Police and university security in Birmingham have broken up a week-long occupation at the university in an early raid this morning.
15 students had been occupying the senate chambers at the University of Birmingham since last Wednesday, in a protest against a perceived lack of democracy and student representation, and expensive tuition fees.
According the group organising the protest, Defend Education Birmingham, police, bailiffs and security entered the chambers at around 7am. After initially resisting removal with linked arms, the students left the occupation peacefully later this morning.
Around 30 students turned out to support the occupiers at short notice. Hattie Craig, one of the leaders of the movement, told The Independent that “it was incredibly disappointing and frustrating to see my own university pay thousands of pounds to obtain court orders in order to remove what was a peaceful protest by concerned students, instead of simply engaging with them”.
In a statement, the university said that the occupiers were “not representative of the wider student body”,
“Regrettably, as a last resort, the university went to court to obtain possession of the building. The court order was carried out this morning and the Senate Chamber and surrounding area have been returned to the university. We remain committed to engaging with students on key policy issues.”
The university has also taken out a court injunction to ensure that no further occupations can take place without its permission.