Yesterday we wrote a joint press statement with Rethink and DNU about the eviction of the Maagdenhuis.
Despite De Nieuwe Universiteit’s public and often repeated statement that they would peacefully leave the Maagdenhuis at the conclusion of the Science Festival on Sunday evening, the College van Bestuur of the University of Amsterdam decided to sign an eviction order on Friday afternoon, rendering presence in the Maagdenhuis illegal.
Despite the mayor’s suggestion for continued dialogue, the CvB of the UvA decided to act upon the ruling and mobilize the police to evict. Accordingly this morning, April 11th at 10am, dozens of plain clothed and uniformed and armed police officers, vans and horses, disrupted a peaceful, academic Festival of Science and Humanities, which had already been voluntarily taken outside by the organization. Nine people were arrested and others were forcefully dragged from the outdoor classroom. Force was used against students and teachers despite the fact they had vacated the building peacefully and complied with the police command.
This escalation is a disgrace. The disruption of a peaceful academic festival is an unacceptable show of power from the CvB. The small amount of trust that was painstakingly rebuilt over the past weeks has now again been completely crushed. We consider the unnecessary escalation and excessive escalation of force the CvB’s responsibility.
DNU, ReThink UvA and Humanities Rally call on the Raad van Toezicht, the COR, the CSR and the academic community in and beyond Amsterdam to join us in denouncing this action. The Festival of Science and Humanities will continue on the Spui square, later today, where everyone is welcome. Please come and show support for critical thinking and against top-down repression. Program will be published on Facebook shortly.