Protesters Blockade Cambridge Uni
3 December 2010, 10:04
Cambridge University says action taken by demonstrators blockading a building is "dangerous and unacceptable".
A week after protesters invaded and occupied a room in The Old Schools site, next to The Senate House, they are now blockading entrances and exits to the site by linking arms.
It's part of their ongoing demonstration against the expected rise in tuition fees and public sector cuts, and follows their demand that the university publicly condemns the situation.
Alice Wells, a student in the occupation, said: "We are here because we believe in an education system that is open and available to all regardless of their ability to pay.
We do not accept the need for this government's brutal and economically illiterate spending cuts which will damage the social fabric of this country.
We demand that the University of Cambridge use its influence, wealth and prestige to fight for a more just system, and won't stop until they do."
Mark Kerridge, a student, said: "It's shameful that the University is refusing to speak to students defending the right to education, just as it is shameful that it is refusing to speak out against fees and cuts.
Only a few days before the Commons vote on fees, the University's silence makes it complicit in the devastation of our education system, and forces us to take action now."
The university has however criticised the action that the students are now taking, and has contacted the emergency services for assistance.
A University spokesman said: "This morning entrances and exits at the Old Schools have been blocked by the protesters.
This blockade poses a genuine risk to the safety and welfare of the protesters themselves and of staff in the building.
Over the last week the University has respected the occupiers’ right to demonstrate, but their present actions are dangerous and unacceptable, and the University, police and fire authorities will be taking the necessary action."