UK Newswire Archive
30-11-2010 22:07Today a rowdy demo involving hundreds of secondary school kids and sixth formers took over the centre of Oxford.
As part of a second day of action against fees and cuts, students at Nottingham University have occupied The Great Hall in The Trent Building on University Park.
A third day of action is planned for Sunday 5th December.
National action: Student Resistance Spreads
The occupiers have issued the following statement:
University of Nottingham students are staging an occupation in the Great Hall on University campus, in order to protest against the proposed tripling of university tuition fees, and the upcoming funding cuts to education and the public sector in general. We completely reject the Browne review, seeing it as nothing more than a cynical attempt to further privatise the education sector.
The government’s proposals will render higher education more inaccessible than ever to most students, through fees hikes and the removal of provisions for access initiatives. Further they will drastically affect the quality of education future students will receive, by the cutting of the vast majority of government funding currently received.
We are appalled that our very own vice-chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, has publicly supported the Browne review, neglecting the interests of his own university and it’s staff and students. Hence we have decided to protest peacefully, democratically and legally, in order to keep the student voice heard.
We welcome and encourage everybody, students and otherwise, to join or support us. We express solidarity with other students acting against these cuts, as well as other anti-cuts campaigns, including locally the Notts Save Our Services campaign. We urge students to support this campaign and others, and help protect the public services of the town in which we study. Only through fighting together, as students and workers, can we resist the attack on our society that this government is proposing.
1. We demand that the University of Nottingham lobby the Russell Group and the government and issue a statement condemning all cuts to higher education, the EMA and the rise in tuition fees.
2. We demand that the University of Nottingham implement a complete open book policy in regards to existing budget constraints
3. We demand that the University of Nottingham ensure no redundancies for teaching, research or support staff.
4. Ensure that no victimization or repercussions for anyone participating in the occupation.
5. Allow free access in and out of the building.
30-11-2010 21:22see if he's still breaking his fees pledge?
The LibDem MP S Williams is due to hold a surgery this Friday at the Council House. Unsurprisingly, its fully booked up, wouldn't want the great unwashed bothering the great traitor would we?
However, there's no reason you cant raise the relevant issues with him, before and after the surgery.
Times are uncertain...but we reckon on about 3pm. The Council House, College Green, BS1 5TR Tel: 0117 922 2000
Dont forget to let his constituency office know what you think - PO Box 2500, Bristol, BS6 9AH Tel: 0117 942 3494 Fax: 0117 942 6925
and email email@example.com
Sadly William's full diary is no longer on his website, replaced instead by news/press article from November 2009 and earlier.
Meanwhile the LibDem's are now openly talking about abstaining on the vote on the Browne report in a couple of weeks, as they desperately try to shore up their fast disappearing support. And we thought they pledged to abolish fees? Abstaining is just the chicken's way out, vote NO and bring down the Coalition we say.
A short time ago Wiliams said this:
"I signed the National Union of Students (NUS) pledge in November 2009 because I have always believed that we need a fairer and more progressive model of University funding. The platform on which I stood for election in May 2010 was of course the Liberal Democrat Manifesto, which after the election was superseded by the Coalition Agreement." (http://www.bristolwest-libdems.org.uk/pages/tuitionfees....html)
As part of today's DayX2 student's protests the University For Strategic Optimism has given a second lecture in a Tesco's megastore in London's Old Kent Road.
The first lecture took place during the DayX students protests of last Thursdayy 25th November.
University For Strategic Optimism blog here
30-11-2010 20:58“We are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives,” Assange said in the Oct. 9, 2009, interview with Computerworld magazine, referring to five gigabytes of data. “To have impact it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search and get something out of it.”
WikiLeaks plans to release “either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it,” Assange said in a Nov. 11 interview with Forbes, declining to identify the bank from which the documents came."
30-11-2010 20:48Veggies at drop of a hat stepped into feed the students of Nottingham University.
30-11-2010 20:29"In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War."
30-11-2010 20:22City's richest man is about to be scuppered
Today, 30 November, Ashton Vale residents delivered their response to Steve Lansdown's and Bristol City Football Club's "compelling new evidence" intended to prove that Ashton Vale, the proposed site of the club's new stadium, should not be given Town Green status.
With the Evening Post's pointless Ground vs Green debate finally out of the way last night, now it's time to turn to the real business.
Today the Ashton Vale Heritage Group responded to Bristol City Football Club's (BCFC) supposed "new" evidence that's been arranged to stop their proposed stadium site becoming a Town Green where any development of the site is prevented forever.
The club's evidence has been described by their development director, Guy Price - an ineffectual upper middle class twit offloaded to the club from the equally ineffective SWRDA - as "compelling".
Maybe up in Clifton where Lansdown's failed enforcer, BCFC Chief Exec, Colin Sexstone lives and plotted this nonsense along with Price and their small town provincial solicitors Clarke Willmott, evidence from a few Ashton Vale residents who can apparently see around corners and over 20 foot-high leylandii hedges is indeed "compelling"
Perhaps too, evidence from an "aerial photography expert" who claims to see a landfill site on land where cows have already been proven to be grazing is also "compelling". After all, cows grazing on landfill is an everyday sight isn't it?
But to everyone else this stuff looks like a desperate and laughable pile of shite.
However, the big news of the day is that the Ashton Vale Heritage Group's solid response to the football club's claims comes not direct from the residents' group but from Richard Buxton solicitors, the country's leading environmental lawyers.
It's game on!
Please find below the statement from the King's College London occupation, please circulate this as soon as possible
Students at King’s College London have peacefully occupied a large lecture theatre (K2.31) on the Strand Campus to express their outrage at the government’s proposed cuts and rises in tuition fees. We ask the management of King’s College London to support us in our campaign to oppose such proposed changes in the British education system. We urge all students and members of the King’s College London Students’ Union to join us. We stand together with other students, workers and citizens facing cuts from the coalition government in the UK. We also extend our solidarity internationally to those students and workers around the world who are engaged in similar movements.
Please send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our blog kcloccupation1.blogspot.com, our Facebook page ‘KCL occupation’ or twitter @kcloccupation
- e-mail: email@example.com
- Homepage: http://www.kcloccupation1.blogspot.com
A few thoughts in response to Cameron's article in the Evening Standard
I spent the day out on the streets of London today.
I'm not a student myself anymore but I had a day free from work at last so I thought I'd take the opportunity to show some solidarity with the schoolkids and students.
I have to say I was impressed. Despite the snowstorm and freezing winds blowing through us, people were still out and about. They managed to avoid being kettled in the beginning and just kept moving, with a trail of coppers running after them looking like they might have heart attacks at any moment form all the exertion.
As I was leaving at the end of the day, I picked up a copy of the ES to see how the corporate media were going to portray us today. I got to page 14 and found Cameron's latest piece of smug, patronizing drivel.
NEWS ALERT!! We've all got it wrong apparently. No need to panic, we've all got it wrong and if we read the small print on the government's plans we'll realise that nobody's going to have to pay anything when they are actually at university.
Welcome to the land of doublethink, Orwell would be proud.
Fact no 1) Changes to higher education funding are unavoidable
Apparently that's a fact, no argument possible. Never mind that £120 billion worth of taxes went uncollected or avoided by our richest citizens last year. We wouldn't want to ask the government's best friend Philip Green to contribute, better let Monaco host his millions as a tax exile.
So, we've got to make cuts:
Funding for teaching costs for English higher education this year stand at 5 billion. Their solution apparently is to cut all government funding for arts and humanities, that'll solve the problem.
Fact no 2) Introducing market values into the education system will drive up standards.
If all the funding comes from students then universities will have to compete to attract them and so will improve their standards of teaching, research and facilities to attract students.
This is the great myth so beloved by conservatives.
Thatcher started it in the NHS in the 80s and I can see the disastrous effects now as I try and work in the health service. NHS hospitals now have to compete with private companies to provide services which are bought by primary care trusts. What happens is that the private companies win all the nice, money-making contracts eg to provide cataract operations, hip replacements, hernia repairs etc. The NHS hospitals instead win the right to look after the frail and elderly who need weeks of care and rehabilitation for which PCTs pay pittance. In addition when Mrs X (86) has her hip operation by the BUPA hospital and then strangely enough develops complications because 86 yr old ladies don't respond well to general anaesthetics and surgical operations, she gets shipped down the road to the NHS hospital to sort her out.
(sorry, medical rant over)
Anyway, if universities have to compete with each other that will not necessarily drive up standards. Oxbridge may be able to compete but unis who depend on government help are not going to be able improve themselves overnight to attract students. Who's going to cover the first 5 years it takes to make any changes. Never mind, who cares if a few local unis get shut down?
Then what about subjects that are economically unpopular? Who's going to give you a job for getting a degree in ancient history or music or classics or zoology in today's economic climate?
Answer: cut these courses
Fact no 3) The government's plans are fair!
When you got to university from now onwards you won't have to pay the £9000+ a year up-front. You won't need to pay it back until you earn more than £21000/year. Therefore nobody should be discouraged.
There's a fundamental lack of understanding of what it means to be in debt here. They simply can't seem to understand why the prospect of leaving university with an average debt of > £35,000 would put some people off. I guess when you've never had to worry about money, when you've never owed anyone money, remember 18 members of the cabinet are millionaires at the moment, you can't understand why you would be worried about owing money to the bank, or the student loan company or whoever it is is going to provide the loans, a point they haven't made clear yet.
People are going to be put off, schoolkids all around me today were telling me they have been put off.
This is the propaganda that is being put out everyday
We need to challenge it at every opportunity.
Next time the students come out on the streets and stand in front of lines and lines of riot cops, every person out there who has benefited from a state-sponsored education owes it to them to stand right beside them.
30-11-2010 19:46Warwick Uni students today held a day long teach-in followed by a sit-in protest occupying the busy public Art Centre foyer this evening, winning great public support.
30-11-2010 19:28After an undercover investigation by the BUAV last year and a truely pathetic investigation by the government (the report has been delayed for months due to "the need to assess the impact on the community" apparently!!) Wickham labs has been found guilty of breaching it's animal testing licence.
Students running down a side street in Westminster, avoiding the planned route and the hundreds of police officers. Earlier today, the student march split off in different directions and the police was unable to control protesters as they were taking over several main roads.
ANGRY clashes broke out in Lewisham, London, on Monday night as police stopped campaigners from attending a key council meeting.
Despite freezing weather conditions, the incident raises the political temperature still further ahead of Tuesday's student day of action.
Hundreds of chanting protesters gathered outside the town hall as the council prepared to approve huge cuts to local services.
A number of them managed to get through police lines and into the building, where a smoke bomb was let off.
There were a number of injuries and arrests as police pushed and shoved the demonstrators outside. It was reported that riot squad TSG were later called and the area was cordoned off.
Interestingly, the cuts were being pushed through by the Labour Party regime, with the Tories this time in opposition and voting against.
But increasing numbers of the British public are no longer falling for the political party trick and understand that the fight is against the entire neoliberal capitalist system.
(Original article and video at http://www.vastminority.blogspot.com/)
UCL Occupation unconditionally condemns the police attempts to pre-emptively kettle a peaceful protest. Students gathered in Trafalgar Square for a protest agreed by police, including many involved in the UCL Occupation. Less than ten minutes later, before the march had begun, police began moves to kettle protesters. This understandably caused chaos as students fled to avoid being held in the cold for an indeterminate length of time.
We have received reports from our students of aggressive over-policing including the Territorial Support Group chasing protesters down the Mall. One UCL student is reported to have been rugby tackled by police into railings near Westminster Abbey. There have also been reports of police being armed with CS Spray.
It is a sad day for democracy in the UK when students who accommodated every police requirement and were given permission to march are treated like criminals, with no provocation. We lay the blame for any disruption, distress or injury squarely at the feet of the police.
More to follow as events progress
For further comment contact ucloccupation at gmail.com or follow http://www.twitter.com/ucloccupation
After, in good faith, having provided thorough information and help to the London Metropolitan Police yesterday, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
is appalled with the police aggressiveness towards students protesters in London today.
Whitehall had been, despite the Met’s agreement with the route to follow, pre-emptively blocked.
Several police vans (including one with horses for the mounted police) have been deployed in such a manner that can only be described as conspicuous bullying.
Such misleading actions on behalf of a state institution are deplorable and unacceptable.
There are rumours of tear gas, unreasoned physical violence towards very young people and general victimisation of protesters.
Preventing the public from their democratic right to protest peacefully is a shame to any country describing itself as liberal and democratic.
30-11-2010 19:22Overview of events up until about 3pm today
The crowd left the square on time.
It was the first pleasant culture shock in a fun packed day. I wasn't able to make last week, so wasn't sure what to expect. Neither did most of the kids on the street it seemed. No one knew what the plan was, most hadn't been on a demo before last week, and all of them were buzzing with it.
I attached myself to a bunch of a dozen or so who were moving purposefully in a 'where we think the others are' direction. Proudly displaying their terribly postmodern placard (Legalise Weed- as they said, got a lot of smiles, and it did have Cameron cuts stuff on the back). After banter about how you say 'fuck the police' in Spanish, it became apparent that most of these people had never met each other before either, but were well up for grinning at the shoppers we passed as we went through Broadmead. Around us we saw other tributaries, then suddenly, there was main event. A rapidly moving river of cardboard signs, people who'd made a gesture towards wearing black, and a lot of students and school kids.
From there on in it was basically a march. But not like any I've experienced. It was of course entirely unnegotiated with the cops- who intermittently made attempts to kettle it, and it was big, upwards of a thousand I'd guess, with people joining on as the day went through.
But the significant thing about it was it's speed. It moved fast and with impressive sense of purpose from one target to the next, holding a space long enough to let others catch up or join if they wanted to, moving on before the police could assess and kettle. It took roads, but parted smoothly for ambulances twice, before reforming to stop other traffic. And it got around a bit.
One of my favorite moments was having a conversation with one of the cordon line about what legislation they were holding us under etc, to see a not insubstantial crowd come up behind him- "seriously mate, turn round", the line disintegrated, and we moved back into the center of town. Right to the belly of the beast, to the entrance of Calbot Circus. Not the sort of venue designed for easy use of riot horses. Access to some of the most spectacular local examples of capitalist excess was corked off for 20 minutes or more, before moving on to Vodeaphone.
There was a standoff at the door, with staff behind the double glass swing doors clearly freaked, and the crowd trying to push its way in. Thing was, although the lads at the front were up for it, they knew the staff on the other side weren't the enemy. We were just turning round to block the flow of Vodaphones cash from the outside, when a bunch of cops waded in, and forced everyone back (by about 5 foot). There was about a one minute food fight, where some squirty sauce and a pineapple top were deployed, but then the crowd moved off again. As we were moving away the shutters were coming down. On the inside of the glass I think.
Apart from the cops that waded in outside vodeaphone, who tasted a lot more like the Met, and the mounted cops, who are trained to be shits, the police were markedly more sane and human than I'm used to encountering.
And the crowd had way more energy- we went round the mall, and up the hill, and down the hill, , and round the mall and up the hill, and, well, you get the picture. A lot of vehicles were stuck in the resulting traffic, but when a posse of very over excited 15 year olds approached them in turn and asked them to honk most did, and every honk was answered with riotous cheering. A lot of passing traffic honked spontaneous support anyway. At one particularly fine point a woman had wound down her window and was being high fived by a every person who passed nearest to her.
The final cordon moved in relatively quickly outside the uni. A bunch of schoolgirls, about 13 years old I'd guess, had done a brilliant bit of public order work- spreading across a road the police were trying to put a line on. They were cheerfully chanting 'fuck the police'. I heard as I was leaving that 5 or 6 young girls had been arrested. Don't know if it was them. The van drivers and mounted cops were getting sketchy, the use of the horses from the middle of a crowd is always a recipe for messiness, though I didn't hear of any injuries at that stage. They were letting water and biscuits in and there were ways out for people not too worried to look for them. The vibe seemed slightly shaken but still upbeat.
The biggest theme for the day, banner wise, was Hogwarts. It made me feel very old. But also more hopeful than I have in a long time. Todays protest sustained a massive amount of disruption. those with limited experience got used to evading the authorities, and people seemed to listen to each other, to reach out, have a laugh, and generally start reseeding community in places that have been sterile far too long. If this is just the beginning, and it feels like it, then 2011 is going to be an interesting year.
A protest was held today (30th Nov) in Lancaster city centre by school students, adult college members and uni students.
Around 300 were there. March took place and participants were roughed up by the police and directed during this.
Protesters were kettled in Dalton Square with protesters who attempted to break out being roughed up and thrown back. Protesters were kettled again while attempting to march past Lancaster Royal Grammar School. Protesters were also denied (by the police) access to the University Of Cumbria campus.
Join us for a week of workshops, discussions and action focusing on the current ideology around Con-Dem government's cuts and the privatisation of public and social services.
There will be discussions on education and the cuts, NHS and privatisation, austerity and the housing crisis and more
We will provide free tea and coffee and help facilitate open spaces, workshops and evening events.