Sit-in at iconic university tower

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STUDENTS are staging an occupation at Sheffield University’s Arts Tower to show solidarity with striking public sector workers.

The protesters moved into one of the lecture theatres on Wednesday afternoon, stayed overnight and continued their sit-in yesterday.

A spokesman said the action was also being taken to support the global Occupy movement, the Arab Spring revolutions, the Chilean protests, and European resistance movements against austerity.

He added that the protesters were preparing a list of demands which the city’s universities would have to satisfy if the occupation was to end.

A similar sit-in was held last year in protest against increased tuition fees.

A university spokeswoman said officers were dismayed by the occupation.

She added: “The University of Sheffield fully supports freedom of speech and the right of students to express their views peacefully and within the law.

“However the university does not condone occupation of a lecture theatre, which has caused disruption to lectures and seminars for other students.

“The number of individuals occupying the building has been significantly reduced and we would urge students to not take further actions which will cause disruption to any of their fellow students.”