Hallam University accused of trying to end protests with disciplinary measures against students

Two students face disciplinary proceedings for the occupation of the Cantor Building Arundel Street, as part of a student protest against the university’s response to student rent strikes and the treatment of staff and students during the pandemic .

Students from several universities staged simultaneous protests, following rent strikes in January in which students withheld thousands of pounds of rent in what they claimed was the biggest rent strike in the Kingdom – United in 40 years, amid the wrath of being forced to pay for rooms in rooms they weren’t allowed to return to due to lockdown restrictions.

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Rent strike occupation of the Cantor building

Two of Hallam’s protesters are threatened with action, with one saying he understands he could be kicked out for a year.

One of the organizers of the disciplined rent strike, Zac Larkham, said: “This is an obvious attempt by the university to silence those who denounce the university leadership. and encourage students to queue. We are used to setting an example for other students and telling them “this is what happens when you dare to disobey us”.

“If the university is successful, it will set a dangerous precedent that will deter students and staff from speaking out against the university in the future.”

Protesters said the universities of Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield, which also had occupations, had chosen not to take sanctions against students, respecting their right to freedom of speech and protest.

A student is held up during the rent strike to occupy the Cantor building

A spokesperson for Sheffield Hallam University said: ‘Disciplinary proceedings are underway regarding two students who participated in the occupation of a Sheffield Hallam University building due to damage and a misuse of university property and suspected health and safety violations that could put themselves and staff at risk. “

During the demonstration against the Cantor building, the students unfurled a banner with the inscription “Students B4 Profit”.

Video footage of protesters cornered by security personnel convicted online after the incident

At the same time, students from the University of Sheffield occupied the Tower of the Arts.

A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said at the time that he supported the rights of students to protest peacefully, but did not tolerate the occupation of a building that disturbed other students.

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