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Key advice for student protestors: 

  • Know your rights – you have the right to protest, and most universities will not want to take extreme action against their students for participating in peaceful protests. More info for specific cases (e.g. immigration rights) is below. If you have any specific questions, get in touch with us 
  • Decide on your goals – what are you trying to achieve with this action? Do you have demands? Make sure everyone taking part knows these. For more advice on running a campaign to kick apartheid off campus – check out our resources here.  
  • Decide on your lines as a group – you should explicitly have zero tolerance for any form of hate speech, including homo/transphobia, misogyny, and all forms of racism including antisemitism. There may be other key community agreements you want in place as well.  
  • Defend yourself in advanceget in touch with legal observers ahead of your action, know the 5 key messages and print bustcards – this is especially important if you’re off campus/involving people who are not university students. And if anything does go wrong, know how to contact ELSC (fill out their form).  
  • Take action! The main way to push back at repression is to keep taking action, together!  


Read on for more specific information, under the following headings:

  1. General rights to protest
  2. Police and security interactions
  3. University disciplinaries
  4. University staff
  5. International students
  6. Further information – protesting on private property


N.B. We are not a legal organisation so can only provide advice. Please do get in touch with a solicitor if you need urgent legal support (e.g. Bindmans on 020 7305 5638)


General rights to protest

These resources provide general information on your rights to protest in the UK that you should familiarise yourself with. It details the way your rights to protest are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, and domestic law through the Human Rights Act 1998. 

Police and security interactions

These resources are tailored more specifically to how to deal with police and private security, or what to do if you see someone else arrested.  

They detail police powers, criminal offences and ‘civil wrongs’ that have been applied (and may be applied) to university protests in the UK, particularly those involving occupation of university buildings/spaces or the formation of encampments.  

Green and Black Cross encampment briefing

Including legal information and advice. First section looks specifically at risks from police. The second section looks specifically at risks from bailiffs or civil action.

GBC Briefing

Green and Black Cross Know Your Rights booklet

5 key messages to remember:
1. No comment
2. No personal details
3. Under what power?
4. No duty solicitor
5. No caution

Know Your Rights


These have key advice, information on stop and search and arrest, and the names and numbers of solicitors who can help you. They cover regions in England, for Wales and for the North of Ireland.

Download a bustcard

University disciplinaries

Guidance if your university starts disciplinary proceedings against you. If the proceedings relate to protests in support of Palestine, you should contact European Legal Support Centre (ELSC), who can provide you with support throughout the investigation and disciplinary process. 

University staff

Guidance for university staff facing disciplinary action. You should also make your union aware as soon as possible; ensure you are taking notes at every stage; and make sure that you never go to a meeting without representation.

Guidance from the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC)

Covering what to be aware of, key steps to take, and preparation in pre-emption of disciplinary proceedings, including advice on what to do if you face a smear campaign.

ELSC Guidance

International students

Guidance for international students involved in encampments on campus:  

You are not legally required to share your nationality or immigration status with the police, even if arrested at a protest. However, once arrested, the police may decide to carry out immigration checks if they suspect you are not a British citizen.

If you are facing difficulties with your student visa and immigration status following protest activity, you should seek urgent legal advice from a solicitor.

Further information - protesting on private property

Resources to guide protesting on private property, covering civil law (possession orders and injunctions), criminal offices and private security.

Check out our full set of resources for student campers