In response to the day of action that was called by unions seeking to escalate protests against proposed legislation cutting funds to higher education in England and Wales, law students at Birkbeck College decided to occupy the Council Room at the main campus from noon today.
Activists from other and nearby colleges (of the University of London) dropped in with much needed supplies, law school lecturers joined and students from other disciplines did too. At one point, 70 people (students and lecturers) were in occupation. Almost 30 people will be spending the night in the Council room. Calls of solidarity were received from students holding occupations at Bristol University and words of support were received from the numerous other occupations being held throughout the UK.
Students are currently drafting a list of demands they will make the College and the coalition Government. The Board of the Law School issued the following statement;
‘The School of Law at Birkbeck College publicly expresses its opposition to the proposed cuts to, and privatisation of, higher education. The Law School affirms its commitment to uphold the founding mission of Birkbeck College to provide open access to higher education.’
I’ll be posting more details as the occupation progresses.