Photo: Lily Pickard

BREAKING: Warwick for Free Education protest over grant cuts

UPDATE: Protest has now ended, the road has resumed normal operation

Warwick for Free Education are currently blocking University Road whilst protesting to keep student grants. 

The group are leading the protest on the road outside the SU building and have caused disruption to traffic trying to leave campus, including buses. The buses have been diverted.

Around 50 people are currently attending the protest, including 3 Warwick SU sabbatical officers.

Photo: Cath Lyon

The protest started outside senate house before the group marched around campus chanting. The group then blocked the road outside the SU building.

Whilst standing in the middle of the road, some members of the group wrote on the ground ‘grants not debts’.

However, this led to a buildup of traffic, including buses which were trying to leave campus.

Eventually Warwick security arrived a diverted the bus route so to minimise disruption.

Hope Worsdale, Warwick for Free Education member said: “we’re here today to protest against prevent, the draconian use for the injunction against protest and mainly about the planned government cuts to maintenance grants.”

She added: “We intend to protest in these disruptive ways to show how angry students are. In week 9 the University intends to take an official stance on maintenance cuts and we want them to know how strongly we feel and care about this issue.”

However, not all students were supportive of the Warwick for Free Education protest. Alex Shaw, who was working in the library at the time was disrupted by the protest. He said: “Pathetic that this group of vandals believe they speak for students. Less than 100 people turned up out of a population of well over 20,000 students.”

Peter Dunn, director of press and policy at the University commented the protest had an impact “on vehicles travelling through campus and in particular the buses. We continue to monitor the situation.”

Photos and video: Cath Lyon and Lily Pickard

Comments (5)

  • Watch footage of the protester’s blockade here:

  • Steven Orage

    Of course there’s a correlation between policies that people oppose and protests opposing them, that’s not a bad thing!

    Also student protest has a long history in the UK and the World. Student strikes in Brazil this Summer forced their government to back down on cuts to schools in the poorest areas of the country.

    The Warwick SU building is only there because of students occupying and fighting for it.

    Also free education groups have gone through democratic channels as well including petitions and SU policy supporting free education protests.

    Civil disobedience is a valid tactic and it is disruptive but that’s the point and steps should be (and were taken) to minimise hassle for students but at the end of the day other people then management may be affected too. It’s like strikes they affect other people than the bosses but they are an important and necessary tool for defending the rights of those who can’t afford to pay millions to lobby the government.

  • Steven Orage

    Actually they were only there for 20 minutes and they notified the bus companies to minimise delays to students.

  • Disrupting management is one thing. Disrupting students is another thing entirely.

  • Jamie Marshall

    This is becoming increasingly cringe and increasingly counter-productive.

    Anybody else noticed a positive correlation between rising fees and protests? A bit of self-indulgent protesting (pathetic that it is), does NOTING!!

    Get a life or do something useful to initiate change…this is just inconvenient and boring.

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