Univ. Amsterdam occupation to end Sunday... maybe

Students occupying the Maagdenhuis at the University of Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@ruudfiere)Students occupying the Maagdenhuis at the University of Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@ruudfiere)

The students occupying the Maagdenhuis will leave the building at 21:00 on Sunday night, the University of Amsterdam announced. The actions against the university administration will continue, however, the occupiers said in a press conference Wednesday morning. This occupation protest at the University of Amsterdam has been going on for nearly two months.

According to lecturer Rudolf Valchoff, the break in confidence between the executive board of the university and the academic community is now "irreversible," Folia Web reports via Twitter. "It is impossible to still treat the executive board as a legitimate negotiations partner," one of the protesters said. "Actions will be continued in another, harder way after Monday," Valchoff confirmed.

It is still unclear whether the occupiers will be leaving the Maagdenhuis willingly. During the press conference they would give no concrete answer as to whether or not they would in fact be leaving the building at all. "The actions will continue on a hard, other way. We refuse to leave the Maagdenhuis under force of legal proceedings," was one of the most concrete answers the journalists got from them, according to the Volkskrant. A spokesperson for the students, Jaap Oosterwijk, said that the Maagdenhuis will play "a less prominent roll" in future actions.

The spokesman for the executive board told AT5 that he was "very surprised" after seeing the news conference. According to him, an agreement was reached last night. "I am as surprised as you. I do not know what they are going to do."

The occupation protest started on February 13, with a number of students moving into the Bungehuis. Eleven days later, the police evacuated the building. The next day, students moved into the Maagdenhuis. The occupiers consist of students united under the name De Nieuwe Universiteit and lecturers under the name Rethink UvA. Their demands include more participation in the management of the university and more permanent contracts.