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Protest Staged Outside Disciplinary Hearings

Defend Education hold a protest outside the Main Library at the University of Birmingham
Defend Education hold a protest outside the Main Library at the University of Birmingham • Photograph: Defend Education Birmingham

A protest has been held outside of the Main Library in support of three students who are undergoing disciplinary hearings.

A number of students have been protesting outside the Main Library today as disciplinary hearings continue for students involved in the occupation in November.

Birmingham students Hattie Craig, Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers are all facing disciplinary action for their involvement in the occupation of the Senate Chamber in November.

The protest, described by Helena Dunnett-Orridge as ‘massive, loud [and] disruptive’, involved students from all over the country making music all day to show their support for the three Birmingham students.

Deborah Hermanns, who was a witness for the hearings, said the protest was ‘to disrupt the disciplinary in a fairly nice way’ and criticised the University for ‘criminalising protest’.

She labelled the disciplinary hearing as ‘incredibly unfair’, stating that the three were ‘randomly picked out of the crowd’.

Helena Dunnett-Orridge explained to Redbrick that although six students faced disciplinary action following protest action on campus, three of the students had their disciplinaries dropped and Craig, Furse and Rogers are the only three students undergoing scrutiny.

Helena went on to object that claims about the January protestors disrupting classes and causing health and safety issues were ‘not the case’. She too stated that the disciplinary process itself was ‘unfair’ due to the fact that the three individuals ‘have nobody to represent them’.

The two interviewees outlined the importance of unity in the process, saying ‘we’re all here in solidarity of them’ and ‘if they are victimised then all of us stand behind them’.

A spokesperson for the University said: “We do not comment on disciplinary matters.”

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