UoM students occupying Sam Alex building say security have been ‘hostile and threatening’

But they say: ‘We won’t leave until our demands are met’

Students occupying the University of Manchester’s Samuel Alexander building say security have been “hostile” towards them, but say: “We won’t leave until our demands are met”.

Yesterday evening, a group of students protesting the university’s treatment of students and staff, moved in and began occupying the historic Samuel Alexander building.

It follows last November’s successful occupation of Owens Park Tower which won a 30 per cent rent rebate for semester one, for all students living in halls.

UoM student Izzy Smitheman has been in both occupations, and described the atmosphere this time with security as “much more hostile” than in Owens Park Tower in November.

She said: “Security were here within five minutes, they’ve called us ‘fucking twats’ and threatened to turn the heating up and turn the electricity off.

“We do have plenty of food, showers and toilets though so we won’t leave until our demands are met”.

A university spokesperson declined to comment on the alleged comments made by security, but confirmed to The Manchester Tab that there won’t be any changes made to “the building’s supply of water, electric or heating”.

Amongst the occupiers’ demands are a 30 per rent rebate for semester two in UoM halls; a cash rebate of £1,500 for all students; elections for uni management positions; an end to police patrols on campus; and no redundancies for staff.

The occupation is composed of campus groups UoM Rent StrikeCops Off CampusNancy Out and Student & Staff Solidarity.

It comes just a month on from the vote of no confidence in Vice Chancellor, Nancy Rothwell.

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “We won’t be commenting on the alleged comments made by our security staff, but I can confirm that we won’t be making any changes to the building’s supply of water, electric or heating or access wifi that will impact on the occupiers.”

Regarding the occupation, the university said: “A small number of students are currently occupying an area in one of our buildings without permission.

“Staff are on site to ensure safety and welfare. We would ask that the students leave. We understand that some of our students have concerns and we are continuing to work closely with their elected representatives.”

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‘We won’t leave until our demands are met’: UoM students occupy Sam Alex building

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