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February 16, 2015

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

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Monday, February 16, 2015

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Davies in 2013.
Image: Fæ.

John Davies, highly regarded Welsh historian, has died at the age of 76. Davies worked closely with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during his career, often as a commentator on BBC Wales. As well as his work as a broadcaster he was also an author and a teacher at several universities across Wales.

As an author he won the Glyndwr Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales, and the Wales Book of the Year in 2010. He won the later award for his work Cymru: Y 100 Lle I’w Gweld Cyn Marw (Wales: 100 Places to See Before Dying). He also wrote A History of Wales, a book regarded, according to the BBC, by many as definitive on Welsh history.

Tributes have been paid to Davies from many people including politicians and broadcasters. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said “He’ll be remembered as one of our great historians […] of Wales’ past which he gladly and passionately shared through his teaching, writing and broadcasting.”

Current BBC presenter Huw Edwards said “He had an extraordinary way of sharing his message in an engaging and lively way — in both languages — and that was incontrovertibly proved in his excellent and comprehensive work A History of Wales[…] He was a colourful character and great company.” Another BBC tribute came from Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales. He said “He didn’t just bring the story of Wales and its people to life — he did so in technicolor.”

Davies, who lived in Grangetown, Cardiff, would go on to share his knowledge of Welsh history by teaching at both Swansea and Aberystwyth universities. He also held the position of warden at Aberystwyth, monitoring a student residence hall.

He is survived by his wife Janet and four children.


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May 10, 2011

Wikinews interviews evicted London Metropolitan University occupier

Wikinews interviews evicted London Metropolitan University occupier

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orion Building, hosting London Metropolitan University’s Graduate Centre.
Image: Alan Stanton.

A group of students at London Metropolitan University (LMU) who had been occupying the graduate centre at their university since the afternoon of Wednesday May 4 were evicted just before midnight on Monday by police, university security and private bailiffs.

Wikinews, in contact with the occupiers, obtained a first-hand interview with one of the occupiers less than two hours after the occupation ended. The students staged the occupation in protest against cutbacks to courses at the university which, if enacted, would close 70% of the courses the university offers.

John Hughes, 35, a mature student born in the North London borough of Hackney and living in Brixton, was one of over twenty students who were sleeping overnight in the university building. A second-year student in sociology and international development, one of the courses at risk, Hughes described the police intervention at around 11:40pm:

As I came in the area we were occupying they came straight in the door…There was no warning. […] We were served the injunction on the spot by two county court sheriffs, four police officers, ten bailiffs and one member of London Met security. We said, ‘we need time to read this’. We were given ten minutes to read it and take our stuff.

London Met logo.

The occupiers have not had access to legal advice, although they have had “a bit of advice from some people who are not actually lawyers”. The occupiers complain they were given no notice of the injunction and that it is inaccurate, naming at least one person “who hadn’t committed trespass at all”.

The eviction also pre-empts an agreement, negotiated by London Metropolitan University Students’ Union president Claire Locke, for LMU vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies to meet with the occupation on Tuesday morning. The occupiers feel certain now that Gillies’ office made this agreement with the Students’ Union and occupiers in bad faith, knowing that an injunction evicting the occupation would be served before then.

The injunction follows a night after the occupation was itself invaded by members of a private security firm hired by the university management. In the early hours of Monday morning, occupiers say security staff kicked open the doors and entered an area where people were sleeping. Security personnel say an alarm was going off in the area; occupiers say there was no such alarm. Private security have also been sexually harassing and verbally intimidating the occupiers, Hughes alleges. “One of the members of the security team said through the doors to a young lady, ‘you should put up a picture of yourself, something that’s more sexy’ and ‘I’m quite a big bloke, and if I wanted to come into the occupation I would. Two young ladies are not going to stop me.'” Occupiers have also heard some racist comments from private security; the occupiers themselves are “a very mixed group” of all ages and ethnicities, “some from London, some from outside London, working class and some middle class.”

If the occupation had not been evicted, Hughes says they could have held out. “We had water, food and drinks for a while. I’m not sure for how long.” Students at Aberystwyth University in Wales occupied two rooms at their university for over a month earlier this year.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 5, 2009

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