Originally posted on Facebook on 30th Jan:
I have been told that Guild Council has voted in favour of censuring me (62%) for my involvement in the occupation of Senate Chamber last term. They have done this in my absence: I was not there to defend myself on account of offering support to arrested students, who are still being held in custody 24 hours after their arrest. Many Guild Councillors were also not in attendance for the same reason.
I would like it known that I am proud to be standing in solidarity with these students. They have been arrested for maintaining their right not to give their personal details to the police. Lawyers have confirmed that police demanding details as a condition for release from a kettle is illegal (http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/police-accused-of-kettling-student-protesters-at-a-national-demonstration-in-birmingham-9095907.html). Students have been wrongfully arrested. I feel it is entirely appropriate, and my duty as a Guild Officer, to be supporting these students in their time of need.
I would further like to publicly state that I do not agree with the Guild’s statement regarding yesterday’s demonstration. At the time this was written and published I was being kettled along with 150 other students. The statement mentions the “negative impact” on students as a result of the “Give it a Go Fair” and that we do “not condone the action taken”, but where is the condemnation of students being kettled for 4 hours in the cold and rain? Where is the outrage that they were refused water, food or access to toilets? Where is the criticism of the police for using illegal tactics and wrongfully arresting students? Where is the outcry against the actions of security, when there are pictures like this and when one student was pulled to the floor by her hair whilst shouting “peaceful”? Where is the indignation that a student collapsed in the kettle and the police refused to allow an ambulance onto campus?
The statement says the Guild is disappointed with yesterday’s actions; I am disappointed with the Guild.