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University of Birmingham gets injunction to stop occupation-style protests

Defend Education | 08.12.2011 20:56 | Education | Policing | Repression | Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has obtained a 12 month high court injunction to stop all occupation-style protests on its 250-acre campus

Police and security prevent food being passed through windows
Police and security prevent food being passed through windows

Human rights abuse, sleep deprivation tactics and assault
Human rights abuse, sleep deprivation tactics and assault

After a number of recent occupations at the university including the most recent where the abandoned gatehouse at north gate was squatted [2] [3] [4] in opposition to the White Paper on Higher Education [5] the University went to the High Court two weeks ago and won an order banning "occupational protest action" upon "persons unknown" without prior permission.

Similar action was taken at Sheffield University which earlier this week dropped its own injunction to stop protests without prior permission on campus for a year, after its students' union challenged the claim.

Public Interest Lawyers acting on behalf of Birmingham students are worried that the injunction is too wide in that it potentially criminalises any protest where the protesters remain in any location for any period of time.

Tessa Gregory, a solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers said "Students staging a sit-down protest in a field on campus may therefore find themselves in breach of the injunction. This is wholly disproportionate and ripe for challenge. It is a shameful attempt by the university to prevent students from exercising their lawful right to protest."

This is part of an ongoing and shocking campaign of draconian measures by the university to stamp out all forms of protest and free speech within the University [6]. At the occupation of north gate the University security not only abused the students human rights by actively preventing any food or drink from entering the squat, they also engaged in sleep deprivation tactics by constantly ringing and banging on doors and windows and shining flash lights through the windows. This all cumulated in one security guard punching a student three times in the face.

This is on top of the indefinite suspension of Ed Bauer, the Vice President of Education at the Guild of Students for the purely political reason of participating in an anti-cuts protest [7]


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  1. David Eastwood supports assault on students — student