From the Student Assembly Against Austerity: Open statement of solidarity with Warwick students occupying against police brutality

5 December 2014

We encourage students, lecturers, public figure, organisations and groups to add their names to the statement below by emailing info@thestudentassembly.org.uk.

We support the student occupation and ongoing protests at Warwick University in response to police violence, for free education and against fees, cuts and debt. We send out solidarity to all the students concerned and condemn the escalating use of police violence on our campuses.

On Wednesday 3 Dec 2014 students at Warwick University were holding a peaceful sit-in protest on campus as part of the national day of action for free education called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Student Assembly Against Austerity. They were sat in a circle discussing free education and the university community.

However, this was met with violence from police and who attacked them using CS spray and drawing tasers.  A number of students were assaulted and injured, and some arrested only to be released without charge later that evening.

We support the demands of the students occupying their campus and echo their calls on the University of Warwick management to “support the right to protest and condemn any form of state violence including the use of CS gas and tasers on our campus.”

This attack on peaceful protesters at Warwick University represents a further ratcheting up of police violence used against student activists following the disgraceful scenes that followed a student occupation at Senate House in December 2013 and those at Birmingham University last year.

Students and staff should be able to protest against policies and practices with which they disagree. They should be able to take part in protests without fear of attack or the use of tasers or CS gas.  Universities are meant to be places of debate and discussion.  We condemn the actions of the University, the police and security. We support all those students involved and offer solidarity to protests and occupations now taking place.

4 comments

  1. Jamie Wyatt said:

    Disgrace, keep fighting and don’t be bullied by those who believe they have the power they use force because they know that the real power is in people and unity.

    5 December 2014 at 6:53pm
  2. kevin davis said:

    Solidarity.

    6 December 2014 at 5:47am
  3. John McDonnell MP said:

    I am shocked at the violent behaviour from the Police that I saw on the film of this incident. I believe that students have the right to peaceful protest in the pursuit of their campaign for free education, which I also support. I am calling upon the Police and University authorities to also respect this time honoured right and tradition.

    6 December 2014 at 10:33am
  4. Audrey Fortune said:

    Supporting the right to peaceful protest and to be able to do this without fear of attack from those who are supposed to protect us.

    9 December 2014 at 4:51pm

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