University of Birmingham student protesters occupy building
Students who occupied a Birmingham university building in protest at tuition fee increases have warned the Government to expect “widespread radical action”.
A group of 40 demonstrators occupied the Aston Webb Building at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday ahead of a planned campus protest against higher education cuts.
Photo by Naseem Akram
They unfurled banners on the balcony calling for the resignation of vice-chancellor Professor David Eastwood, while others staged a sit-in inside the reception area.
The demonstration came as thousands of students gathered in cities including London, Manchester and Glasgow in the wake of proposals to increase tuition fees from £3,290 up to £9,000 a year.
The Birmingham demonstration, which was not backed by the University’s Guild of Students or the National Union of Students, began at 7.30am on Wednesday ahead of a planned protest which saw hundreds of staff and students gathered outside the building.
It is believed students picked the Aston Webb building for the protest because it was the setting for the final televised Prime Ministerial debate in April.
A statement released by campaigners calling themselves Stop Cuts Birmingham read: “Students at the University of Birmingham have embarked on this occupation because we believe the Government’s cuts to be economically unnecessary, unfair and ideologically motivated.
Posted by Birmingham Budget Cuts
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for University of Birmingham student protesters occupy building
We want to work together with Unison, UCU and other people in the public and private sector who are facing these ideologically motivated cuts. We will fight tuition fees as we are students, but know that we are behind people who are threatened with redundancy (especially in light of the 26,000 redundancy offers at Birmingham City Council last month).