A Withering Right to Protest

The University of London, one of the only spots of student activism still worth the name, is to lose its Union; and to protest against it is to incur what can only adequately be described as intimidation:

University of London Union (ULU) President Michael Chessum was arrested today shortly after leaving a meeting with University of London management over the forced University takeover of the Union.

It is understood that the arrest is in response to the demonstration organised by ULU yesterday by hundreds of students demanding the Union remain student-led.

The National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts (NCAFC) wishes to reiterate its full support Michael Chessum and the campaign to defend ULU.

NCAFC also demands the immediate release of Michael Chessum, and for all charges against him to be dropped.

The moment that arrests are made, student careerists – who today form the balk of university politics today – will simply walk away; and “radicals” are not, by the implications of that silly word, in strong enough of a position to defend collective rights alone.

It’s a generation-old dictum that students are ordered to live by a paradox: they are ordered to act like adults but denied the rights to do so. If Britain is a democracy then it should not be disagreeable – to any public authority – to act as though it is.

Update:

A protest against the actions of the police has apparently escalated rather quickly:

Also:

It would be so nice if Oxford were a little less dull.

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