‘Teenage Riot’ Part I

VICE’s TV production arm VBS.tv have put together a new film about the student protests entitled Teenage Riot. In the film VBS followed the progress of the largest period of civil unrest in England since the 80s, available in 5 parts all this week, the full length film will be available next week at VBS.tv. Check it out here

Solidarity to the Birmingham students facing disciplinary action!

Ten University of Birmingham students are facing disciplinary action that could lead to expulsion after a peaceful sit-in that ended with forceful eviction by university security and the police.

Read all about it here

Against the draconian sentencing of Edward Woollard

Draconian sentencing is an attack on the right to protest

The 32 month custodial sentence given to Edward Woollard in the Millbank protests is an outrage.

It will not only see Woollard spend the rest of his teenage years behind bars, but is a politically motivated attack on the entire student and anti-cuts movement.

Woollard handed himself in to the police, had never been in trouble with the authorities before, pleaded guilty to the offence, and had 30 statements of good character. He made a terrible mistake in throwing the fire extinguisher off the roof of Millbank tower, but the judgement handed down to him is not about his individual action. In truth, it is about the courts sending a message to wider society that the state will not tolerate resistance to the biggest attack on working people we have seen in living memory.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC was quite clear that this was a “deterrent sentence” designed to send out “a a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated”. Woollard was simply not judged on his individual actions which thankfully led to no injuries. Far more serious acts of violent disorder routinely receive shorter sentences.

We the undersigned will campaign vigorously for the rights of all arrested protesters.

We recognise the biggest criminals of all are those wielding the axe to our public services.

A broad and powerful protest movement is now taking shape on the streets and in the workplaces.

We will not be intimidated by draconian sentences or any form of police repression.

If you would like to support the statement, join this facebook group or email againstfeesandcuts [at] gmail.com

SIGNED:

Jon McDonnell – Labour MP (Hayes and Harlington)
Lindsey German – Convenor of Stop the War Coalition; Coalition of Resistance
Joana Oliveira Pinto - NCAFC; School of Oriental and African Studies
Sean Rillo Raczka
– NCAFC; Chair of Council, Executive Officer Birbeck College Students Union
Luke Cooper
- Revolution; Sussex University
Clare Solomon – President of the University of London Union
Patrizia Kokot – NCAFC; LSE and Aberystywth University
Andrew Burgin – Coalition of Resistance
Edward Maltby
– NCAFC; Alliance of Workers’ Liberty
Michael Chessum
– NCAFC; Education and Communications Officer University College London Union
Ashok Kumar
- NCAFC; Education Officer London School of Economics Student Union
Louis Hartnoll
– President of SUARTS (University of the Arts London)
James Haywood –
EAN; Communication and Campaigns Officer Goldsmiths College Student Union
Flaminia Giambalvo
– NCAFC; Goldsmiths College
John Bowman – NCAFC; Revolution
Greg Brown – NCAFC; University College London
Maham Hashmi-Khan – School of Oriental and African Studies
Jess RawAberystwyth University
Sean Ambler – NCAFC; Revolution; Oxford University
Jo Casserly – Revolution; University College London
Edwin Clifford-Coupe – University College London
Paul Webster – Aberystwyth University

Some (more) Press Coverage


ABC News (13 December 2010)


BBC News (11 December 2010)

NCAFC and NUS on Joint Committee on Human Rights at Parliament

Simon Hardy, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, and Aaron Porter, National Union of Students, have given witness of police infringement of human rights on the last student demonstrations.

On the table was particularly the “kettling” technique and overall police violence.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights consists of twelve members appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Committee is charged with considering human rights issues in the UK.

The Committee undertakes thematic inquiries on human rights issues and reports its findings and recommendations to the House. It scrutinises all Government Bills and picks out those with significant human rights implications for further examination.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR), chaired by Andrew Dismore MP, consists of Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Thematic Inquiries

As part of its work, the Committee undertakes inquiries into human rights issues during which it seeks evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant interests and experience. Initially the Committee calls for written evidence from interested parties, which is usually followed by taking oral evidence from a selection of those who submitted written evidence.

A report is usually then produced setting out the Committee’s findings and making recommendations to the Government.

Real & Fake NCAFC events (and how to get our support for your demo)

We are living in exciting times!

Everyone at NCAFC is really happy about how much is going on and the amazing response we get from people all across the country. We are constantly bombarded with questions and affiliations and people wanting to organise local events.

As we understand that for some a quick supportive reply might suffice to get NCAFC’s support, it needs to be said that things are not that quick & easy.

There have been some “fake” NCAFC events going around Facebook and being Twittered about so here are our guidelines:

HOW TO KNOW IF IT IS A REAL NCAFC EVENT?

.

HOW TO GET NCAFC TO BACK YOUR EVENTS?

  • Send us an email to [email protected] with your personal information (name and university/school/city) and a brief description of the event (type of event/date/location).
  • We will discuss it and vote it through in a local or national NCAFC meeting, which will be open for you and anyone else to come along and pitch in.
  • We will keep in touch with you until the big day (Note: the bigger the event, the more involved we will get with details such as security, materials, stewards, etc)

We hope this helps.

Don’t put yourself in danger – only attend events you know the organising body of. If in doubt contact organisers and ask them to explain what security measures have been taken. It is bad enough that the police is violent even after we meet with them, imagine how they can get if they know nothing about the demo you are thinking of attending.

Keep safe and… Merry Christmas!

Press Statement – Police Violence and Vote on Tuition Fee Increase

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts utterly condemns the violence inflicted on demonstrators by the police on the 9th of December national demonstration in central London and reiterate that the passing of the bill on the tuition fee increase will not deter, nor discourage future actions.

The coalition government managed to pass the tuition fee increase by 21 votes only – a sign of how weak the government is and that it can be beaten.  Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, suffered a huge blow to his leadership policies as 21 of his MPs rebelled against the tuition fee increase.

The resistance will continue in the new year. The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, as well as thousands of students across the country, will not give in until these cuts and fee increases are stopped.

Mounted police charging and ‘kettling’ of protesters are disgusting attacks on people’s right to protest and cannot be justified. The demonstration was militant but good natured as thousands assembled in Parliament square. The police adopted a hands-off approach until around 15.30h when ‘kettling’ began, followed by increasingly violent assaults on students.

The police attacked protesters, journalists and even a demonstrator in a wheel chair, dragging him across the ground. Many people were hospitalised and at the time of writing (23.30h) many people were still contained in Westminster, a cruel form of collective punishment for defying the government.

Statement on yesterday’s events (+The Guardian coverage)

Yesterday was a brilliant success!

Tens of thousands of students demonstrated, despite low temperatures all across Britain on the 30th of November against the tuition fee increase, the cuts to EMA and wider public sector cuts.

Students were joined by teachers, parents and general members of the public as the movement continued to broaden out, bringing in new people who want to join the fight against this government’s agenda.

  • Protesters have not been deterred by images of ‘violence’ in the media.
  • Protesters have not been put off by the ‘kettling’ of the 24th of November.
  • Protesters did not stay at home as a result of snow and the cold weather.

The movement continues to gain more support and gathers momentum – building up to the tuition fee vote in Parliament in mid December.

More national protests will take place on 9th and 11th December, as well as several local actions on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of December.

On the day that Parliament votes on the tuition fee increase the NCAFC will be working with other organisations to bring the greatest number of people possible down to London. We expect over 100,000 people to demonstrate in London, and many thousands more across the country.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is happy that most actions were taken non-violently and were able to truly show that students will not stand still and let the government take these savage cuts imperviously.

The NCAFC will continue to organise students and plan future actions in order to defeat this constrictive governmental education agenda and, if necessary, bring down the government, itself.

Thank you once more to The Guardian for their incredible coverage and support.

Ideas and Advice for tomorrow (video)

Copwatch – organising against police violence

With the growing number of demos against student cuts and mounting concern about police behaviour there should be interesting times ahead for Copwatch, a new organisation set up to document and address unlawful behaviour committed by the police primarily in demo and protest situations.

Copwatch feels it is time to centrally record this behaviour and make the information public. Until now, reports of this nature are spread across may organisations and the true scale of the problem is not apparent.

By relying on photographic and video evidence and statements from members of the public, and by gathering evidence itself, Copwatch aims to call to account each offending force and officer. Complaints will be properly registered with the IPCC and relevant information passed on to local MPs and councillors.

Members of the public who have felt the unjust heavy hand of the law and felt unable to do anything about it or that a complaint will go nowhere should contact Copwatch for advice. Copwatch also invites reports and information from organisations regarding police behaviour so it may consider whether a class action lawsuit is necessary.

To add a report or to seek advice visit www.copwatch.co.uk.

Mobile 07806 486 694

Visit the site at www.copwatch.co.uk 

See the facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_159488457427166

Follow on Twitter twitter.com/copwatch999