Students occupy UCL main building and block Provost’s office

‘Liberate the University’ group has occupied the Wilkins building

A group of University of London students have occupied the Wilkins building this morning and blocked the entrance to the Provost’s office in “support of striking lecturers.”

The building has been occupied at 7am today by the Liberate the University group of students taking action as part of a “national move by students to escalate the ongoing strike action.”

In a proclamation to senior management of the University of London, they state they “stand in solidarity with the staff of our university and understand that together we constitute its essential fabric” and issued a set of demands.

These demands include an end to casualisation of labour, which they argue includes “an end to contracts in which staff are not paid over the summer months, stripping them of vital research time and creating unnecessary economic pressures.”

Other demands include a maximum 35-hour week, a staff pay rise to meet London living costs, an end to outsourcing, a pay cap on senior administrative staff, and an agreement to meet UCU demands on the pension fund.

If these demands are not met they are threatening extended strike action, as “if we are to be treated as customers, we invoke our right to refuse consumption.”

They went on to say: “Whilst there is a strong body of striking and picketing staff, they are departmentally and institutionally dispersed, despite having broadly the same demands. We invite staff and students from all London universities to join us in this space: to relocate existing events and turn it into a strike hub from which other intercollegiate events can be coordinated.”

UCL have been contacted for comment.