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10th March 2014

Students occupy University of London as protests continue

London students call on their Vice Chancellor to ‘resign immediately’

Dozens of students stormed the University of London last week, in a display of upheaval against the metropolitan police and management of the students’ union.

The demonstrators called for the resignation of Adrian Smith, the University of London’s Vice-Chancellor. There were no police in attendance, and James Pestell, a spokesperson for the University confirmed that “No significant damage was done, although some confidential files were thrown into the street below”.

Students walked into Smith’s office and left a letter which read, “Please resign immediately. Give us our union back. Pay all your staff and get the cops off campus. Thanks very much. From London students.”

This action is the latest in a series of protests which began towards the end of last year.

University of London president, Michael Chessum, reflecting on the latest disturbance at the University, has warned of an “end game”, which might bring with it more “militant” protests and occupations.

Chessum has however called for negotiations with the University, saying that “the ball is in the University’s court”.

He added further that “This wasn’t a ULU demo. It’s much more hectic and superfluously all over the place.”

In response to Chessum’s remarks, Pestell said, “Michael Chessum has regular meetings in the diary with senior University staff and if he turns up to them he’ll be welcome”.

Earlier in the same week as the storming of the University a student was fined £1,010 for drawing protest slogans on university property.

The troubles started last December when more than a thousand students marched through the streets of London in a demo which led to a police van being attacked and vandalised.

At the same time, the University of London took out an injunction preventing “”violent and intimidating” protests on its premises.

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