Today Melbourne University effectively stalemated any negotiation efforts between SHAC and the Uni by sticking to the deadline of 5pm. So we are again in the situation of the negotiations being stalled by repeated eviction notices with 24-hour deadlines.
The University did not give us adequate time to respond to their offer. Last week they delivered a letter that showed their intention to engage with SHAC and gave us 24 hours to respond. We did so (within the allotted time frame). Then they then provided us with a draft proposition on Tuesday night. We had a meeting with Adrian Burrage – from the University – on Wednesday and discussed amendments. We were then provided with an updated proposal at 2pm this afternoon, which went to the SHAC collective for discussion. A few hours’ later security guards showed up to assist us in vacating!
Thus SHAC have, in effect, been forced to reject the deal as it stands.
Our hope has always been to work WITH the Uni rather than against them. Part of this is both SHAC and the Uni having an input into the way forward, discussing options and ideas, compromising. We want to find a solution that benefits low income students but that is also feasible for the University - though we do believe SHAC is both these things.
SHAC holds reservations about elements of the proposal as it stands and we want to discuss these concerns and find answers that all involved feel comfortable with. If the University stopped insisting on announcing eviction orders we might be able to advance the negotiations rather than be constantly caught in stand-offs over property. We have agreed to vacate the property when a mutually satisfactory proposal is settled upon. We feel this is a sign of good faith by SHAC and displays our readiness to compromise. Yet they still insist on these eviction orders!!! If they only resisted this urge we really could arrive at a resolution far more quickly…
We are disappointed that what had appeared to be an willingness by the Uni to engage was really just a sneaky attempt to shut us up - as shown by the enforcing of the deadline and the reluctance to continue with the necessary negotiations.
As such we're taking a stand and refusing to hand in our keys until they come back to the discussion table ready to work with us.
Unfortunately this means we now (again) are in an eviction situation. We have assurances that police and security will not be coming tonight but please be on alert, we may need to call on you to come to SHAC at very short notice.
If you want to help defend SHAC from eviction you are welcome to come sleep over in our dorms (please bring your own bedding - we have some mats but a pillow and sleeping bag would be a good idea.)