Last-ditch Univ. Amsterdam talks fail; Bungehuis likely cleared Tues.

A barricaded protester leans out of the Bungehuis window covered by a scarf (photo: Hanna Daych / NL Times)A barricaded protester leans out of the Bungehuis window covered by a scarf (photo: Hanna Daych / NL Times)

The last talks between The Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the occupiers of the Bungehuis and Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has once again produced no results. 

De Nieuwe Universiteit (The New University), the occupiers of the university's Humanities building, rejected the University's proposal of a week long conference in which the occupiers demands and concerns could be discussed in an open forum. According to a statement released by the occupiers, nothing binding would come from this conference and it is clear that the Executive Board would not meet any of the occupiers demand. "Therefore the occupiers face the need to continue the fight until there is an actual democratic university."

The Executive Board regrets that no solution came out of the discussions. "I am very sorry that this was not possible because the Bungehuis is badly needed for education and research." Louise Gunning, president of the Executive Board said on the University's website. The Executive Board now plans to organize the conference alone, involving the Ministry of Education, student organizations, employee representative bodies and other universities.

In an reaction Mayor Van der Laan stated that the talks between the occupiers and the Board "unfortunately" yielded nothing. "The building will now be cleared soon", a spokesperson for the mayor said. He would not give a time frame for the clearance, but one of the occupants of the building told AT5 that it will probably happen during the course of today. The Mayor, the police and the Public Prosecutor still hopes that the students will leave the building voluntarily.

The Bungehuis has been occupied for more than a week. The protesters are demanding more participation from students and teachers. Last week the UvA filed a lawsuit to get the occupiers out of the building. On Thursday the judge ruled that the students have to leave the building and pay a fine of 1000 euro per day for each day they remain inside.


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