LIVE BLOG: day of action over maintenance grants cuts

17:38 — So it looks like today’s events are winding down – it’s been great to see so many different actions taking place across the country! But we can’t stop there. We won’t save maintenance grants by asking nicely, but by demanding it through sustained and diverse action both on our campuses and on the streets. In the coming weeks we have a #GrantsNotDebt demo outside BIS, local marches for education and our huge national demonstration, as well as organising for what could be the first UK student strike since 1971. There has never been a better time to get involved in the movement, so what are you waiting for? Join NCAFC now!

16:41 — Oh we do love a good chant!

16:19 — Chants of “You say debt hike, we say student strike!” outside Jo Johnson’s office. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our call-out for a student strike here.

16:15 — Cracking banner effort and great turnout from Brunel students who are on their way to see Boris Johnson!

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16:11 — Looks like Zac Goldsmith MP didn’t show up to chat to these angry students; but how could you resist this beautiful bunch?!

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15:24 — HERE’S an excellent piece in the Huffington Post on the student strike by Alasdair Clark, of Fife College SU.

15:21 — Sajid Javid’s office under seige. Is it the menacing students that have intimidated him into running away, or just the very well-painted banner?

https://twitter.com/DefendEdBrum/status/644868825272451072

15:19 — REPORTS of old women hitting protesters. Woah!

It was probably an undercover cop.

15:14 — IF you’re watching this thinking “god, this is fun – but surely we can’t beat a majority Tory government by ricking up to their office with a sartorial placard”, then, well, you’d be right.

We need to mobilise.

So, if you haven’t already started, get mobilising for our national demo on November 4th.

And, if you haven’t already heard about it, check out our plan for a national student strike. It’s so good the Telegraph picked it up yesterday.

14:21 — AND the picket is live in the North West, where Free Education Manchester have rocked up at George Osborne’s office.

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14:13 — A quick flashback to the autumn of 2013, when we did the same thing to Lib Dem MPs; eventually, they u-turned on the sell-off of student debt.

There aren’t many of them left now. Remember when Vince Cable was an MP?

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Photo credit: Oscar Webb

Hi Vince!

He’s probably watching this in his pyjamas.

14:09 — MORE hilarious scenes at Jo Johnson’s office, as rural police face an UNRULY LONDON MOB LED BY VICIOUS ACTIVISTS, who are standing around politely asking for working class people to be let into universities.

No, seriously Jo, we don’t need to come into your office, we just want into uni.

14:08 — AFTER a break, we’re back. A reminder to keep tweeting us your updates at @NCAFC_UK

12:54 — Look at this wonderful group of activists on their way to visit Jo Johnson’s office, after being confronted with numerous police officers in the process. They will not be deterred!

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12:42 — Some angry students are off to pay Zac Goldsmith MP a visit to demand #GrantsNotDebt and #FreeEducation for all!

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12:36 — Some rather hilarious memes coming in from Warwick for Free Education activists, who witnessed Chris White MP fleeing his office earlier today in order to avoid students!

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12:33 — Great work from UEA SU as they get their message on the radio during their demo outside MP Chloe Smith’s office.

12:27 —– MP Louise Ellman is now on board – well done Liverpool SU!

12:23 — Manchester SU representatives are meeting with Labour MP Jeff Smith.

12:20 — Ridiculously heavy police presence as a few activists are en route to Jo Johnson’s office!

12:14 — Liverpool students are meeting with Louise Ellman MP and raising concerns about the grants cuts.

11:59 — Sussex Student’s Union just got Caroline Lucas on board, shock horror.

11:50 — Congrats to Warwick activists who held a noisy demonstration outside Chris White MP’s office. Rather than speaking to them and engaging in a debate, he decided to flee the scene instead..

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11:46 —  Today’s day of actions is covered in Times Higher Education

11:42 — UEA students and officers have put together a rather large petition to take to their MP’s office this afternoon

11.32 — APPARENTLY a noise demonstration has forced Tory MP Chris White’s office to close for the day in Leamington Spa. Details to follow.

11:06 — WHILE we’re waiting for the day of lobbying to progress beyond twitter, here’s a banner from Birmingham. It does what it says on the tin, and is nicely painted. 8/10

 

10:42 — BEING reminded that there is an Early Day Motion (EDM) which your MP can sign if they’re against the cuts to grants – as long as they’re a backbencher. Which actually excludes loads of our usual allies, as many of them are in the Shadow Cabinet.

Anyway, here it is if you want to get your MP on it.

UPDATE: it’s been brought to our attention that Shadow Cabinet people can actually sign EDMs – it’s just been used as an excuse by some reticent Labour front-benchers in the past.

10:35 — IT’S been pointed out to us  that most of our readers will be too lazy to open the links to the pre-made blogs advertising the actions happening today (we listed these at 10:16). So here are some ones to watch out for later today:

  • Manchester will be hold a demo outside the Chancellor’s constituency office.
  • There will be two big protests by Londoners: one at Zak Goldsmith’s office (called appropriately by Goldsmiths SU) and one at Jo Johnson’s office (called by Arts Attack and UAL SU)
  • Birmingham is holding a demo at an as-yet-undisclosed location
  • Warwick are mobilising at Leamington Spa MP Chris White’s office.

And there are many dozens more – from rowdy rallies to quiet handshakes with sympathetic MPs – all of which will be happening throughout the day, and all of whom will no doubt be offended not to have been included in this initial list. We await your bitter tweeting.

 

10:22 — EDGE Hill SU are the first off the mark, getting their MP on board this morning, while most of you were eating porridge or grunting into the morning light..

 

10:16 — OK, so some things that will be happening today.

  • Check out this blog on anticuts.com, which lists events local groups are planning.
  • Check out this blog on the NUS website, which does the same thing but in a shinier, more mainstream way.

10:08 — SOME placards from Free Education Manchester, who are going to pay George Osborne a visit later today.

Be afraid, Chancellor, be very afraid.

No really, we are going to make your life very difficult if you don’t u-turn on this.

 

09:58 — HELLO everyone, and welcome to today’s live blog of the NUS-called and NCAFC-backed day of action over cuts to maintenance grants. A quick reminder of what we can expect today:

  • Lobbying of MPs at their constituency offices, as per Bath SU’s charming interaction with their MP on twitter.
  • Demonstrations and pickets of MPs, especially in places where the MP is already crap.
  • A lot of social media activity, on the hastags #GrantsNotDebt and #CutTheCosts

And maybe much more. Who knows?

No, seriously, if you know about an action, or want to send us photos, please get in touch and let us know by tweeting at us: @NCAFC_UK

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