UK students plan massive demonstration in London

UK students plan massive demonstration in London
# 11 December 2013 05:00 (UTC +04:00)

A student movement called The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts has called on UK students to stage a mass protest on Wednesday which has been called “A National Day of Action”.

Under the banner ‘#copsoffcampus’, the event has so far over 2,400 confirmed attendees on Facebook.

“Across the country, students are initiating a vibrant, popular, winnable fight for democratic and public universities, free from exploitation and repression. We cannot be beaten if we stand together,” the event organizers said on Facebook.

Young activists say the police and universities are using intimidation tactics to suppress protestors. The student protest movement is demanding an end to the repression.

Last week, University of London (UL) students protested against the privatization of the British university system and attempts to close the university’s Students Union.

According to media reports, some 41 students were arrested after violent clashes between British police and over 200 students.

In a statement released after the protest, the university’s Union announced that it has begun examining the event.

“We are still investigating what happened inside, but initial reports indicate that protesters were assaulted by both police and security: thrown to the ground, kicked and punched, and dragged to the ground by their hair,” the statement said.

"And we don't like the way education is being run, the commercialization, the privatization of it. This is an education system that needs to change," said Rosie Holland, an organizer of the protest.

Following the unrest, the University of London banned demonstrations on its campus for six months and a university in Birmingham threatened protestors with fines up to twenty-five thousand pounds.

The university obtained an injunction by the High Court, banning its students from staging "occupational protests" in an area in Holborn, central London, until June 2014.

Referring to the court order, President of UL’s Students' Union Michael Chessum said, "The university has taken this draconian measure because it has lost the arguments on the issues."

He also accused university security staff of "hitting people" who were taking part in the protest.

Since then, protests have been seen across the UK, especially in Birmingham, Goldsmiths, Exeter, Edinburgh, Warwick, Sheffield and Ulster.