It’s been a rough year for students amidst the pandemic and now they are standing up to fight against their mistreatment from the government and universities. 

At the beginning of the academic year students were encouraged to come to their university campus’ to then be met with an imposed two week lockdown with news of the virus being contracted between individuals in their accommodations. This sparked discontent from students as no support was offered to them both mentally and physically during their lockdown with permission denied of leaving or going home. 

More recently it made national news that fences were erected around campuses as a way of keeping the students in (the initiative cost UoM £11k to install) which was swiftly met with angered students removing the fences and beginning a protest – images and videos circulated on social media the next day leading to coverage from the BBC, Sky News and The Guardian

Further protests have been happening with student groups UoM Rent Strike, Students Before Profit and 9K4WHAT? are currently occupying Owens Park Tower in Fallowfield. Another protest was said to go ahead at 8PM at Owens Park and members of the Vibe Manchester team went down to interview students and give them a platform to vent their frustration about their current situation. Sadly, upon arrival, police separated protestors and warned them they were going to hand out fines if the protest went ahead. 

The students of Manchester and the rest of the UK have stated their demands and will continue to protest until these demands are met. They are as follows..

  • A rent reduction of at least 40%.
  • Increase standard of living i.e. food, laundry, improved security, faster responses to complaints.
  • A commitment to no staff redundancies. 
  • No punishment for rent strikers / tower occupiers.

We’ll be covering more of the story as it progresses.