NEW Press release 23/11/13: University of Birmingham Occupation Escalates

University of Birmingham Occupation Escalates.

University of Birmingham Aston Webb Building, Senate Chamber

Contact: Hattie Craig
Phone: 07842765067, 07821731481
e-mail: [email protected]

Students occupying the University of Birmingham Senate Chamber have found themselves in a escalating confrontation with university management. Hattie Craig, VP Education at the Guild of Students and occupier, said “We have now entered the third day. The university have placed us under siege from the beginning, denying any access to the occupation. Our demands, however, have proved popular with staff and students. We have been given support by the Birmingham branch of UCU (University and College Union), and yesterday a demonstration of 100 students broke through security cordons to relieve the siege of the occupation allowing fresh activists inside”.

The students are settling in for the long haul. Simon Furse states that “We have formed a democratically elected Negotiation Committee and are demanding the university meet our demands for a living wage for staff, a more democratic university and the public retraction of the University’s position in favour of raising fees to £16k a year.” The University have started the process of applying for a ban on occupational style protests for 12 months. Xxxxxx said that “this ban comes in the form of an injunction and is an exact repeat of the previous ban two years ago which Amnesty International condemned as “aggressive and censorious[1] & [2]”.

The University have also threatened two students – Hattie Craig and Simon Furse – with legal costs for an injunction costing potentially over £10,000. Deborah Hermanns argues “that this is not a constructive way to deal with our protest. Need we remind the University that our demands are widely supported by students and staff. Furthermore, they point towards simple and necessary reforms which are reasonable and would be easily implemented if taken seriously. The most productive way to remove us would be to meet with our elected Negotiations Committee to discuss addressing these problems.”

2 photos of injunction see post below

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