Warwick University occupation ends peacefully


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The Independent Online

Students at Warwick peacefully ended their anti-privatisation protest over the weekend.

A spokesperson from ‘Protect the Public University – Warwick’ (PPU) said: “We thought it was important that this didn’t drag out to the end of term and the university didn’t resort to the disproportionate use of legal methods or disciplinary action to threaten us out.”

Around 20 students, who had occupied the university’s Senate House since last week, left the building at 4.15pm on Saturday. Security permitted them to leave without hindrance.

An anonymous member of the group, who had been inside, said: “It’s so weird to be outside. I haven’t slept properly for eight days.”

Another student affirmed her support for the protest, stating: “Consensus decision making is a really positive and democratic way to make group decisions.”

The PPU spokesperson continued, “We feel that whilst this occupation has finished we do remain constantly present at the University. The yellow squares are not going to disappear.”

On Friday a letter appeared in the Guardian in support of the occupation. Signed by 28 people involved in student unions across the country, signatures included Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and NUS Vice-President Vicki Baars. 

No members of Warwick’s Student Union signed the letter, a fact which drew condemnation from one of the occupiers.

The student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated: “I think the fact that the Presidents of other unions have signed means [our Saabs] are not fit to be on the union.”

Nick Swain, President of Warwick’s SU, responded saying: “We made our statement at the start of the occupation and we are standing by what we said in the first instance whilst continuing to offer support to students if they require help from the SU, especially regarding their welfare.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Warwick Boar on Saturday. It has been republished with permission.