Strong arm of the law: Student protesters booted out of Senate House
Protesters “kicked and punched” as police move in to end student sit-in
Students accused the police of heavy-handedness last night as the occupation of Senate House descended into chaos.
More than 100 coppers were on hand to evict the student protesters, who had occupied Senate House to call for better working conditions for staff and protest against changes to ULU.
Three people were arrested by police armed with batons, with reports that some students were “kicked and punched” by rough-handed rozzers and security guards.
A 24-year-old student told the Evening Standard: “I have never seen a student occupation treated like this. This was a civic matter, but the university got at least 100 police officers in to deal with it which seems extremely heavy-handed.”
A statement from ULU said: “We are still investigating what happened but initial reports indicate protesters were assaulted by both police and security, thrown to the ground, kicked and punched, and dragged to the ground by their hair. When supporters gathered outside to show support for the occupation, they were beaten back and assaulted.
“Occupations are a legitimate form of dissent. When our university shuts down our student union, and are utterly unaccountable to the students and staff that give it life and make it function, students have no choice but to gain leverage in whatever way they can.”
Video footage from outside the building shows protesters chanting “murderers, racists, violent scum” at police officers.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “Anyone with concerns about officers’ actions should report them to their local police station or via the 101 non-emergency number.”
Police were called to Senate House at around 3pm and continued scrapping with protesters until 11pm. After they had been evicted, the students moved to Holborn where they demanded the release of demonstrators still being held by police.
If you have 10 minutes of your life to spare, here are some video highlights of the event. The best bits are around the 1min and 2min marks, when the police scuffle with the protesters.