#FUCKTHETORIES LIVEBLOG

18:54 – Protesters in Liverpool are blocking the road!

18:50 – In all the kerfuffle, forgot to mention that UKIP’s ONLY MP, Douglas Carswell got caught up in the march and had to be escorted away by police. Lol.

18:35 – After being split into two groups and herded around the City for a bit by the cops, both groups seem to have reformed in Parliament Square. There seems to be an overlap of the student demo and the People’s Assembly demo at Downing Street.

18:16 –

18:12 – While the London demo continues in full swing through Victoria station, protests in other cities are kicking off too.

18:01 – Chants of “Who killed Mark Duggan? You killed Mark Duggan” at the police down Victoria Street now. Sirens blaring, flares being thrown.

17:40 – The police just unsuccessfully attempted a kettle, protesters back marching down Whitehall past Downing Street. The conch shell is still going.

17:32 – The livestream showing cops being really violent toward one man. One policeman just pushed a woman trying to leave a kettle so hard and hit two other people in the face in the process.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 17.31.41

17:28 – Aaaaand we’re off! Aaaand someone is blowing through a conch shell. Absolutely massive turnout.

17:23 –

17:20 – Speeches have started. We’ve also found a livestream here which is kind of worth watching. We can sort of hear the speeches but we’re not sure who is actually making them. But the crowd seem to be enjoying them?

16:40 – Reports of a second arrest at Trafalgar Square, reportedly in connection with the Class War demo which happened earlier today.

16:37

16:27 – One arrest has been made already. Updates to follow.

arrest arrest2

Photos via Jonathan Bigger on facebook.

16:16 – Looks like the PoPo are sweeping up protesters before the march has even started to “prevent potential breach of the peace” #ClassicPoPo. Apparently they’ve been following Class War around all day. Get in touch if you can do arrestee support.

16:07 – 

15:52 – Here’s a handy guide as to what the #QueensSpeech actually said, in case, like us, you couldn’t bear to hear an unelected lizard in a crown tell us how our lives are going to be ruined for the next five years.

15:01 – Protests due to start in 2 hours in London, Liverpool, Leeds and Coventry. Cops already deployed in London with vague news that 2 people have been detained from protests earlier today. If you are marching, stay safe and remember to look after each other. Write down the number of the Green and Black Cross on your arm (07946 541 511) to ring in case of your arrest, and read their advice for protesters here.

popoPhoto via Jonathan Bigger on Facebook.

Here’s an article from The Mirror with a bit more info about the two arrestees. They were apparently released at about 2PM. We also get a cheeky mention in here, but with a new acronym (NCFC). Cheers.

13:00 – Today thousands of people will be marching across London to protest the official opening of Parliament, where the Tories will form a government.

The new Government is going to try to: smash the welfare state by £12bn, privatise the NHS, raise tuition fees, decimate local services, make strike action illegal, scapegoat migrants, worsen the housing crisis and to crush all dissent that stands in their way.

The wave of resistance starts now.

Follow this live-blog throughout the day for updates on the demo in London, and if you’re there remember to tweet things to us @NCAFC_UK or using the hashtag #FuckTheTories. Happy demoing!

UCL student tenants organising for action on poor conditions and high rents

halls assemblyBy Angus O’Brien, UCL Defend Education

On Thursday, 30th October, students at the Ifor Evans Site (the UCL Halls in Camden), held the inaugural Halls Assembly to discuss the state of their living conditions (for a flavour of this, you can read this report from the London Tab) and what they are going to do about it. It is likely to have been the first of such a meeting, at least in current student memory at UCL.

Discontented with the poor conditions and the cost to live on the Ifor Evans Site (the majority of students paying either £132 in Max Rayne or £167.70 in Ifor Evans per week), the assembly has created a plan to take action. In the next few weeks, a demand for information and transparency as to where the students’ money is actually going is to be made, alongside the signing of a petition containing 5 demands to be sent to the UCL Accommodations Department.

The unhappiness with living conditions has been exacerbated by two facts in particular: one, that rents have risen since last year, seemingly without evidence of any corresponding investment by the university and above the rate at which student loans and grants are rising. This has caused a loss in real terms for all student tenants in comparison to previous years. Secondly, UCL is running its accommodation with an excess of £10 million a year. The proliferation of this fact has caused disgust on the site as UCL is essentially making a profit from its own students, a notion reflected in the fact that they refer to their student tenants as ‘customers’.

But more tangible factors have also played a part within this student movement: broken fridges, toilets and showers, extortionate fines, inequality of conditions between floors and rooms only seem to scratch the surface. Cockroaches, believed to be living in the walls, are being found throughout Max Rayne, showing that nothing has been done about this an issue that has affected students for numerous years. Walking around the site, it is hard to find any evidence of investment since the residence opened in 1979. Coupling this with increasing rents and the wholesale lack of willingness to deal with the greater problems, it’s no wonder students are disillusioned.

It must be said at this point that the writer of this report is personally tied to this movement, but, nevertheless, would like to make a prediction. These students are being ripped off by their own university, but by holding assemblies, creating action groups and working together, the tide may just turn back into their favour. The Camden Halls could well turn out to be the catalyst for a wider student fightback against the extortion they are being subjected to by their universities.

The demands to be made by the students at the Camden Halls are, in brief:

  • reverse the rent hike
  • equal standards across the site
  • accountability and direct student influence
  • transparency in spending
  • sustainable investment for students, not profit

Are you organising for your rights as student tenants? Or do you want advice on getting started? Let us know by emailing [email protected]!

Trade Union Solidarity With Student Protests from Unite, IWGB, UCU, PCS and GMB!

solidarity is a weapon

Solidarity messages for today’s protests against police repression of students are flooding in. Today we have an extended blog post on the Young Members website of the PCS Union for civil servants:

As a point of principle alone, we as trade unionists should stand in solidarity with students. These attacks are nothing more than politically motivated attempts to undermine the right to protest and shut down any dissent against the Government’s plans to further privatise and run down education.

In this case, the student movement is being targeted partly out of fears that this could be the start of a new wave of student protests akin to those that rocked the country several years ago. More importantly though, it’s also because its taking place alongside a critical dispute involving all the Higher Education unions over the battle for decent pay. A strong united student movement that is actively supporting a solid HE strike across campuses through direct action has the potential to bring education to a halt. The unions could win, and if this happens, the effects across not just higher education, but the trade union movement would be felt. To prevent this happening, the state is flexing its muscles.

The full post from PCS Young Members can be seen here.

 

Unite the Union’s General Secretary Len McCluskey has also spoken out against the police and university management tactics used against student protests:

Len McCluskey said: “Unite is showing strong solidarity with the students of the UK who are being demonised by a coalition government which has precious little to offer anyone under the age of 40.

“Students have a legitimate right to protest peacefully against a governing elite intent on privatising higher education and cutting budgets.

“Some vice chancellors have adopted macho tactics to crush dissent and the police appear to be collaborating with this hardline approach. It’s time to back off.”

Full article here.

 

UCU – the university and college lecturers union, whose industrial action sparked many of the occupations and protests last week, have stated their full support. Many UCU members have written to the Guardian this week giving their support, and the UCU website said:

UCU also welcomes the support of students and their unions for our current industrial action which is aimed at securing a fair pay offer.

To that end, we endorse the Early Day Motion put down by John McDonnell MP which calls upon university authorities to respond positively to requests by protesting students and staff for ‘meaningful dialogue’ rather than adopt heavy handed responses. We also fully endorse Mr McDonnell’s view that, ‘universities should recognise that students have a right to protest as long as it is peaceful’.

Full article here.

 

Students have also received support from the Southern Region Young Members section of the GMB, who said:

GMB young members support students and university workers in their struggle against police violence, the fight for better pay and terms and conditions and defending the right to protest.

GMB members will join the cops off campus demo’s today in a show of solidarity and to fight for decent pay and terms and conditions for ALL staff on campus.

Students and workers face them same oppression from the state when they try and rise up. This campaign is embedded in workers’ struggles, whether that be the HE/FE pay dispute, the outsourced workers struggles like 3 Cosas, or the increase in casualisation, low pay and unemployment and underemployment of young people.

Solidarity!

Solidarity with the Sussex struggle: sign the anti-injunction petition

Yesterday we reported that Sussex University was seeking an injunction against protests on its campus. Please sign the petition at the link below. [Read more…]

PROTEST Transphobia!!

TPOWERLast Wednesday 22nd of February our sister Ms. Dos Santos was victimised and mocked by police officers claiming she was ‘not normal’. When is this going to end? We face transphobia eevryday even from those who are ment to be there to protect us. If not even an allegedly LGBTQ friendly space like SOHO is safe equality and Liberation are far far away!

 

This protest is not only about or by or for Trans* people but everyone! It starts like this! 267 sisters and brothers in our community were murdered last year around the world and that is only the ones we know about! Most of them In Brazil. It was distressing and upsetting for us to read or hear their names in Transgender Day of Rememberence last November.

This is about basic Human Rights and the freedom to exist and lead meaningful lives. Martin Luther King said he had a dream: that his four children were “one day be judged not by the color of their skin but bybut by the content of their character” We have that dream too! We are thousands and we do not wish to be judged, victimised, taunted, mocked or killed.

According to witnesses, as reported by the Independanet (which nevertheless named HER with a man’s name) Ms Dos Santos ” had her wig ripped from her head, her handbag and purse literally emptied out on the road, so her personal belongings were damaged and scattered around her” she was then told to be ‘normal’. I do not want to know what our sister has gone through before, but a country like  UK which claims to be accepting is appaling as it fails to protect its residents from attacks some of us have fled from.

 

Join the PROTEST TRANSPHOBIA PROTEST at Charing Cross Station to actively resist discrimination, victimisation and prejudice. RESIST TRANSPHOBIA! Let’s make sure it won’t happen againg. EVER! LIBERATION, INTERNATIONALISM, ANTI RACISM AND AN END TO TRANSPHIC ATTACKS!!!

 

http://is.gd/KRxT38

 

Sussex students occupy against privatisation – please send solidarity

sussexoccupationSussex University students have today occupied the Bramber conference centre! The occupation is in opposition to the University selling off services. [Read more…]

10,000 demonstrators kick start student fightback

10,000 students from across the country demonstrated in London today on the national demonstration against cuts to education and public services organised by the NCAFC. [Read more…]

Support our lecturers’ action against pension cuts! (Model motion)

In the run up to the November 30 pensions strike, University and College Union members at 67 pre-92 universities are taking industrial action short of a strike, which could escalate into a marking and assessment boycott. Here Pat Smith, a student and UCU activist at Hull University, explains why students should support them. [Read more…]

Strathclyde Uni occupied as Scottish students prepare for 1 October demo

Students from across Scotland have occupied Strathclyde University against cuts and fees. [Read more…]

Education activists disrupt Universities UK annual conference

Click here to see the original press release

For immediate release: Wednesday 7th September 2011

Education activists disrupt Universities UK annual conference

Today at 3.30pm BST, activists from Royal Holloway Anti-Cuts Alliance (RHACA) disrupted Universities UK’s annual conference at Royal Holloway, University of London.  The conference, attended by Vince Cable MP, is expected to focus on the effects the Government’s HE white paper will have upon universities.  RHACA were protesting against the white paper’s intentions to create a ‘level playing field’ between public university institutions and for-profit providers.

The group, who are affiliated to the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), the organisation behind last December’s tuition fees protest in Parliament Square, carried a banner with the slogans “Education: Not for $ale” and “HE White paper: Profit at the Heart of the System”.  After chanting, banner drops and being told they weren’t recognized by the organisers, activists were met by an embarrassed RHUL management.  Discussions took place about the absence of students from decision making processes and a lack of consultation over major issues.

“The Government’s white paper is titled ‘Students at the Heart of the System’- garbage; here we have the Government’s education officials and vice-chancellors from across the country making crucial decisions without student involvement,” said one activist.  “Students nationwide have made their voices clear over the past year, but still they will not listen.  We can do without being patronized; ministers would have us believe the white paper is beyond us – we’ve read it, we understand it, and we’re fighting it.”

Another activist said, “The white paper will make way for privatization and a market in higher education; it is an attack on the essence of the public university.  The vice-chancellors here are thoroughly aware of their students’ opinions, yet they have the impertinence to carry out the government’s reforms with impunity.”

“At Royal Holloway we have seen the management strike a deal with the publishing giant, Pearson, so that Royal Holloway can start validating Pearson degrees.  This is the thin end of the wedge and we do not want these for-profit providers in our universities.”

The disruption is indicative of the tone being ahead of the NCAFC’s planned national demonstration on 9th November.  Billed as “Defend Education, Fight Privatisation”, the demonstration’s Facebook event is already expecting thousands in attendance.

 

Ends

 

Notes for Editors

. RHACA were one of the first groups to occupy their university last November

.One of the activists is an organiser on the National Committee of NCAFC

. Pictures and interviewees available

. Royal Holloway, University of London, has announced tuition fees of £9,000

Contact

Name: Craig Gent Tel: 07824 331240

Royal Holloway Anti-Cuts Alliance

Royal Holloway, University of London

http://rhacc.wordpress.com