10 December 1968
Today’s issue of Guild Gazette reports that a delegation from Socialist Society travelled to Birmingham University to show solidarity with the sit-in taking place there:
As a result of a telegram from Birmingham students to Socialist Society asking for support, a group of twenty Liverpool students spent last weekend helping with the occupation of Birmingham University’s administrative building.
This building is similar to our Victoria building. The central point is the Great Hall which up to last week had been reserved for such functions as concerts and Admission ceremonies. However, during the week it had become the centre for almost continuous discussions on topics such as “Where does the occupation go from here?”, “What is wrong with the University structure?” and so forth.
The decoration of the hall had also been supplemented by slogans and graphics, the now familiar accessories of student protest. When the continuous discussions moved off into lecture theatres, a discotheque took over the Great Hall.
Throughout the occupation literature was being handed out in the foyer of the building. Revised demands to the Vice-Chancellor, policy statements addressed to the people of Birmingham and reports of the Committee of Ten, elected to run the organisational side of the occupation, were all passed round.
However, none of the leaflets could balance the effect of the national, and more especially, local hostile press reports of the occupation.
Councillor Wallace Bauor of the Birmingham Council came on Saturday morning to speak in support of the students demands.
Throughout the weekend members of the University staff came into the building and though some left, disturbed by the sight of the inevitable mess of hundreds of people living in a building designed only for use as offices, many stayed to listen to discussions and to add their names to the long list of support from academic staff.
As the discussion continued a consensus of views was reached. The Four Points: No victimization; Open meetings of the University governmental bodies; Acceptance of the principle of Student Role (a document drawn up over the past two years on rights of students to participate in the running of the University) and the setting up of a committee to discuss this document, were decided upon.
The organisation of distribution of leaflets to the citizens of Birmingham and the provision of food in the occupied building was done with considerable efficiency and during the weekend the only division in the continuous discussions often involving over a thousand students, was over the issue of whether a “pop” group should be allowed to play until late at night, when the other occupants were trying to sleep.
Security pass given to Frank Milner, one of the Liverpool delegation to the Birminghsm sit-in.
Photos taken by Naomi Goldstein-Yalin at the sit-in (see comments below):
And here is Martin’s Redbrick (see comment below):