Police Infiltration: Academics Pressure Vice-Chancellor
Academics are pressuring the Vice-Chancellor to defend students against police spying. ABIGAIL WOOD reports.
Cambridge academics write to the Vice-Chancellor, calling for condemnation of covert action taken by Cambridgeshire Police.
The recent revelations in The Guardian exposed targeted police surveillance of Cambridge students: now, an open letter has been circulated, calling for an official university statement.
The letter, published by the prominent academic ‘free-speech’ site donsspeakout, has been signed, so far, by 120 accademics.
The academics argue that “the very threat of such unjustifiable surveillance will have a chilling effect on students involved in or hoping to join campaigning organisations.”
They ask that the university “issue an official statement condemning such covert practices, which infringe the traditional boundaries of University self-governance, and call for an official explanation and apology from both the Home Office and from Cambridgeshire Constabulary”
When asked to comment on last week‘s reveleations, a spokesperson from The University told The Tab that ‘‘it was a matter for the police.”
When questioned about the petition today, the University held steadfast.
One Sidney Mathmo asked “How long until someone is asked to spy on those who have signed it?”
Chris Page, a well-known student activist from Queens’, commented that “the open letter represents a key opportunity for the University to stand up for its students and call out the police and the government on their invasive and underhand tactics.”
A Kings Second year was less concerned. “The police spy on activists. Shocker. They simultaneously do nasty things and also prevent acts of terror.”
Another wave of walkouts from university staff is expected December 3rd. Students have been called upon to join strike action in solidarity.