Police arrive at the Aston Webb building to end the occupation

Defend Education have been at it again

bham birmingham brum campus defend education free education occupation protests uni

Defend Education have occupied a large part of Aston Webb Building today as they protest the right to free education.

Police have arrived to end the short-lived occupation by Defend Education protestors, which began in the early hours of the morning.

It is believed that the University has taken out another injunction against the protest, therefore making it illegal.

Police arrive en masse

Police arrive en masse

The police intervention comes after students occupied the building, in order to demand the reinstatement of two suspended students, Simon Furse and Kelly Rodgers.

In a statement online, the students say that they are now protesting the right to free education and to housing, alongside a list of demands.

Defend Education protest 2

Another protest is being held in the Aston Webb building.

Another protest is being held in the Aston Webb building

The demonstration also demands that Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers- who were suspended this time last year for their involvement in a similar protest- be reinstated.

The group believe the suspension for protest is against their human rights.

The protest comes after the news that the two students’ appeal has been postponed.

In a statement released online, Defend Education said: “Despite its postponement, we wanted to make it clear that we have not forgotten this injustice.

“Their case is an example of the extreme victimisation that this University will deploy in order to crush its student body.

“They were both singled out against a backdrop of nationwide occupations and are the only students in the country to have been suspended for nine months since before 2010.

“Only Kelly and Simon were suspended despite a hundred or so other students also being involved.”

Defend Education protest

Many students will remember the protest last year, in which poor Old Joe was graffitied and smoke bombs were thrown – yet the group maintain it was a “peaceful protest”.

Despite this, they are at it again, and have created a list of demands for the University to address.

The demands which were released this morning.

The demands which were released this morning.

One second year student told the Tab: “It seems like they are always protesting, it was big news when it first happened.

“I agree with some of their motives but I don’t really think that it’ll work – even students lost patience with them last time”.

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But perhaps we should not be so quick to dismiss the efforts, as the group has been successful in some areas.

Cleaning staff are now being paid a living wage after previous demonstrations.

Today however, Defend Education remain in occupation of the Aston Webb building on campus, with high hopes of change and a lengthy list of demands.

A spokesperson for the University said: “We are extremely disappointed that a small number of masked individuals have again illegally occupied a key teaching and administrative space at the University of Birmingham causing considerable disruption to students, staff and visitors.”