Statement from occupiers:
Peaceful occupation evicted by Police midnight raid
The entirely peaceful student occupation of the Graduate Centre on the Holloway Road was raided tonight by 16 thugs, including private security guards, 10 bailiffs, 4 police officers and only ONE London Met Security guard, John Hunt.
They forced entry to deliver a high court injunction at about 11.55pm, which was ordered against 5 named individuals and Persons Unknown. It required the defendants to cease their current trespass, or they would be in breach of court and “could be arrested or imprisoned”.
This was massively initmidating and directly victimises students who face transfer to other universities as a result of the cuts. Students were only given 10 minutes to read the order and to leave the premises. The management had got the police involved to intimidate the students and threaten them with arrest, despite this being a civil matter and should not even be on site. The police told the student to “pack up and go” or be arrested.
The students had no time to prepare their defence, read the paperwork OR call lawyers. This is a disgrace and shows Malcolm Gillies (VC) is just as much of a thug as the sexist and racist individuals he has placed inside and outside the occupation, at an alleged cost of £35,000.
The eviction came as a surprise, as Malcolm Gillies had agreed to meet the students tomorrow morning at 9.30am to begin a dialogue about their futures. Clearly this was all false information and proves that his view of ‘consultation’ is that it is worthless. Tonight’s events illustrate how Gillies continues to cowardly refuse to communicate, even though his plans will devastate hundreds of lives.
Worried that they were about to be arrested, the students decided to leave the occupation peacefully, and now face having to find their ways home when public transport is closed.
The fight for our futures is now hanging in the balance. Please join us for a mass lobby of the Board of Governors on Wednesday at 4.30pm in Moorgate, to make a public protest to save London Met, and call for the resignation of Malcolm Gillies. This is disgraceful behaviour and such actions by Management should not be acceptable in a University environment.