Police and college security were today filmed assaulting students in peaceful occupation at Birmingham University – this account is taken from the Stop Fees Stop Cuts Birmingham University website.

Upon security arriving on scene, the protestors immediately read to them, what they considered their rights under section 6 squatter’s rights, informing them that any violence would be met with prosecution. This was recorded and can be watched in this video.

“When I (member of staff and UCU member) saw the banner drop over the Watson Building Bridge at just after 12:00 noon, I decided to go and have a look at the student occupation. It became quickly obvious that University security seemed determined to take an uncompromising stance towards the occupation, and tried to deny the student occupiers access to sanitation facilities. When a female student needed to use the toilet on the other end of the corridor security tried to prevent her from re-entering the occupation. Other students present tried to shield this female student, peacefully and wholly non-violently from the security guards, I was shocked and horrified by the level of violence immediately meted out to the protestors. I saw one student in an arm-lock of one of the security guards, until he went red in the face.

Standing in the background I shouted at them repeatedly to stop assaulting the students and stop the violence, but they would not and seemed to ignore me completely. Another student was (his hands in the air and while shouting ‘I am not violent’) forcibly held on the ground by a security guard in a way which looked painful. I was very upset by these scenes and horrified at the violence used against our own students who were by all accounts from what I could see perfectly peaceful. I was not present at the eviction in the evening.”

More cases like this followed and police and security kept up this aggression against students throughout the occupation. Students are not discouraged and will continue their passive resistance to the cuts in the face of university and police violence.