Brighton University Occupation
This morning at 11am, NUS President Aaron Porter visited UCL Occupation to apologise for his “dithering” over support for autonomous student action, and agreed to advocate occupations as a legitimate form of protest against fees and cuts, as well as pledging political, legal and financial aid for all existant and future student occupations.
Occupiers issued the following list of demands to Porter, all of which were agreed to unconditionally:
- to publicly support all student occupations- on the frontpage of the NUS website and all available media.
- to call immediately for a new wave of occupations as a legitimate form of protest against fees and cuts.
- to organise financial, legal & political aid for all current and future occupations.
- to call a national day of action on the day of the parliamentary vote on tuition fees.
- to officially support any staff taking further industrial action on cuts in the education sector.
The occupation of the Jeremy Bentham Room in UCL began on Wednesday at 12:15pm as part of NCAFC’s national day of action. Occupiers held the President, who has become a widely controversial figure in the student movement in recent weeks, to account.
He also criticised the NUS for being “spineless” over recent years by refusing to support student protests.
The UCL Occupation intends to continue indefinitely until its demands of the university management, including the issuing of a public statement against fee rises and HE budget cuts, are met. You can support those demands here.
A number of NCAFC activists are involved in the UCL Occupation. The liberated Jeremy Bentham Room is in fact the location of NCAFC’s founding convention.
Tweet your solidarity with the UCL occupiers: http://twitter.com/ucloccupation
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is going to be having its national meeting in London on the 5th of June. Please come along, we’re going to be discussing how to organise the campaign so that we can hit the ground running at the start of the next academic year. With the Tories about to announce loads of cuts in education, this is a really important campaign, and a really important meeting!
The meeting will be taking place in University College London from 1PM on Saturday the 5th of June. For more information, check out the Facebook event.
We will be electing an editorial board to ensure regular and timely communications about events, news, and action. Please try to send a delegation from your campus to this meeting to let us know what you’re up to and plan jointly with other anti-cuts campaign groups. Also, it would be great if you could send us a report from your campaign, so that we can stick it up on our website.
There will be a fare pool for those coming long distances, and crash space can be arranged for those who need it. If you have any questions or concerns, see the contact page and don’t hesitate to send us an email.
The NCAFC national meeting isn’t the only thing coming up! Here’s a list of events occurring over the next month:
Saturday 22 May: Right to Work Conference
11-5 Friends Meeting House, London
Tuesday 25 May to Sunday 30 May: European Education Congress 2010
Saturday 29 May: Defeating Cuts in Education conference
Brighton (venue tba)
Thursday 10 June: UNISON Day of Dissent
At 1PM on the 3rd of March, over 200 students and staff at University College London began a demonstration at the Gower Street Campus. They were demonstrating against cuts that the management of UCL, one of the richest universities in the world, is planning to make. Although jobs and services across the university are at risk, the heaviest cuts are currently aimed at Life Sciences and Modern Languages. Students at Westminster, having ended their three-day occupation, marched to join the demonstration at UCL, where they were greeted with cheers. A UCL student said, “the turn-out at our demonstration today, and the confident mood among staff and students, has been really helped by the Westminster students, and we’d like to thank them for the steps they took.”
The demonstration marched down to Malet Place, and entered the main university building. To the cheers of staff we met on the way, the demonstration marched up through the corridors, to the office of the Provost, Malcolm Grant, and demanded that he come out and explain to staff and students why a university that made a huge profit last year should be making vicious cuts. He declined to come out, and instead had security keep students and staff from his door. Around 100 students sat down outside for over an hour and chanted and discussed what the campaign should do next. At this point it was announced that students at Sussex had occupied while staff announced a 76% vote for strike action, and the Vice Chancellor at the Univesrity of East Anglia was besieged by students demanding transparency and negotiations. At around 4PM the protesters left, vowing to come back soon. Organising meetings are ongoing, and the UCU’s strike ballot is still being prepared.
Learn more: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137261462441
UCL UCU: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/unions/UCU/index.htm