Students occupying University of Sheffield’s Arts-Tower were served with a court injunction on Friday, banning all protests on University property that do not obtain prior written permission from management.
The occupiers have branded the move “an attack on the right to protest”.
Around 100 protesters occupied the building during the public sector strikes last Wednesday “in solidarity with striking workers nationally and internationally” and have issued wide ranging demands.
Lectures in the building have been cancelled, with management citing health and safety concerns. The occupiers say they do not intend to disrupt lectures. Sheffield students’ union are calling on “both the University and the occupiers to engage in constructive dialogue”.
Activists fear that the move could set a precedent for other universities to clamp down on occupations. The tactic has seen a resurgence since the wave of occupations against tuition fees and cuts last year, and has divided student opinion about the limits of political action on campus.
Currently there are occupations taking place in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Brighton, Aberdeen and Warwick.