Defend Education Birmingham has been in occupation of the university’s senate chamber since wednesday evening. We have published our demands for the occupation here.
We called a demonstration outside the occupation, and in less than 24 hours of mobilisation managed to get over 100 people to come. The demonstration then broke the siege of the occupation and got a load of people in and out. Currently there is free access to the occupation. Students have shown their strength in maintaining the occupation allowing new individuals to come in and take up shifts. The university should recognise that it can’t stop student protestors attempting lock them down and smoke them out.
We have reasonable demands for living wages for staff and for the university to reverse its position in favour of raising tuition fees to 16k a year which are widely supported by staff and students on campus.
The university should enter into negotiations with us on our demands.
A few minutes earlier, the university served us papers summoning us to court, and applying for an injunction that names two individuals. The papers further state that the university is requesting a 12 month ban on occupational style protest. This ban will cost them over £10,000 to apply for in court. This is an exact repeat of the controversial ban on occupational protest that led to the university to be condemned by Amnesty International two years ago.