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Birmingham uni occupation leaders face expulsion

THREE students who led a week-long occupation of Birmingham University’s senate chambers are facing expulsion as disciplinary hearings against them begin today.

Hattie Craig, Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers are accused of a raft of charges, including “the unauthorised use of university property,” following their November sit-in.

The trio were among 15 students forcibly evicted from the chambers in a dawn raid by police and security guards.

They will discover whether they can continue their studies on Tuesday when the three-day hearing finishes.

The students stand by their occupation in demand of a living wage for university workers, bursaries for students and lower accommodation fees.

But they have raised doubts over whether they will receive a fair hearing.

Birmingham Guild of Students vice-president Ms Craig revealed the university has denied the students legal representation for the complex case.

And Ms Rogers warned: “The ambiguous and extremely broad nature of the alleged breaches of conduct mean that almost any student could be found guilty of these offences.”

The charges are the latest in a long line of actions launched against the students.

Ms Craig and Mr Furse were hauled before court in November and faced a potential £25,000 fine after being served with an anti-protest injunction by university bosses.

Assault charges relating to an incident during the occupation against Mr Furst were also thrown out of court last month.

He said the latest proceedings are “the tip of an iceberg” that show “just how far the university is willing to go to punish students who legitimately protest.”

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