On Tuesday 9th March, a crowd of approximately 30 UEA students marched through campus to express their solidarity with Warwick students in the wake of a incident that saw police use tasers and tear gas used on student protesters at Warwick University.
The marchers held up signs that read “solidarity with Warwick” and chanted slogans expressing anger at police violence and demanding that UEA ensure free speech. Starting with a rally in the Square, the protesters marched through campus and finished at the Registry, with speakers demanding that UEA’s Vice Chancellor condemn “police brutality” at Warwick University. Protesters also demanded that UEA management introduce a clause into UEA’s behaviour regulations that would guarantee the right to protest, as well as allowing political leafleting which is currently regulated under rules that restrict leafleting on campus.
Last week saw Warwick University students evicted from a sit-in, after police used tear gas and tasers on the protesters and arrested three of them. This sparked criticism from Amnesty International and Warwick’s union. 1,000 protesters gathered on Warwick’s campus the next day to oppose the tactics, and solidarity demonstrations have taken place at other universities.
The Defend Education UEA group, which organised the protest at UEA, said: “Warwick Free Education held protests last week and went into occupation. Some students have been attacked with tasers and CS gas and beaten up and arrested. Amnesty have come out and condemned these police tactics.
“Meanwhile, over the past two years, students at UEA have faced disciplinary action for handing out leaflets about tax avoidance and the university has amended its general regulations to increase restrictions on the right to protest. We demand that UEA’s Vice Chancellor condemns the violent tactics used by police at Warwick University, and that UEA ensures our campus is a safe space for protest and dissent”.
Featured image photo credit: Cadi Cliff