Frustrated Bristol and Manchester students hold rent strikes

Students are demanding rent reductions, no-penalty contract releases and for rent-strikers to suffer to repercussions.

Kayleigh Fraser
5th November 2020
taken from Rent Strike's Facebook page
University students are withholding rent in protest of the lack of support given by universities

On 15 October, students at Bristol University demanded a 30% reduction of rent for the academic year, no-penalty contract releases available to all, and for those going on strike to suffer no reprecussions.

The protest group 'Rent Strike Bristol' say: "It is unacceptable that the University told student to come and live in halls when they can't keep us safe".

The strikers also asked for outdoor access and food parcels to be delivered to doors for anyone having to quarantine. All of this was compiled into an online form, allowing students to easily sign up and declare their support for the movement.

Just one week later, Manchester students revealed their own plans for a similar rent strike, posting their list of demands on 22 October.

Bristol students have met with representatives from the University, securing no penalties for strikers and a follow up meeting with the Chief Operating Officer on 2 November.

It is still unknown whether Manchester students are any further forward in their campaign.

Both movements have since shown support for each other. Manchester strike organisers stated, "Solidarity with Bristol!" on their Twitter account.

Local Green Party candidate and Bristol University Court member Carla Denyer has also got involved with the strikes. On her website, she wrote: "The position the students have been led into by the university’s own actions is intolerable".

She also called on the government to offer more support to students during this crisis, and to push higher education into offering face to face teaching.

Featured Image: Rent Strike Facebook

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AUTHOR: Kayleigh Fraser
Campus Comment Sub Editor for 2021/22 and Head of News at NSR. English Literature Student heavily obsessed with politics, bath and body works and making positive change. Also slightly infatuated with iced coffee, guinea pigs, my dog and binging The Simpsons.

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