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Uni hits sitters-in with injunction

frustrated bosses hit students occupying Birmingham University with an injunction

Students occupying a Birmingham University conference centre were hit with an injunction yesterday by frustrated bosses.

The sit-in by a group of around 30 students can be broken up if a judge upholds the injunction at a court hearing on Monday.

It is the second time the university has resorted to legal action to end campus protest against the privatisation of education.

Police, security guards and bailiffs were brought in to remove a dozen students from the university's senate chambers in November.

A spokesman for Defend Education Birmingham (DEB) said the cost of that operation and the injunction was almost £90,000 - enough to ensure all university workers earned a living wage for one year.

He said: "If you commit, publicly and in writing, to the implementation of a living wage for all staff and to organising a negotiation meeting with respect to our other demands, we will leave this occupation without need for you to expensively and violently force us out."

DEB's spokesman added that the latest injunction was useless because the university has been unable to identify individuals involved.

The injunction has therefore been served to "persons unknown" and will not stop students taking part in future occupations.

It was served on the eve of a major demonstration that will see students who staged high-profile protests at their own universities flood the campus.

Birmingham University declined to comment.

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