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      University protesters occupy a new building, lay out demands as bosses set 4 p.m. deadline

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      Protesters occupying various University of Manchester (UoM) buildings have left two facilities but taken over another, while laying out their demands to the bosses.

      Last night, members of the UoM Rent Strike group “gained unauthorized access to the Simon Building,” a university spokesman said. They also confirmed that the protesters had left the Engineering Building and the Samuel Alexander Humanities Center.

      Now, speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the protesters laid out their demands to university bosses and explained why they made the decision to move buildings. The protester also warned that the group “will have no choice but to seriously escalate” the action if the institution refuses to negotiate.

      READ MORE: Speed ​​limits will be reduced to 20mph throughout Manchester

      “What we really want is a serious commitment from them and a process to reach some kind of conclusion,” said the protester, who did not give his name. “We have to have 100 percent (a guarantee of) no punishment for squatters and rent strikers. We need to see serious proposals on reimbursing students for the cost of living crisis, and proposals to make housing more affordable in the long run.

      “We are aware that the uni could not negotiate. If they don’t release anything, then we’ll have no choice but to seriously scale what we’re doing. I can’t say what that would look like, but all options are on the table.”

      The protester also said that the move to the Simon building was motivated by the fact that it ‘has space for student participation’. The protester added: “Simon also has a lot of administrative areas, it is an important building for the university and it is incredibly visible.


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