A group of students from the University of Sheffield have occupied the University’s Diamond building over the University’s alleged involvement in the arms trade.
The Sheffield Action Group has taken responsibility for the group of masked students, who took over the University’s Diamond building, on Leavygreave Road, yesterday, due to the Uni’s partnership with Rolls Royce, Boeing and BAE Systems.
One of the masked demonstrators, using the alias ‘bogey’, said: “Sheffield university is accepting funding from businesses which it knows are making a profit from selling arms to governments guilty of war crimes and fuelling genocides.
“The demonstration is in protest of the university’s acceptance of £47m in military funding across a period of 8 years.
“They’re sponsoring engineering courses and breeding the next generation of war criminals here in Sheffield. I don’t want my money to support a university that’s okay with accepting funds from arms dealers.”
The 20 masked demonstrators have said the occupation will cease when negotiations with the university’s vice chancellor Koen Lamberts begin. The building, which was occupied at 10am Monday morning, has been inaccessible to students since.
Professor Matt Marshall, deputy vice president for education at the university, sent an email to all students which said: “We are in contact with the occupiers and we hope that the situation is resolved as soon as possible.”
However, demonstrators have dismissed this statement as a lie. Bogey said: “The only people we talk to are the security department who have the building shut down. We want discussions, we’re here to peacefully protest until we have a dialogue with those in charge.”
Chloe Murray, 20, a second year student in mechanical engineering, has missed 8 hours of tuition over the last 2 days. She said: “It’s just been more of a nuisance than anything, we’ve got a demanding course and a lot of work to do that we need to be in uni buildings for.”