Manchester uni student speaks on tearing down 'prison-like' lockdown fences

6 November 2020, 10:43 | Updated: 6 November 2020, 10:53

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari was horrified as Manchester uni student told him how, on the first day of lockdown, they woke up to discover fences around their halls with security guards joking about "trapping" them in.

Manchester University students have torn down "prison-like" fencing erected around their campus on the first day of England's second national lockdown.

First-years told LBC they felt "locked in" and expressed anger about not receiving any prior warning of the barriers.

Nick questioned how England has become a place where a 73-year-old woman can be arrested for taking her mother, 97, from a care home, a gym owner is fined £10,000 for staying open, and students are imprisoned in their homes.

First year student Leo Quartermain took part in the protest because he woke up to the fences with no prior warning.

"The university's been quite lacking with communication ever since a few weeks in when a student died and heavily suspected it was suicide, even then they haven't communicated with us," Leo said, "people just feel ignored.

"We woke up to these fences, not knowing what was going on and it all kicked off."

He told Nick that "apparently" the fences were put up to "stop blocks of accommodation from mixing" but he did not understand what a fence would do to stop that.

Leo did admit that students were intermixing but did say they were being sensible within reason.

"You can't move us across the country, most of us moving from home for the first time and expect us to sit in our rooms for months on end and then wake up one morning and find fences everywhere and find the security guards joking about trapping us in," he said.

He continued that "everyone feels like they've been hard done by because we have. We didn't expect this experience...we expected some kind of face to face learning...and then we just feel like they don't care about that."

Leo studies law and while he does not need to be in labs studying practically, he told Nick he understands why some people feel they are getting "a worse education."