Oxford

Oxford students evicted after Bodleian Library sit-in

Student protests in Oxford
Image caption Students have been occupying the Bodleian Library in a protest over university fee increases

Students staging a sit-in protest at Oxford's Bodleian Library have been evicted.

Some were led out by police although the university said most walked out of the building at about 1700 GMT.

Students were searched as they left the historic site but no arrests were made. About 50 students remained outside.

The protest was held over plans to raise tuition fees and scrap the educational maintenance allowance for low-income higher education students.

At 1620 GMT a protester told the BBC News website the demonstrators were being "forcibly evicted".

'Unlawful occupation'

Earlier a man who identified himself as a 21-year-old classics student named Peter told the BBC by telephone he was among about 70 people inside.

Peter said about 45 were Oxford University students and the rest were all studying at Oxford Brookes University, Ruskin College and other local further education colleges.

The university said it supported "freedom of expression" and "the right to peaceful protest".

"However, this was an unlawful occupation and one that caused considerable inconvenience and disruption for students wishing to pursue their studies and for staff of some of the university's most important library facilities," a spokesman explained.

"Those occupying the building were repeatedly asked to leave quietly and peacefully but chose not to do so. Attempts to negotiate an amicable resolution had failed.

"A significant proportion of those occupying the Radcliffe Camera were not Oxford University students and their intentions were unclear."

The Bodleian Library stores all books published in the UK.

Students have been occupying buildings at eight universities around the country, including Edinburgh and Newcastle.

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