Leeds Revolution took part in a protest on Friday against the threatened deportations of 2,600 students from London Metropolitan University. Fifty students from Leeds Met and Leeds University gathered outside Leeds University, displayed banners and signs saying “hands off our classmates”. Lots of passers-by signed a petition against the deportations.
The international status of the university has been revoked by the UK Border Agency so they aren’t able to issue student visas to people from outside of the EU. The 2,600 students affected have been given 60 days to find another university or get out of the country.
The government made this announcement on the same day as the latest immigration statistics in a clear move to look “tough” on immigration. In reality this is a Tory stunt that could ruin the lives of thousands of people. London Met has started legal action in an attempt to overturn the decision and there is a question mark over whether the university can stay afloat if it can no longer accept non-EU students who provide 15% of its revenue.
There is a huge campaign at London Met involving students and lectures – they have held protests against the government decision and the lecturers’ union UCU has called for an amnesty for the students. We in Revolution agree that UKBA should allow the students to remain at London Met and would also demand that the government reinstates the international status of London Met and doesn’t interfere in the internal affairs of a university in this way again.
We have a meeting organised at Leeds Metropolitan University on The Case Against Immigration Controls on Thursday 20th September, 6pm at the Leslie Silver Building. We have also spoken with a number of other societies about setting up a London Met defence campaign and will keep you posted.
Check out the fb event for our meeting here http://www.facebook.com/events/360981043979839/
Check out the report from Leeds Student of the protest here http://www.leedsstudent.org/2012-09-14/ls1/ls1-news/protesters-attack-tory-racism-of-london-met-deportations