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Dawn Raid Ousts Student Occupiers

Sixty student occupiers were evicted from their occupation of the University of Auckland Clocktower Information Centre at 5.20am this morning.

The student occupation began at 2pm yesterday when students occupied the building to protest rising fees and student debt. Occupiers were sound asleep when one hundred police stormed the building.

“We were attempting to negotiate with the University in good faith, but it appears that this process was just a farce,” said Kane Forbes, group spokesperson. “This highlights the reason why we took this action; that this University have consistently ignored the needs of students. We were forced to take this peaceful action in order to get into a stronger negotiating position.”

One of the occupiers’ demands was that the Old Arts building be re-opened (with the exception of the occupied area) so as not to disadvantage students and staff. This dawn eviction is seen as a cynical political move.

Students will be rallying again today at 12pm in the Student Union Quad (off Princes St) to discuss the University’s action and what they want to do next.

“This action by the University has proven once again their incredible lack of concern for students’ frustration at rising levels of debt,” said Kane Forbes. “We expect our University Council to be pressuring the Government to stop funding cuts, not pressuring students to accept higher fees and out of control debt. The actions of the Government and the University should be condemned!”

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