University Occupations Against Cuts and in Solidarity with Workers

Posted in AWL's blog on Thu, 01/12/2011 - 13:23,

Students have organised a wave of university occupations in the UK in opposition to education cuts and in support of the November 30 public sector strike.

In Cambridge on the 22nd of November students disrupted a lecture by David Willetts, minister for universities and science. Activists collectively read a statement condemning Willetts and the government. Following this the lecture theatre was occupied and on the 30th of November was used to hold a discussion on issues of rank-and-file control, the importance of trade union and student union democracy, and linking together trades council, student and town anti-cuts structures.

Over the following week students in Aberdeen, the University of West England, Goldsmiths, Cambridge, Birmingham, Edinburgh, the University of East Anglia, Liverpool, Essex and Royal Holloway staged occupations.

The Birmingham occupation met with intimidation and oppression from university security services. Activists reported on Indymedia that one student was punched through an open window by a security guard, that security attempted to force entry in to the occupation several times and then blockaded the building. The occupation ended when the university won an immediate interim possession order, which was served only two hours after students were told it was being sought.

At Liverpool and Royal Holloway students have raised a set of demands including a guarantee of no course closures or job cuts, bursaries for students who need them and no cuts to university services.

Issues and Campaigns

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