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NUS statement on UAL launching legal action against student protesters

Monday 13-04-2015 - 18:00

A statement from the National President, Toni Pearce, on news that the University of Arts London (UAL) has launched legal action against students and elected officers of the students’ union involved in fighting cuts to courses at the university.

'Action by the University of Arts London over the weekend to threaten and use legal force against students and elected officers protesting against cuts to courses is completely unacceptable. NUS has always stood in solidarity with those who have used peaceful protest and occupation throughout the history of the student movement to secure change. This use of legal action is a disproportionate response to legitimate peaceful protest and occupation. We stand in solidary with those at the University of Arts London who have protested peacefully in opposition to cuts in foundation courses at the institution and call for the University to urgently reconsider its alarming use of legal action. NUS will work with Students’ Union – University of The Arts London to support those affected as much as possible and will always champion and stand in solidarity with those using their right of peaceful protest.'

Notes

1. There is a demonstration outside the court hearing on Tuesday 14 April 2014 at 10am at Royal Courts of Justice, 7 Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1NL.

2. The Students’ Union have released a blog from the President, Shelly Asquith at http://suarts.tumblr.com/post/116048995484/my-university-is-trying-to-ban-me-from-protesting.

3. NUS has always believed that peaceful protest has played a major role in bringing about important social and political change and that the right to protest must be protected and preserved. NUS has worked with Liberty, one of the UK’s leading human rights organisations to launch an updated briefing on protest and rights.

4. As part of the ‘New Deal for the Next Generation’ manifesto at the General Election, NUS is calling on political parties to strengthen protections for those who engage in peaceful protest.

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