Police accused of disproportionate force at ULU chalking arrest

 

Police have been accused of using disproportionate force after arresting a student protester inside the University of London Union for chalking on university property.

A statement posted on ULU’s website by president Michael Chessum claimed that officers entered the building on Malet Street and “assaulted a number of student activists” after university staff asked police to intervene.

The incident occurred this afternoon as part of a protest for the 3Cosas campaign, fighting for sick pay, holiday and pensions for the University of London’s outsourced workers. Chalk reading ‘sick pay holidays pension now, support the cleaners’ struggle’ appeared on a memorial plaque at Senate House.

Chessum argued: “Chalk can be washed off- that is the whole point of chalk. If there are “crimes” on campus, it is the fact that many of the people who clean our buildings and cater our events cannot properly take days off when they get sick, have inadequate time to visit their relatives, and work significant periods of their lives with no prospect of a decent pension.

“Universities are supposed to be academic communities. They are supposed to be places in which the freedom to dissent is enshrined, and in which the community can collectively and critically exist. In this case, University managers and the police worked together to attack this. If calling the police is an attempt to intimidate the 3 Cosas Campaign, it will not work.”

Chessum also demanded that the University issue an apology and help prevent charges being brought against the protester.

Controversy erupted over the behaviour of police, with students taking to social media to express their anger. ULU’s Womens Officer, Susuana Antubam tweeted: “Some called the police on protester who was chalking outside ULU. Now there r being arrested. How the hell does this make sense? It's Chalk”.

Oscar Webb, editor of London Student, witnessed the arrest inside the cafe of the ULU building. “I saw two police officers grab a girl. She didn’t resist but was lying on the floor. One of her fellow campaigners was hanging onto her so the police began a struggle with him and several others.

A spokesperson for the University of London described the chalking as ‘criminal damage’ to ‘a fragile stone surface, which we have subsequently attempted to restore via our conservation specialist’.

“We understand that the police attempted to arrest the individual for criminal damage but we have no direct information about what is alleged to have taken place at ULU.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that they had arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of criminal damage.

The police spokesperson said: ‘Additional officers were then called after a group of people gathered and attempted to prevent her from being arrested. She was then also arrested on suspicion of assault on police and taken to a local police station where she remains in custody.

‘Any complaint made about officers’ behaviour will be thoroughly investigated’.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Trainee Sales Executive

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Trainee Sales Executive is re...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Cambridgeshire - £23,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Front-End Develo...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003