Around 30 students gathered today to peacefully protest against tuition fees.
Two plain clothes security personnel were seen following the crowd. When approached, the two men refused to identify themselves. “No, we’re just waiting for someone” they said inside Core24.
At 2.30pm, students set off from patio outside Red Bar towards B block, addressing students and chanting slogans.
The procession was met with polarized reactions from bypassing students. “This again, get over it”, said one student. However most expressed support and surprise for not knowing the event was being organised.
“It’s a good idea, but I’ve got exams” said a student sitting inside Core24.
The two unidentified men approached by WesternEye inside B block refused to answer questions, while their radios transmitted incoming messages from the campus’ security team.
Kate Best, Operations & Security Manager, said: “they are there to ensure your own safety. We support your right to protest.”
When asked why they were in plain clothes and refusing to identify themselves she commented: “They’re employed as porters; maybe they’re just a bit excited.”
The demonstration finished in 2B025, the largest lecture room on Frenchay campus.
The protesters staged a quiet sit-in at the lecture, declaring the room ‘occupied’.
Jessie, present at the lecture for Psychology exam revision, said: “What can they achieve? They are here, which means they can afford to go to University.
How about those who can’t, they’re not represented. These things make a small impact and fizzle out, even though I do support it.”
Sam Grist, studying Masters in Journalism said: “It’s difficult with these sorts of radical politics. No party in Britain is advocating for free education.”
An occupation is planned today on Frenchay at 7pm, room 2B025.
By Ben Gerdziunas