Activists threaten more Univ. Amsterdam protests

Banners hanging in the Maagdenhuis (Picture: Twitter/@annliffey)Banners hanging in the Maagdenhuis (Picture: Twitter/@annliffey)

A group of University of Amsterdam (UvA) lecturers have threatened that there will be more protests, such as more UvA buildings being occupied, if Executive board of the university does not meet their demands by 16:00 tomorrow. NU reports.

The lecturers, who call themselves Rethink UvA, have rallied behind the students currently occupying the Maagdenhuis, the administration building of the university. The lecturers have three demands: the Executive Board must make the university more democratic, restore trust and conduct an independent investigation into the financial situation. These demands were read out to the students in the Maagdenhuis on Wednesday. The speech was received with loud applause.

The student protest began three weeks ago with the occupation of the Bungehuis, the Humanities building of the University. Students, calling themselves De Nieuwe Universiteit (The New University), occupied the building for more than a week before being evacuated by the police. The next day a group of students occupied the Maagdenhuis. According to the protesters, the problem currently facing many universities is that money plays a too important role in many decisions made by the university authorities.

De Nieuwe Universiteit named yesterday a day of national protest and called on all students of all universities to protest for more participation in the decision making progress. Students from different universities used this day of action to debate the policies at colleges and universities.

Minister Jet Bussemaker spoke to the students occupying the Maagdenhuis just before the national day of protest. Afterwards she stated that the students have "a point" and are "genuinely concerned". She urged universities to listen to their students during yesterday's debates and work on their concerns.