The peaceful and diverse crowd of several hundred blocked Lime Street for over half an hour.
Campaigners were pleased by the coverage given in the mainstream media, which included several reports and an interview on BBC Radio Merseyside, mentions on national BBC news and large positive articles with multiple pictures in both the regions newspapers.
Pictures to follow