On Monday 28 July, students from Birmingham Defend education occupied the Strathcona building.
They were occcupying in solidarity with their fellow students, Kelly Rogers and Simon Furse, who have been suspended on very spurious and draconian charges for previous occupations, in protest against Birmingham University management.
An occupier told Solidarity, “Comrades have been suspended on trumped up charges and in solidarity with them, we’re reclaiming university space.
“The suspensions of the students has a reflection on the modern corporate, neoliberal university. I don’t think the expulsions nor protests would have happened had it not been for all the changes we’ve seen in Higher Education in the last four years.
“It’s impossible to separate the demands for freedom to protest and the living wage demands. It’s all about instilling confidence in the wider movement.”
The occupation is ongoing and has received support from the wider student left.
The movement against repressive university managements, for freedom to protest and for a living wage for all workers on campus, as well as the growing demands for free education in the wake of the 2015 general election, all need to be linked up to fight for the democratic universities that we all want to see.