Student activists from across the country have been staging a rally in London to demand that the government act to end the current system of legal sanctions against them.
The Students’ Union of Great Britain (SUGB) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are taking part in the demonstration, which is expected to draw thousands of people.
They say the government has no legal authority to sanction them or impose sanctions on them.
The protest comes as a new report has been released on the UK’s “anti-terror legislation” that could have severe repercussions for student activists and their campaigns.
The UK Government has published a draft law on its anti-terror law that is expected, if passed, to see students banned from attending events on campuses and from taking part directly in protest activity.
Student leaders have warned that the draft legislation would give the government the power to criminalise the use of speech, including those of students.
The draft law is expected soon to be sent to Parliament, which will debate it in the coming weeks.
A statement released on Wednesday by the SUGB said the law is being used by the Government to silence student voices, and to criminalize student protest.
It said: “The draft anti-terrorism law is an attack on the right to protest and on our right to free speech, and will be used to silence our voices.
We are proud of the students who have already taken action in this regard.”
The SUGB has been one of the groups to hold protests since the killing of Lee Rigby, a British soldier, at Woolwich barracks in May last year.
The march to Westminster was organised by the Students for Liberty group, which has been holding protests across the UK since 2014, and was initially supported by the Labour Party.
The group, the Students Against Hate, was set up to encourage people to take action to combat racism and homophobia.
But after protests against the Woolwich killing by the Muslim student wing of the BNP and the Black Lives Matter movement, it was banned from the University of East Anglia.
“We have no choice but to continue to protest in the UK against the new law and its draconian consequences for student groups and those who support them,” said SUGB leader Matt Taggart.
“This government has not acted on the threats of anti-Semitism we’ve faced from groups like the BNU, and has used a draconian and discriminatory law to stifle our voices.”
He added: “We will not stand by and watch as the Government attempts to criminalises our actions in the face of the fact that these groups have been fighting for our rights in our name, and we know they have no place on the university campus.”
Students for Liberty UK’s policy of shutting down campus protests has resulted in a number of students being arrested and fined by police.