A statement of support from Bristol Left:
Bristol Left would like to express solidarity with the student activists currently occupying the Senate Chambers at the University of Birmingham. The symbolic importance of the venue of occupation is not lost on us. University Senate is historically a body of democratic decision-making, where student and academic representatives debate and deliberate on crucial policies affecting and shaping the University. In recent decades, we have seen this crucial body stripped of its democratic power and increasingly used as a Management mouthpiece. This is also the case at Bristol, as well as across the country.
We are full of admiration and appreciation for the students occupying, who through their brave actions have highlighted the worrying lack of democratic debate and decision-making at the University of Birmingham and across the UK. We condemn any efforts by Birmingham University Management to intimidate these students’ legitimate right to protest and to shut down democratic dissent. Particularly, we condemn in the strongest terms possible the attempt by management to take out an injunction against its own students and saddle them with more than £10,000 of legal fees.
We call on our Students’ Union (UBU) and the Bristol branch of Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) to express support for Defend Education Birmingham and for their right to protest free of harassment and intimidation in any form.
For more information on the campaign to Defend Education Birmingham, see: http://www.defendeducationbrum.org/