Exeter students blockade campus supply points in support of UCU strikes

They’ve threatened more radical action if demands are not met

A group of students have pitched tents outside a primary supply depot on the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus to cause a blockade.

The protest is to show solidarity with striking staff members and cause disruption to campus outlets such as Forum Marketplace, Pret A Manger and Costa – all of which the University profits from.

The group behind the blockade, Exeter Students Support the UCU Strikes 2020, have dubbed it “the start of weeks of radical action”. The protest comes three months after the group occupied Peter Chalk during the previous round of UCU strikes, causing mass disruption to teaching sessions held in the building.

The supply depot, located behind the Forum, has been targeted to cause disruption to deliveries and waste collection. The group hopes this will cost the university money and encourage them to meet UCU’s demands.

However, the Students’ Guild may also feel a financial impact as the depot is used by Guild outlets such as the Ram, Comida and the Guild Shop.

The students are calling on the University’s Vice Chancellor, Sir Steve Smith, to support the strikes and have threatened to escalate protest action if their demands are not met.

One said: “We will sleep out in the cold and sacrifice our comfort to demonstrate to the University that we are serious about our demands and the possibility of later escalation.

“Whilst our university hands the Vice Chancellor a fat paycheck of almost a million pounds, our lecturers are having their pensions snatched from them whilst their workloads pile up to unsustainable levels.

“This is an injustice.”

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Exeter lecturers speak out on why they’re striking