“The roving picket” and Sheffield’s strike solidarity campaign

By Małgosia Haman, Free University of Sheffield

Everyone already knows that in Sheffield we have the best activists. Our banner game is particularly strong.

Just last year The Free University of Sheffield made this gigantic banner. The biggest banner in the history of the whole world*.

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Here’s a short summary of what we’ve been up to during the UCU strike.

We made some really good banners again.

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We take them with us every morning on our now-famous Roving Picket™. Tens of students meet outside the SU on strike days and visit the picket lines bringing music, joy, and solidarity like the Strike Santas that we are.

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(This Strike Santa btw is Charlea, the most important person in creating the huge Free Education banner)

Sometimes we also bring hot drinks.

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Here’s our Education Officer, Stu for a Grassroots SU himself, distributing hot coffee to strikers.

Picketers love us and we get requests to join specific ones every day!

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Here are lecturers striking outside the Jessop West building. We had a fun dance party at the picket, they are amazing dancers!

Our dearest Vice Chancellor Keith Burnett was conveniently away for the first 2 weeks of the strike. When he finally came back to Sheffield (and joined the picket line for literally 2 minutes before crossing the picket line and going to his office) we felt so happy, we organised a welcome back party for him!

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But there’s more!

Just in the first 2 weeks of the strike, we had two massive demonstrations. Hundreds of students joined staff in solidarity and marched through the streets of Sheffield. We’re currently preparing another one on the International Women’s Day and we’re sure it will be even bigger and even louder!

We’ve also organised fundraisers for the strike hardship fund. And when the university threatened to deduct pay from staff working to contract on non-strike days, our alumni organised on twitter within minutes threatening to stop donating to the alumni fund and instead pledging donations to the UCU fund.

We won’t stop until the strike ends, we’ll keep supporting staff, we’ll keep dancing, and we will win!


PS If you want to keep up to date with our shenanigans, follow us on:



and most importantly: https://www.facebook.com/TheRovingPicket/

*Or student activism in Europe or something like that.