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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2008

Students 'study-in' in Manchester

On Friday 9 May, around 100 University of Manchester students staged a second protest under the banner of 'Reclaim the Uni'(RtU). The demonstration was a follow-up to the occupation of a university building a fortnight ago.

Abigail Taylor, Manchester Socialist Students

The demands decided at the previous occupation were presented to the university's vice chancellor, Alan Gilbert a week before, and his response was eagerly awaited. The response came through one of his secretaries, informing RtU that any problems should be addressed through the student union.

The general feeling seems to be that the views of the union are largely ignored by the vice chancellor's management team, hence the need for these demonstrations.

Protesters marched to the SCAN building, the newest building to be unveiled on campus. There, they staged a 'study-in' in protest at the lack of resources and space in the library. Students simply sat in the foyer of the building, took out their books and started working. The impact of this demonstration is yet to become clear.

Only three security guards attended to the crowd, reluctant to stop a group of students from working on campus for an hour which suggests that management did not feel that students would be a threat this time.

It is unlikely that this protest will make much significant difference to Gilbert's position, but Manchester students are showing no sign of giving up.

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