Second wave of mass student demonstrations planned in London

Student protest movement swells following accusations of police brutality

Student protests which saw 41 arrests last week are set to continue despite injunctions, in a movement emboldened by claims of police violence and heavy-handedness from the University of London.

A so-called “national day of action” has been called for this Wednesday, in a demonstration that could see thousands of students from all over the UK converge on central London.

And on Friday, UoL obtained an injunction banning its students from protesting on campus for six months, following two days of unrest.

Organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, an umbrella organisation of student protest groups, the “#copsoffcampus” event on Facebook currently has more than 2,000 confirmed attendees – numbers which would see it dwarf prior protests

On Facebook, the description of the event says “universities across the country have been subject to unprecedented levels of violence from the police, targeting a resurgent wave of activism against the privatisation of the university system.

“Across the country, students are initiating a vibrant, popular, winnable fight for democratic and public universities, free from exploitation and repression. We cannot be beaten if we stand together.”

UoL’s injunction states that “students have no right to conduct a ‘sit-in’ or take possession of any areas of the campus".

It was granted on Thursday and covers the university’s headquarters at Senate House, the University of London Union offices, the Warburg Institute, Brunei Gallery and main buildings of neighbouring Birkbeck College and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

The current wave of unrest in London was sparked last Wednesday, after police and university security broke up a sit-in at Senate House, UoL’s central London headquarters. Evicted students claimed police punched them and pulled some of them by their hair, while in the ensuing fracas, five students were arrested as footage emerged of a police officer appearing to punch a protester who fell to the ground.

At a larger protest a day later, featuring as many as 300 students, another 36 arrests were made as the two sides clashed.

A spokesman for the university said: “We regard the injunction as a regrettable but necessary step to prevent further occupations of Senate House and other university buildings in Bloomsbury.

“Wednesday’s incursion was the last straw in a series of aggressive and intimidatory acts by student protesters over the past year which have seen our staff threatened, abused and in some cases injured.”

Rachel Wenstone, a vice-president at the NUS, said: “We were absolutely appalled by the handling of student protesters we have seen in both Sussex and London in recent days.

“Peaceful protest and occupation is part of the history of the student movement and one we are very proud of. They are legitimate tactics, enshrined in our right to protest and are available to students when there is no other way to get their voices heard.”

Police have confirmed that one of the arrests was made for assault and one for obstruction of officers. A spokesman said that no complaints had been made about officers’ actions at the protests.

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

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Marketing & Social Media Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Marketing Graduate or...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer (Trainee) - City, London

£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Services Graduate Training Scheme

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a successful and establ...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory