During negotiations on Sunday, the occupiers presented a draft statement to management, in order to clarify the content and message we would like to see in a statement from Paul Webley (Demand 4). In negotiations on Monday management came back to us with a draft letter made by Director Paul Webley and Chair of Governors Tim Miller.
The elected negotiation delegates returned to the occupation to convene a meeting to discuss the statement that had been presented to us. It had been made very clear to us from Management that if we were to leak or release any details of the draft letter they had provided us with then negotiations would have broken down, and the relationship of trust would be similarly defunct. However, much to our suprise , during our occupation meeting, we received the message that the statement from the Director and Chair had been unilaterally released: sent to all staff and published on the SOAS website. This put a large spanner in the works of both our negotiations and the discussions within the occupation. We did not have a chance to respond to the statement, and feel that in releasing the statement without having concluded negotiations, management, whether intentionally or not, have made it difficult for us to continue negotiations in the same way as before.
As a result we are calling for a Mass Student and Staff Emergency Assembly at 1pm, Wednesday in the Occupation. As the statement has been made public and available to the whole school, in the interests of reaching a wide consensus amongst the school community, we would like to have the most open and broad discussion on the reaction that should be made and the way forward for the rest of the school. We are very glad for all the support from students and staff that we have received so far. There are clear differences between the statement management have released and the statement we would have wished for. In order to reach an agreement that has the mandate of the broadest possible representation of the SOAS community, we believe it is necessary to hold this meeting.
The final negotiation session with management is billed to be at 5pm on Wednesday, at which either an agreement will be reached or not. It is thus important that as many people as possible attend the meeting at 1pm this Wednesday, where we can decide the course of action. Hope to see you there.
The SOAS Occupation. x