Students storm University of London as protests against management and police continue

 

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The Independent Online

Around 80 students stormed the University of London on Friday in protest against police presence on campus and university management’s plans for the union.

Demonstrators, who came from as far as York, were calling for University of London’s vice chancellor Adrian Smith to be sacked.

Police were not in attendance during the demonstration, which began at 1pm outside ULU on Malet Street and quickly moved into the university’s Senate House building.

Students entered Adrian Smith’s office, when one protester left a letter on his desk, which read: “Please resign immediately. Give us our union back. Pay all your staff and get the cops off campus. Thanks very much. From London students”.

Protest slogans were chalked on the pavement and university buildings in reference to Wednesday’s chalking verdict in which a student was fined £1,010 for writing on UoL property.

Demonstrators briefly gatecrashed a National Archives event, with one attendee from Goldsmiths University library commenting: “it’s a delight that people are out on the streets”. 

ULU president Michael Chessum warned of an impending “end game”, which could include more “militant” protests and occupations, but welcomed talks from the university, saying “the ball is in the university’s court”.

On today’s protest, Michael Chessum said: “This wasn’t a ULU demo. It’s much more hectic and superfluously all over the place.”

James Pestell, a spokesperson from UoL, said they were unaware of the letter left for Adrian Smith, adding: “No significant damage was done, although some confidential files were thrown into the street below”.

In response to Chessum’s comments, he said: “Michael Chessum has regular meetings in the diary with senior University staff and if he turns up to them he’ll be welcome.”

The protest comes after months of demonstrations on similar matters, which started at the end of last year. 

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