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26th October 2023

Low turnout for Rent Strike demonstration in heavy rain

Rent Strike demonstration is shortened by heavy rain, with a low turnout causing its early end
Low turnout for Rent Strike demonstration in heavy rain
Credit: Meical Cook @ The Mancunion

The planned Rent Strike demonstration on Friday, October 20 received a low turnout and ended after approximately 30 minutes.

The meeting, held at the University quad arch, lasted from around 12:15p.m. to 12:45p.m., with numbers peaking at around 8 people.

The demonstration was faced with heavy rain as Storm Babet hit the UK, which a fourth year Rent Strike member claimed affected turnout. Heavy winds were also cited as a reason for the early end.

Those who were in attendance had a large speaker playing music, and a microphone which, whilst not used, was reportedly planned to be used for chants.

The group also had banners displaying messages such as “Don’t pay your rent” and “UoM puts profits over students and workers.”

When asked by The Mancunion, an unidentified participant said they came as they wanted to “let people know about the campaign.” They continued to say that the group are “looking to get as many people involved” as possible.

The participant went on to reaffirm the aims of the group, which included continuing last year’s focus on liveable, sanitary conditions for hall residents.

They also noted the group’s concerns about rent prices for prospective students, particularly with news of the Fallowfield redevelopment project.

The demonstration comes days after the announcement that the group would not be calling for a rent strike this semester.

The group held demonstrations and occupations of University buildings last academic year, including a march from Owens Park to Whitworth Hall in March 2023.

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