University security, police and bailiffs broke up our occupation of the university senate chamber and adjoining rooms this morning. They were spotted gathering outside around 6am and about 30 supporters came down to defend the occupation and stand in solidarity with the occupiers.
Security, police and bailiffs entered the occupation at 7am, by taking down the barricade on the main staircase with heavy cutting tools. The students inside retreated to the senate chamber, linked arms and blocking the doors. Bailiffs attacked and forced their way through the students linking arms, eventually moving into the occupation. The students were reading their rights. Still after that, students passively resisted removal, before leaving the occupation peacefully as a group later. Few students were handled roughly by University Security.
No arrests were made and the students inside were shoved out of the building to join up with their supporters.
This is by no means the end of the campaign.
As early as last Monday, under the threat of the injunction, student campaigners strengthened the focus on a wide variety of other methods of direct action in order to press the need for negotiations on the demands and to raise awareness of the dire problems we face and mobilise the university community.
It is vital for the University management to understand that just because- under use of disproportionate force- they managed to evacuate the occupiers, trivialising the link between the University management, lack of opportunities for real staff and student involvement and token democracy as core problems at our University will only enforce awareness and resistance. The demands now stand stronger than ever amongst students and staff.
Defend Education got insightful responses concerning University management from appalled students at the postgraduate open day on Wednesday.
A support demonstration and strike day of action has been called in solidarity with the planned UCU strike. Join us on the UCU pickets and for a rally for 2pm meet at the clocktower.