StUDENTS BACK IN OCCUPATION FOLLOWING ASSAULT AT PEAceful protest
The following message was received at 2am this morning from students at London College of Communication. The fight to stop the social cleansing of Elephant and Castle goes on!
Tanya, Chair Southwark Defend Council Housing
** WE ARE BACK IN OCCUPATION FOLLOWING THE ASSAULT OF STUDENTS AT PEACEFUL PROTEST AT LCC **
Students supporting the campaign have been violently assaulted by campus security following a peaceful protest, currently ongoing at the University of the Arts London (UAL) LCC campus at Elephant and Castle.
Protesters received widespread and vocal support from fellow students as they leafleted them at a presentation of their final year degree work this evening to highlight UAL’s complicity in planned gentrification of Southwark. A non-violent rally then followed in the corridor outside the degree work showings. Campus security then reacted violently, assaulting the protesters with university management present and partaking with Head of College Natalie Bratt grabbing an Arts Student Union Officer’s phone and tackling her when attempts were made to retrieve the phone.
The assault by security and some staff who aided them has been extremely serious, with one student saying: “One man started pushing me away from the door before grabbing my breast for several seconds when I would not move!”. Another said: “Security started aggressively grabbing my shoulders and pulling my arms when I refused to let go of our megaphone”
This is the latest in a series of cruel management treatment towards student protesters at UAL, having previously refused toilet access to occupiers in an attempt to freeze them out, and following other incidents of pushing and hurting student campaigners, alognside the attempted victimisation of a students’ union representative involved in the campaign.
Just hours earlier, over a hundred students at Cambridge University held a Cops Off Campus demo against the threat of violent eviction placed on student occupiers by university management last week.
Not only do we have the right to protest without facing violent repression by security, but UAL are doing this to clamp down on opposition to their part in the gentrification of Elephant and Castle and the driving out of local BME communities.
This is a disgrace! We stand with activists across the country in condemning the acts of LCC security and the orders of UAL management.
We demand that UAL cease its role in the gentrification of Elephant and Castle and respect the right of students to protest without being assaulted security.
Let’s make sure LCC remains the London College of Communication and not the London College of Gentrification.
UAL MUST STOP SUPPORTING SOCIAL CLEANSING IN ELEPHANT & CASTLE
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