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Business, Innovation and Skills office targeted in campaign for free education

Anonymous | 03.12.2014 14:53 | Cambridge

Cambridge branch of BIS attacked as part of day of action for free education

In the early hours of Wednesday, December 3rd, a group of us entered the site of Eastbrook House, an office complex on the outskirts of Cambridge which houses the East Office of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and defaced the front of the building with slogans such as ‘education: not your business’.
We did this in solidarity with those taking part in today’s day of walkouts, occupations and demonstrations. This is part of the ongoing campaign for free education. At the National Demonstration for Free Education on November 19th, several people were beaten and arrested by police thugs outside London’s BIS office. One protester was denied treatment for his injuries in custody and was hospitalised immediately upon release.
In targeting BIS we are targeting both state and private control over education. BIS is the state department responsible for managing higher education, regulating business and ‘maintaining economic competition’. That these responsibilities are lumped together epitomizes the increasing control business has over education. Cambridge is a city dominated by the University, a symbol of power and privilege for centuries, which is in turn increasingly dominated by multinational corporations. This takes the form of corporate sponsorship of courses and funding agreements that prioritize profit for the few over education for the many.

We do not seek a return to education prior to the introduction of fees. We demand an education that is free both financially and in the sense that it is democratically controlled by those who participate in it and is accessible to all, not just a privileged few.

Recent years have shown that voting and peaceful demonstrations have failed. We have been ignored, lied to, kettled and beaten. This confirms the need for more direct tactics, of which tonight’s action was a small part.