Criminalisation of protest – Sit in met by force and arrests

Today’s protest ended in another sit -in at the University’s Corporate Conference Centre. It was a great success, with students doing what arrogant, overpaid university executives thought was impossible. The protest was against the ban on “occupational protests” and the disciplinary of Simon Furse for taking part in a previous occupation, the latter being called off due to the protests.

Today, however, university security were determined not allow any occupation. As students veered off of the “official” route, security assaulted any student who deviated toward any building entrance. The University’s unnecessary overreaction led to large parts of campus being shut down completely to prevent an occupation.

The University, on the back of the injunction, also brought large numbers of police onto campus, criminalising the peaceful protestors attempting a sit in. The police made two arrests after two students who were assaulted by university security officers were accused of trying to “storm” university buildings.

It is important that we do not let our protests become sterile, ending in futile A-B marches for 5 minutes between the student union and clock tower which the university begrudgingly allow. We are allowed on campus and students involved were simply trying to walk peacefully into buildings which they regularly study in so that they can raise awareness of their cause with their peers. Criminalisation of simple sit-ins is a worrying trend. We will carry on fighting the cuts, which are destroying lives; and tuitions fees, which are making university education inaccessible to so many young people.

It is crucial we continue to defend our right to protest against these attacks, and so it is crucial we show solidarity with those victimised by security and the police who

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