Student protests banned in London after two days of unrest and 41 arrests

 

Education Editor

A university has obtained an injunction banning its students from protesting on campus for six months after two days of unrest led to 41 arrests.

The University of London said the injunction was the “last straw” to stem what it said had been “a campaign of aggression and intimidation”.

Students at the university had staged a sit-in - in part to protest at losing their facilities and in part to protest at what they consider to be moves across the country to “privatise” university support services.

The university says its students do not need an umbrella students’ union for the entire university as each college has its own.

Watch: Students 'punched and dragged to the ground by their hair' as police break up demonstration

Violent clashes began on Wednesday between police and students after students had occupied part of the university’s headquarters.

Video footage shown on BBC regional TV  news appeared to show one student falling to the ground after being pushed in the face by a police. Students claimed he had been punched.

Protesters then barricaded the vice-chancellor’s and other offices, claiming that peaceful demonstrations had had little effect.

As a result, 36 students were arrested on Thursday - with two accused of assaulting the police and the rest for breach of the peace or affray as scuffles broke out between the two sides.

The protest was one of a number organised by students during the past week. At Sussex University in Brighton, where catering facilities are being sourced out to a private contractor, five students are facing disciplinary action, accused of being involved in organising “repeated serious disruption” through occupations. The five have been suspended from campus and excluded from their courses.

The University of London 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 Warberg Institute, Brunei Gallery and main buildings of neighbouring Birkbeck College and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

It adds that the students’ protest “has involved senior members of the university staff, including the Vice-Chancellor, being prevented from leaving their offices”.

“There has therefore been both a serious incursion upon university property and a serious interference with liberty and freedom of senior university personnel.”

A spokesman for the university added: “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.”

Speaking after the Wednesday protest had led to the video depicting a student shoved to the ground by the police and the disciplinary action against the Sussex students, Rachel Wenstone, vice-president of 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.”

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said three officers had suffered minor injuries during the clashes on Thursday when between 200 and 300 people had gathered to protest in Malet Street.

"Some of the group were covering their faces, others carrying home made shields,” it added.

On the previous day, it said a 25-year-old man had been charged with assault following the sit-in, a 20-year-old man was arrested for obstructing police and three other men bailed to return in the New Year on charges of causing danger to users of the highway.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 1 Teacher

£12 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require a year ...

Primary Teacher - Hull

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Are you a flexible and inspiratio...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried