Faced with another ultimatum, Manchester rent strikers refuse to leave the Simon Building

‘We plan to continue to maintain this shared space past 4pm today’

Manchester Rent Strike has announced the University of Manchester has provided them with another ultimatum: to end their occupation of the Simon building by 4pm today or face disciplinary action.

Following their departure from John Owens on Thursday, the student strikers stated they would be keeping up their occupation of other university buildings, including the now threatened Simon Building.

A statement released today by Manchester Rent Strike has stuck by this commitment, declaring their plans to maintain their occupation of the Simon Building and “build a community of students who organise for change”.

Over the past week, strikers have held two lecture theatres and one kitchen in Simon, using the space to run political education workshops and provide food for students and staff.

The group still hold Sam Alex and Engineering A, but ended the occupation of John Owens after faced with an earlier ultimatum from the university. Threats of disciplinary action, including expulsion, and the university’s decision to cut off the building’s WiFi and heating prompted strikers to exit the building on Thursday morning.

Yet, the group have vowed they won’t end their protest until UoM meets their demands.

These include the university giving each student £1,500 to “keep up with the maintenance loan in line with inflation”, as well as the existing demands of rent strikers and those of striking lecturers

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: Following repeated warnings about their personal safety we have written once again to the small number of students who have gained unauthorised access to the Simon Building requesting that they leave.

“Their ongoing presence, and refusal to remove blockades, continues to risk their safety and cause disruption including, importantly, the delivery of teaching to our students.”

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