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Two Birmingham students suspended following peaceful protest


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Two students at the University of Birmingham have suspended for their participation in a peaceful protest at the university last year.

Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers have now been kicked out of university for nine months and a third student, Hattie Craig, 21, has been given a formal reprimand and a suspended sentence which could lead to immediate suspension if she would breach any university regulation.

The two students will not be allowed to return to their studies until March 2015.

They were both involved in the Defend Education Birmingham campaign, which is calling for more democracy and student representation at their university, greater pay for staff, and for their senior management to “take back their position that fees should be increased”, along with other demands.

In response to the news, in a statement published by Defend Education Birmingham earlier today, Furse said: “I have been suspended from the university despite the fact that the only evidence against me is a 20-second video of me telling other protesters that they can go into a peaceful occupation. University management have clearly decided that they don’t want any more protests against their policies, and have decided to victimise us to try and deter others from voicing dissent.”

The students and hundreds of supporters believe they have been treated unfairly throughout the disciplinary period, citing as an example their claim that they were denied the right to legal representation.

The universities only response is that the original protest has caused “significant disruption” to “nearly 900” students and staff and said “the university owes a duty of care to its staff and student community and has taken robust action to uphold its responsibilities in this regard. The university will not comment further on individual cases.”

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