Students who have been refusing to pay their rent in protest at high costs have been removed from a university building by bailiffs.
A group of rent strikers had “occupied” the University of Manchester’s Simon Building and videos appeared to show some being carried out of the door.
The university said it regretted the action but the protest “has been going on for a significant amount of time”.
Campaigners said the “disgraceful” eviction “shamed” the university.
The students leading the rent strike tweeted: “Shame on @OfficialUoM that they would rather do this than consider basic demands for affordable rent.”
Lecturer for the university’s Institute for Cultural Practices, Dr Jenna C Ashton, also tweeted the action was “shameful on so many levels.”
Rent strike caused ‘Ongoing disruption’
Around 250 students cancelled payments in January and demanded a 30% reduction in rent at halls of residence.
They argued they were struggling to buy food amid the rocketing cost of living.
A smaller group had occupied the building.
High Court Officers attended
A University of Manchester spokesman said: “This morning officers of the High Court attended the Simon Building to enforce a court order, on a small group of students who had been illegally occupying rooms there since 13 February 2023.”
He said the action followed “multiple requests to those occupying the building to leave” and court hearing papers had been served on 15 March.
“The court granted the university a possession order on Monday, and copies of the order were served to the occupiers.”
He added: “We very much regret having to do this, but the situation has been going on for a significant amount of time and has caused ongoing disruption to students and the people who work in the building.”
The university said that student well-being “drives many of our core initiatives” and there was a “huge amount” of welfare and support services offered.
In another protest against “extremely high” rents in November 2020, students “occupied” a university building amid claims there was a lack of support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier that month rent strike students living at the university’s Fallowfield halls of residence had ripped down fencing which the university had erected on day one of England’s national Covid lockdown.