Since 9pm last night the Sheffield University occupation has been in a state of lock down with university security not allowing any students to enter the building. Following a rally on Sheffield University concourse at 12:00 today a group of twenty to thirty students and university workers decided to join those already occupying the Hicks building lecture theatres. An unguarded entrance to the side of the lecture theatres was used. In response to this influx of new people university security decided to initiate a forceful eviction of the lecture theatres.
Despite the security staff’s aggression occupiers were able to resist attempts to remove them through mass, passive resistance. When their attempt at eviction had clearly failed security staff decided to deliberately set off the fire alarms in the building, disrupting many students in the middle of lectures and seminars and forcing a legal eviction on the grounds of “health and safety”. In response the occupiers have moved to Firth Court and have taken the space outside of the Vice Chancellors office inside of this building.
Support is desperately needed for the students ongoing actions. Publicise the occupation and the actions of the security staff and please come to Firth Court and show your support for the occupiers.
Richard Yates, Sheffield University Security Services Manager, will also undoubtedly be happy to hear your opinion of what his security team have been doing –
Telephone: (0114) 2229232
Please continue to contact Richard Yates and let him know what you think of the actions of his security staff and send messages of solidarity to the occupation email address. We need your ongoing support.
The head of security isn’t picking up the control desk is on 01142224444 ask which fire alarm it was that was set off and let us know.
After the rally on the concourse at 12 we managed to get a few more people into the occupation whilst the security were pushing and shoving us about. Then, coincidentally, the fire alarm went off.
We were highly suspicious that the security set off the alarm to try to get us to leave. This is because of the timing – they were agressivly preventing people from entering the occupation. And it is also because we know that this is a tactic that is often used against occupations. For example, at City of Bristol College yesterday, 300 students occupied and shortly after the fire alarm was set off and the occupation had to be evacuated.
The Security in the Hicks building immediately told us that the police had been called and that they would ‘evacuate’ the occupation.
The claimed that ‘someone set the alarm off and did a runner out the back door’ – sounds convincing… Our group then decided to leave and we headed over to Firth Court.
The security there agressively tried to prevent us from entering the building, despite the prescence of primary school children. We managed to get in however, and succeeded in occupying the corridor outside the vice-chancellor’s office.
At this point, there was a large number of university security guards inside the building and a van load of police outside. We decided to leave and build for the next national day of action on Tuesday.
All-in-all a very succesful 24-hour occupation. There was a great demonstration yesterday, a big, visible occupation and a sit-down outside the VC’s office. We all feel great about our protest and can’t wait to make tuesday even bigger and better! Thanks for all the support and we’ll keep you posted on what’s going on in the next weeks in our struggle against higher fees and cuts.