The arestee outside ULU surrounded by police

A young woman was dragged by police from the ULU Cafe this lunchtime as shocked students looked on and tried to remonstrate with policemen. The woman is thought to be an activist for the ULU-based 3Cosas campaign, which works with cleaners in Bloomsbury to fight for pension rights and holiday and sick pay. University staff called police after people were allegedly seen chalking on the pavement outside the union building and on a small patch of Senate House Library, complaining of criminal damage to a Grade II Listed Building. The plaque on Senate House, which commemorates the founding of the building, had been chalked but later displayed no signs of damage after washing.

In a statement issued shortly after the event, ULU President Michael Chessum said: “The actions of both the police and the University today were a disgrace. The University must issue an apology, and intervene with the authorities to prevent charges being brought. If calling the police is an attempt to intimidate the 3 Cosas Campaign, it will not work.”

The woman was seen to be talking to two uniformed policemen in the foyer of ULU with a group of other activists. Shortly after that, she was seen to be pinned down on the floor by two policemen and arrested, screaming from the pressure exerted on her. She was dragged out of the building by two policemen while her friend was forcibly restrained. In the struggle, several tables were up-ended as police fought to keep a grip on the man, threatening to charge him with breach of the peace as he told them repeatedly to “Fuck off.”

A riot van and extra police car pulled up to offer back-up, leaving the woman surrounded by an estimated seventeen officers. She was held outside on the road for around fifteen minutes before being shut in a van by a smirking policeman.

Chalking in front of the ULU building in support of the 3Cosas campaign

Hannah Sketchley
Photographs by Hubert Libiszewski