Univ. Amsterdam protesters take over 2nd building

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan talking to the students occupying the Maagdenhuis (Picture: Twitter/@fkilsdonk)Mayor Eberhard van der Laan talking to the students occupying the Maagdenhuis (Picture: Twitter/@fkilsdonk)

About 300 students occupied the Maagdenhuis, the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) administrative center, last night. The students are demanding the resignation of the University's administration, NU reports.

Angry students broke down the door of the Maagdenhuis after a peaceful protest march along different locations of the University. Hundreds of students, teachers and supporters participated in the march, demanding more democracy in higher education.

The UvA's board laid charges against the occupiers late last night. These charges mean that the mayor, police and Public Prosecutor will make a decision on whether or not to clear the students out of the Maagdenhuis. Earlier this week this triangle of authority decided to evacuate the Bungehuis, which students had occupied for more than a week.

Louise Gunning, chairman of the UvA's Executive Board, along with two other board members went to talk to the students in the Maagdenhuis. She asked the students to leave the building and come back today for a debate. "If you are democratic, then you don't take possession of another's property", Gunning said. "I will not allow you to take possession of this property."

The students refused to go home. The board members left at around 22:30, empty handed. The students called on the occupiers to start building barricades. "We understand that the Executive Board has instructed the police to evict us. The people who want to go, must go now. The rest mst help to barricade the building." The occupiers were also instructed to write the name and number of a lawyer on their bodies.

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan went to see the students around midnight. "I understand your problems, but that does not mean I support your actions", the mayor told the protesting students. He made no apologies for clearing out the Bungehuis, stating that he had to follow the ruling of the court. The mayor confirmed that there will be a "peaceful eviction", just like at the Bungehuis, but did not say when this will happen. The Mayor left the building at around 01:20 this morning. He expressed his wishes of "wisdom, a bit of harmony and better study" for the students.

Amstedam Police Chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg also visited the Maagdenhuis. He told AT5 that the building will not be cleared out yet. "We are here to talk, not to evacuate."

SP parliamenterian Jasper van Dijk also paid the students a visit. He stated that he supports the occupiers action and will insist in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) on a debate with Minister Jet Bussemaker on education reform.