Bournemouth University has said that a new security fence around the Occupy protesters is to ensure the safety of its students.
The occupiers have been camped on the university premises for six days to bring their Occupy dispute to the attention of the University Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice Philips.
A spokesperson from Bournemouth University, James Donald said: “The site management has decided to place gates around the occupiers because of the feedback we have received from students that prefer to not walk past them.”
One of the eight occupy protestors said: “Stuart Laird [Bournemouth University site operations manager] said that he is not going to make it easier for us – all it is doing is affecting the staff and the students of the university.
“Kettling us in is going to provoke more reaction and more confusion about what we are doing. Our actions are reasonable. Stuart Lairds action to make it not easy for us is unreasonable and disproportionate.”
The occupiers said if they continue to be isolated from the University, they plan to take their protest to the other side of the fence, in order to talk more easily to people.
Toby Horner, president of the Students Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), said they are having a meeting on Friday at 1pm to encourage students to debate the issue.
“We’ve got students that say: ‘why are they here? Get them off campus, it’s intimidating, they make it difficult for us to get into university.’
“But at the same time, we have other students who say: ‘they’re here, introduce the discussion on campus, and do more to raise awareness of their message.’ So we have two parties on this issue.”
Another occupier who has been camped out across the UK for over 100 days said: “We have had a lot of understanding, some chap came back with homemade sandwiches. Proactive staff have come down from the media department; 80 percent of the feedback has been positive and tolerant.
“We are only asking the president of the university for some of his time to speak to him and show him the evidence that we have got about manslaughter and child labour from these big corporations, if they don’t talk to us we will name and shame them.”
The only Bournemouth University student who has joined the occupy protest said: “We have provided a platform of debate for students and lecturers and I have had some really good debates with students that are interested but some don’t seem to care.”
Occupy protesters talk about the fence:[audio:http://www.thebreaker.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/garry_1.mp3|titles=Protester 2]
BU students respond to the Occupy Bournemouth protest:[audio:http://www.thebreaker.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/garry.mp3|titles=Students response]