UoM Rent Strike is holding a protest at Owens Park tonight, after the new fencing

The protest will take place at 8pm

This afternoon fencing was put up around a number of UoM halls which the University of Manchester has since confirmed is a result of “new security measures” due to the national lockdown.

Following this, UoM Rent Strike has announced they are holding a protest at 8pm at Owens Park, at which they have confirmed participants will be social distancing and wearing masks.

Speaking to The Manchester Tab, UoM Rent Strike said: “It’s a way of building a sense of community and solidarity with so many of us who are struggling, confused, and feeling let down by the University.

“Whilst the protest has been triggered by the fencing, it’s a build-up of frustration over lack of communication from the University and the feeling that profits have been prioritised over our well-being throughout this whole term.

“There have also been assaults on campus this week which haven’t been addressed by the university at all, and the student death weeks ago which still hasn’t been acknowledged by UoM.”

The group is attempting to raise awareness on Twitter with the hashtags #UoMrentstrike and #HMPFallow.

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “In recent weeks we have received a number of concerns from staff and students on this site about safety and security; particularly about access by people who are not residents. We are therefore introducing new security measures out of hours at key entrance points to our campus, accommodation and main pedestrian routes to help keep our students, our staff and our community safe. As now, residents can continue to enter and leave as they please.

“Regrettably the fencing began to be installed ahead of the message being seen by halls students. We apologise for any worry that this has caused and would like to reiterate that all students who live on site can continue to come and go freely.

“We understand these are challenging times, and we are extremely grateful to all of our students who are following the guidelines and making adjustments to their lives to help keep our community safe.

“If our students in halls need support at any time they can contact their ResLife team for assistance and advice, or their Duty ResLife Advisor can also be contacted for any emergencies out of hours. For self-isolation enquiries our students should email [email protected].”

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “I sincerely apologise for the concern and distress caused by the erecting of a fence around our Fallowfield Halls of Residence today. This was not our intention – in fact quite the reverse.

“The fencing was intended as a response to a number of concerns received over recent weeks from staff and students on this site about safety and security; particularly about access by people who are not residents. There was never any intent to prevent students from entering or exiting the site.

“The fences are being taken down from Friday morning and students are being contacted immediately. Alternative security measures, including additional security patrols are being put in place.

“I apologise once again for the issues caused by this incident.”

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