Turn Me On Kevin Lyttle
After spending nearly 24 hours occupying a university building in the Thames Valley, students have been evicted by police.
Dozens of them were searched as they were thrown out the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, where they'd continued their protest against tuition fees.
In a statement Oxford University said:
"The University of Oxford supports freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest. This naturally includes protest about Government spending plans for higher education. However, this was an unlawful occupation and one that caused considerable inconvenience and disruption for students wishing to pursue their studies and for staff of some of the University’s most important library facilities. Those occupying the building were repeatedly asked to leave quietly and peacefully but chose not to do so. Attempts to negotiate an amicable resolution had failed.
A significant proportion of those occupying the Radcliffe Camera were not Oxford University students and their intentions were unclear. The Radcliffe Camera is one of the University’s most historic buildings containing many valuable and fragile books and works of art."
Around 250 people marched through Oxford City Centre on Wednesday lunchtime waving banners and placards. In a moderately peaceful protest, they started at Carfax Tower at 1pm moving down the High Street and onto the Radcliffe Camera. They included academics, teachers and schoolchildren from Cherwell School.
At the Radcliffe Camera many protestors jumped the gates surrounding the building and one girl was injured. Around 100 students then broke into the building, which houses one of the university's libraries, and staged a sit in. One library worker told Heart he saw the protestors climbing over furniture and unfurling banners.
Compared to the protest by students in Oxford a month ago, where a thousand people took to the streets, this was a relatively low key demonstration.
Gold Commander Andy Standen has been monitoring the situation throughout the day. He said:
"I’m pleased overall with the peaceful way in which protests took place across the Thames Valley area. There were walkouts by students in a number of towns but there was no disorder or disturbances. We allocated some officers to monitor activity, but it didn’t interrupt our ability to maintain our normal service to the public at all."