University of Sheffield student protestors to be evicted.

‘The University of Sheffield has been granted a court order to remove 19 students who have been occupying a lecture theatre for more than a week.

The "Free University of Sheffield" began the sit-in at the Richard Roberts Auditorium in protest at paid-for education.

The university said it "recognised the commitment to peaceful protest" but could not condone the occupation.

A possession order was granted by a judge at Sheffield County Court.

A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said: "We look forward to the occupation coming to an end very soon."

The sit-in began on 29 February and a number of students slept in the lecture theatre.

The group's Twitter page, @freeunisheff, said it was "fighting for free, non-hierarchical, directly democratic education."’ - BBC

‘Reiterating the only statement to have been released by the university since the occupation began on 29 February, a spokesperson said: “We fully support freedom of speech and the right of students to express their views peacefully and within the law.

“The university recognises the commitment of the occupiers to peaceful protest, however, cannot condone occupation of a building that could cause disruption to our staff and students.”’ - Independent

‘Christy McMorrow, president of the Sheffield Students’ Union, appeared in court to represent the interests of the protest group.
He said the protest was being supported by some academic staff at the university and the group had made clear it did not want to disrupt lectures
 [The judge] said while the students have a ‘free and democratic right’ to express their views about the state of higher education, Sheffield University is the owner of the building and its occupation by students is not the purpose for which the site is intended for.

Judge Robinson said that while he was willing to grant the possession order, he was concerned at the ‘unsatisfactory’ way in which it gave students notice of the legal hearing. Mr McMorrow said after the case he hoped talks would now take place to ensure students aren’t ejected by force and further discussions about the protesters’ aims could continue with university staff.’ – Sheffield Star

 

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