Uni of Manchester forced to move exams after pro-Palestine protestors occupy Whitworth Hall

Students received an email from the uni outlining ‘well established contingency plans’ which may be put in place

Exams at The University of Manchester have been relocated following a protest at Whitworth Building on Oxford Road.

Students occupying the building are part of the group of protestors who set up an encampment of resistance for Palestine on Brunswick Park.

In an email sent to students yesterday, the university outlined how protestors had gained “unauthorised access” to the building and explained that all students would have access to “emergency contingency plans” if so needed. The university has since confirmed that occupiers have refused to vacate the building after receiving a letter from management.

Mcr Leftist Action released a statement on Instagram on Saturday explaining that Whitworth Hall had been occupied by pro-Palestine demonstrators.

In their statement, they outlined that Whitworth Hall had now been occupied by pro-Palestine protestors from the Camp of Resistance for Palestine “after the University (of Manchester) refused to engage in negotiations to cut their funding and support to the Israeli regime through partnerships with BAE systems, and Israeli academic institutions.”

The protestors asked the university to open negotiations with the camp about their demands, which include: The University of Manchester will not pursue disciplinary action against any students involved in the protests, encampment or occupations, UoM will end its partnerships with arms companies and that UoM adopts a policy ensuring all research is ethical and does not contribute towards the arms trade.

Student protestors gathered outside Whitworth Hall yesterday in a mass protest, where banners and flags were waved and chants were sung among the crowd.

Following the occupation, UoM has activated an exam contingency plan for exams set to take place in Whitworth Hall.

An email sent to all students from The University of Manchester stated that exams will proceed as scheduled, however all exams set to take place in Whitworth Hall have been moved to new venues.

The university also said that it is not expecting any need for additional changes to exam locations beyond that of Whitworth Hall, however it has well established contingency plans that can be activated quickly in the event of any disruption.

A spokesperson from the University of Manchester told The Manchester Tab: “On the evening of Monday 27th May 2024, a large demonstration occurred on campus, which included members of the public, as well as some of our students. Greater Manchester Police were in attendance, as is standard procedure for large protests.

“Despite claims made on social media, no action has been taken to remove those occupying Whitworth Hall, by either our campus support and security staff or Greater Manchester Police.

“We have written to the individuals occupying the Whitworth Hall complex, requesting that they vacate the premises to allow student exams to proceed as planned. Unfortunately, they have refused.

“As a result, we are now activating our well-established exam contingency plans, but it is deeply disappointing that their actions are directly impacting on what is already, for all those undertaking assessments at present, one of the most intense periods in the academic year.”

Featured image via Instagram @mcrleftistaction

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