Protestors disrupt lecture as part of the UCU strikes



Video footage has shown student protestors storm into and disrupt a lecture today as part of the UCU strikes.

Protestors marched into the Tyndall Lecture Theatre during a 9am Biochemistry lecture with Dr. Kelly Moule.

In the video, the protestors appear to be chanting 'save our lecturers support our strikes' as they enter, as well as 'I would rather be a picket than a scab' whilst leaving.

Video footage shows protestors storm a Biochemistry lecture (Epigram / Jordan Isgin)

Jordan Isgin, who attended the lecture, told Epigram that the protestors were only in the building for a few minutes, as setting off the fire alarm alerted security who came to remove them.

Epigram understands that when the protestors broke in, the lecturer stood in silence and there was no reaction from the students in attendance.

There were approximately 200 students in the lecture, none of whom left or were deterred by the break in. Security had to escort the protestors out of the building.

Isgin then added: 'Do these students realise the irony in disrupting a lecturer's work in a cause to support lecturers?'.

It is all becoming a bit too militant

The break in comes alongside reports of student protestors shouting down other students for entering the ASS and Wills Memorial Building, which one student described as 'pretty disgusting'.

Another student has described the strikes as becoming 'a bit too militant'.

Protestors are said to have disturbed students on the ground floor of the ASS with shouting and music, with similar chants to those in the lecture.

Lucy Thompson, a Third Year English student who was in the ASS, told Epigram: 'It was very distracting and distressing for my friends and I, as we are all Third Year students trying to finish our dissertations'.

Another student commented: 'It is all getting a bit too militant.

Protestors are said to have disturbed students on the ground floor of the ASS, with shouting and music

'While I support the strikes, I disagree with the hostility towards students trying to finish their degree'.

A spokesperson for the protestors told Epigram: 'We are fully aware of the actions we have taken and we encourage students to understand that these decisions were not taken lightly. We believe, in consultation with striking staff, that all lecturers and students should be on the correct side of the picket line in order to end these strikes as quickly as possible.

'We know this is inconvenient and both student and staff alike would prefer to be attending university as usual. However, the UUK and the management body of this university are currently making that impossible.

'We understand that some students may find the protesting intimidating, but we would like to make it clear that these actions were intended to bring attention to the strikes and encourage support. If other students believe there are better ways of doing this, we encourage students to contact the student-staff solidarity group on Facebook'.

The UCU strikes started last Thursday 22nd February, and are part of 14 days of planned industrial action as negotiations with UUK over staff pensions broke down.

(Featured image: Epigram / Jordan Isgin)

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Ed Southgate

former co-Editor in Chief 2018-2019 | former Editor of Epigram Comment 2017-2018 | UoB English student 2016-19 | Twitter: @ed_southgate