#copsoffcampus London protests: Live Blog

19:16 – To sign off with a modicum of clarity, here are a few quick facts from today’s protest:

  • It began at 14:00 outside the University of London Union’s buildings.
  • During the protest, Senate House (the administrative HQ of the University of London was briefly occupied. 
  • The blanket injunction on protest on the UoL’s Bloomsbury campuses has been breached.
  • The demonstration lasted around 4 hours, taking in locations such as Whitehall, Picadilly, and Buckingham Palace, before returning to the ULU building. 
  • Some vandalism of bins has been reported, but at this time there is little news of arrests. 
  • The demonstration was largely peaceful, despite isolated pockets of ‘over-excited’ protesters.

That’s about that then, I’ve been @samuelevolpe.

18:35 – Reaction to the BBC Six O’Clock news has been somewhat mixed too though, with many on twitter attacking the corporation for being slow to pick up on the protests, and then for focusing upon isolated examples of vandalism. We at Cherwell will leave you to make your own minds up about today’s coverage, but we have done our best to provide some!

18:30 – Now reaction is beginning to trickle in, and it’s not all supportive I’m afraid. The usual establishment-types are tweeting about damage to bins – perhaps fairly – whilst it comes to my attention that various twitter accounts masquerading as policeman have enjoyed using patronising references to “mummy and daddy” in response to our reporting…  On a more positive note, here is a nice summarising tweet from Max Long:

17:54 – Estimates that there are only around 150 protesters remaining really do suggest that today’s events are on their last legs. Which is a shame because as some tweeters on the hashtag have suggested, there was definite potential for the protest to merge with a screening of the new Hobbit film. To be serious for a second though, it seems worthwhile to let Michael Chessum – courtesy of C4 – explain why he, and everyone else, has spent the day protesting. 

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17:42 – It appears that the protest has now turned into a tour of the West End. No bad thing according to this correspondent…

17:32 – Spoke too soon, the splinter group is heading down Picadilly, and confused celebrities have been spotted. 

17:28 – There’s a definite sense that things are winding down out there. More as we get it. 

17:16 – As intimated below, it seems that the protest has split into two, with one group now back at ULU, and the other continuing on past Buckingham Palace. 

17:09 – We’re hearing that the protesters are attempting to regroup. With University of London Union president Michael Chessum instrumental in rallying the troops. Chessum was of course intimately involved in the controversy which kick-started this whole affair, as he was arrested last month having organised a protest against the closure of the University of London union. 

16:59 – A potential candidate for ‘chant of the day’ has emerged. “Lamborghinis for the masses not just for the ruling classes” will take some beating. (Although that level of luxury for all is potentially quite unrealistic?)

16:58 – Apparently the protest has spread, with sit-in ‘occupations’ taking place in both Manchester and Aberdeen.

16:45 – Twitter is buzzing with reaction to the demonstration today. Most of it on the hashtag #copsoffcampus seems supportive.

16:31 – As the protest bears down upon Whitehall and Downing Street, anti-government feeling is obvious from chants of “here we come Tory scum”. Understandably there is a huge police presence around government buildings.

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16:24 – The protest is now moving towards the Strand, and thankfully Max Long is reporting that the majority of protesters are showing restraint. 

16:02 – Things are taking a sinister turn as police vehicles are attacked. 

15:55 – Cherwell’s correspondent on the ground is reporting that protesters are now occupying both sides of Southampton Row, and vociferous anti-police chanting can be heard.

15:45 – The effects of the protest are being felt by Londoners throughout the city, with Cherwell alumni voicing worries about the effect upon public transport.

15:42 – As the demonstration moves from SOAS towards Russell Square by all accounts the crowds are massive, and leaving an impression:

15:36 – Cherwell’s very own Max Long is now on the scene as the protest continues. 

14:55 – Reports indicate that Senate House is currently being occupied by protesters. Here at Cherwell we have an incline that this occupation may be rather brief however…

14:24 – As the protest gathers steam around London, our attention has been drawn to this piece by the union Unite, who show overwhelming support for the protesters. http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/student-demos-crackdown-condemned-by-unite/

14:00 – Demonstration begins at University of London Union, Malet Street.