Heavy handed tactics by university vice chancellors and the police over recent student demos have been condemned by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Wednesday 11 December).
Unite called for the university bosses and the police ‘to back off’, as Britain’s students have a time-honoured and legitimate right to protest against economic, political and social injustice.
The call from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey came as demonstrations were due to take place today (Wednesday) against a string of arrests and student suspensions at a number of universities, including Sussex and the University of London (ULU).
Len McCluskey said: “Unite is showing strong solidarity with the students of the UK who are being demonised by a coalition government which has precious little to offer anyone under the age of 40.
“Students have a legitimate right to protest peacefully against a governing elite intent on privatising higher education and cutting budgets.
“Some vice chancellors have adopted macho tactics to crush dissent and the police appear to be collaborating with this hardline approach. It’s time to back off.”
Last month Unite condemned a bungled attempt by police to spy on the legitimate protest activities of students at Cambridge University which, the union said, ‘smacked of the police state and undermined democratic rights’.
For further information contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.