Some of the 900 students who had met in the hall refused to leave in protest at poor academic conditions and for more student say in university operations, Der Tagesspiegel newspaper reported. Trespassing charges were filed against 56 people.
The sit-in came ahead of larger rallies planned nationwide on Thursday to protest what students see as problems at German universities, including a lack of funding. The rallies are planned for up to 40 cities around Germany, the largest of which is expected to be in Berlin, where 5,000 people will gather before city hall.
The Free University’s General Student Committee, which represents the interests of students, condemned the police action and university leadership on Wednesday.
In a statement to Der Tagesspiegel it said the university had demonstrated a “lack of understanding of student concerns and a lack of interest in equal communication with the student body.”
A police spokesman told the newspaper that officers had hoped students would leave after being first “asked nicely,” but they refused after being given a final deadline of 10 pm.