Despite the appalling weather, a militant gathering of around 200-300 university workers, students and locals took on the 45 minute trek from the Sheffield University concourse to Nick Clegg’s constituency office in Fullwood. We were able to take the streets on the way there and a number of passers-by and locals in passing shops, pubs and cars expressed their support. Unfortunately South Yorkshire police had made it very difficult to get to the constituency office itself (which has been closed for several weeks now due to Nick’s fear of student actions). After a few abortive attempts to break police lines we had to settle for chucking snowballs (of which there was an ample supply for!) at the upstanding members of the local constabulary. The march then returned to University Campus. After a short stand-off with university security at Firth Court failed to produce any results, protesters decided to occupy the Richard Roberts Building en masse. Security’s attempt to immediately lock-down the building was unsuccessful.
University management are currently attempting to negotiate some sort of compromise with the occupiers where they provide them a space for a continuing occupation in the Hicks Building (along with the promise of future free access). The university has, however, failed to live up to past promises on this matter, see – http://thefargatespeaker.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/university-security-attempt-to-forcefully-evict-occupation/
. Education has been allowed to continue in the occupied auditorium as a first year economics lecture occurred as planned at 4:00 (with occupiers moving to the back of the space).
Check back at http://sheffieldoccupation.tumblr.com/
and The Fargate Speaker blog for continuing updates and pictures of the days events.