Union to support arrested student protesters

They will cover travel and legal costs, and offer ‘bust cards’

Last night’s SU Council meeting decided to support student protesters who are arrested while protesting.

The meeting covered proposals put forward by students in order to make positive student led decisions within the University. The meeting covered a variety of issues including the continuation of the Union’s policy not to sell the Sun, which was submitted by former SU president, Christy McMorrow, and also the support of student protesters arrested while protesting.

McMorrow, who was also among the group to submit the policy to support protesters, noted that all Sheffield student protesters that have been arrested in the past year were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Richard Roberts was occupied by protesters in March

Josh Berlyne, one of the students who submitted the policy, advocated the SU covering the travel costs as well as the legal costs for arrested student protesters, to uphold the duty of care afforded to every student.

Similarly, it was suggested that arrested students be offered legal advice as well as ‘bust cards’ with advice on how to behave if you are arrested while protesting.

In response, the main questions asked related to how far financial aid should go. Other concerns from people against the policy were centered on the fact that the SU may then be unsuspectingly funding people who have broken the law.

However, with the distinction being made in supporting  students arrested and those actually charged, the SU backed the policy.

After a tumultuous year of student protests in Sheffield, with the Richard Roberts building being occupied in March and the protests of the junior doctors faced with Jeremy Hunt’s new contracts, the implementation of this policy shows the Union’s support of student protests.