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Anorak | University Of Kent Sit-In Ends: No Violence Ensures Minimal Media Coverage (Photos)

University Of Kent Sit-In Ends: No Violence Ensures Minimal Media Coverage (Photos)

by | 6th, January 2011

THE student sit-in at the University of Kent’s Senate building on the university campus in Canterbury, Kent, is at an end. The anti-fees protest began on December 8.

After three weeks of sleeping bags, li-los and unflattering neon lighting, the protestors are out – and out in time to attend court on 7 January. The college calls their sit-in unlawful. But they never turned off the electricity and the water. This was a calm and decent protest. There was no violence. And, accordingly, there is much less coverage of it in the national press than there was of the violence in London.

Says Ben Stevenson one of the few students who was there at the end (the other were we know of were Jules, Robin and Lizzy – all affecting the surname Stevenson to trouble the courts:

“After four weeks we feel we have exhausted this type of protest for the time being. But it’s not over, it’s simply the end of the beginning and we will continue pursuing our campaign.”

The sit-in was sparked by Kent’s vice-chancellor, Julia Goodfellow, adding her name to a letter, published in the Daily Telegraph, endorsing a rise in tuition fees.

Prof Goodfellow has since written an open letter in which she said she deplored cuts to higher education funding, but the students said this did not meet their demands.

The matter should now go before the Beak. The students will have their day again. But will it achieve anything? Can peaceful protest by as effective as violence?

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: SURNAMES NOT GIVEN University of Kent student Jules, accompanied by fellow protestors talks to the media on leaving the Senate on the university campus in Canterbury, Kent, after holding a sit-in for over 3 weeks in protest at increase in university tuition fees.



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