Strasbourg. Police were evacuated from the university after demonstrations against the pension reform

At the end of the demonstration against the scholarships, dozens of students and activists went to the Esplanade campus to hold a general meeting in the evening to discuss and organize the continuation of the movement in the amphitheater of the Le Patio building. . A great student “tradition”, especially during higher education and research reforms. These actions regularly lead to the occupation of buildings, even buildings, by “struggling students”. They can also lead to the clogging and postponement of exams, as was the case with Unistra in May 2018 during the mobilization against the Orientation and Student Success (ORE) law. In many cases, these events end after days or even weeks of fighting, when the university president can call in the police as the person responsible for maintaining order.

Almost immediate intervention

But it only took a few hours on Thursday evening to see police intervene at Le Patio to evacuate the thirty or so students still in the building.

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This ultra-rapid police intervention sets a “precedent” for selected opposition members of the Scientific Council’s “Refound” lists. They remind that the law provides students with the absolute right to political expression at the university. This law states that “those who use the public service of higher education […] they enjoy freedom of information and expression on political, economic, social and cultural issues. They exercise this freedom individually and collectively, in conditions that do not interfere with teaching and research activities and do not disturb public order. Refonder’s elected representatives questioned president Michel Deneke about the conditions for police intervention “when no violence or degradation is observed” and “how you believe in freedom of expression in your institution.”

Ensure freedom of expression and avoid deadlocks

In its response, Unistra said “the evacuation was quiet, smooth and smooth”, before explaining that getting into the building was a problem. “The building was closed to the public. A group of people assaulted two people from the logistics department when they were leaving after seeing that they could enter the building. The complaint is intended not by the university, but by two agents.”

The latter, who called the police to evacuate the building, “normal procedure during an attack”, means that the management of the institution, who initially thought that the door had been broken, entered the building with students. Unistra also wants to ensure that freedom of expression is guaranteed within its walls. “University management systematically agrees to use rooms or amphitheatres as soon as requests are received, so that students and staff can hold general meetings there, provided that all conditions are met to ensure the safety of property and people. Damage to property and persons, obstruction and occupation of buildings outside the working hours of the university are not allowed.” The match continues.

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