We here in the occupation feel we should not have external security, as this is a London Metropolitan internal matter. We feel that the university has a sufficent amount of internal security staff to accomodate this peaceful protest. The reason we would like to make this known is because we have had several incidents of intimidation and hostility from external security staff hired. We also feel that the external security being hired is costing our university thousands of pounds, which is entirely unnecessary as we have been completely compliant and peaceful in our actions. Here following are quotes from occupiers and descriptions of events that have happened during the occupation.
“On the first two nights of the occupation a member of the external security staff played music constantly throughout the night.” Which disturbed our sleeping hours.
In the early hours of the morning a group of security guards ganged up on a female occupier, saying various intimidating things, one of which was “If I want to get through the door, I can. And two little girls aren’t going to stop me.” We feel this comment was sexist, intimidating and that occupiers should not have to deal with this type of verbal aggression and discrimination.
“At 8:30 this morning, the door was violently kicked several times, which caused major panic and disturbance in the occupation, as we immediately thought there was an emergency. We ran to the door and found the security were doing this for their own entertainment.” We also feel that this action, as well as causing distress and intimidation, could have caused damage to the university property.
“While within the timeframe of free access in and out, on Saturday, I was returning from the meeting at the Rocket. I showed my student ID to the external security staff in order to get back into the Occupation (as previously agreed). He responded by asking to see it again and as I went to show it, he snatched it from my hand and refused to give it back. I asked again and took it, which follwed in him threatening not to allow me access again.”
“External security have broken the agreement that they are not permitted within the space of the Occupation, by stepping in and taking down posters on the inside of the doors.”
We feel that the security is excessively aggressive when we have given no provocation. And would also like to hightlight the fact that we have agreed that only LondonMet students and staff would occupy the space; and the occupation should therefore only be dealt with directly by LondonMet security staff.
– OCCUPIERS, LondonMet