Student day of action unfolds across the UK

Submitted by cathy n on 23 November, 2011 - 2:23

The November 23 day of action in education called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is unfolding, with demonstrations and occupations at a number of universities. Follow the day's actions as they happen on the NCAFC's live blog.

The day of action called by the NCAFC is aimed at building pressure on Vice Chancellors to guarantee that they will not make cuts, aid in the privatisation of Higher Education, and to reject the government's Higher Education White Paper. The NCAFC is asking local activist groups to challenge their VC to sign the 7-point Vice Chancellors' Pledge

The day of action is also aimed to raise the political temperature on campus as a show of support for the November 30 pension strikes, and student activists are making links with trade unionists and organising cross-union student-worker meetings to plan for the day itself and the campaign after November 30.

The day of action began on Tuesday night with the disruption of a lecture by Universities Minister David Willetts in the Lady Mitchell Hall at Cambridge University, where Cambridge Defend Education activists read out a statement against Willett's project for education and launched an ocupation, shutting down the talk.

An occupation at Birmingham University, the site of a long-running battle against the victimisation of NCAFC National Committee member and sabbatical officer Edd Bauer, university security set up a cordon denying food and water to occupiers, but appear to have relented under pressure.

In London, students took over a university building in Bloomsbury at 3 Gordon Sq, London WC1H 0PD, which they have turned into a base-camp for activism, naming it the Bloomsbury Social Centre.

A demonstration is going on in Edinburgh against the implementation of rest-of-UK fees in Scottish universities.

AWL member and anti-cuts activist Kieran Miles reports on action at Royal Holloway University:
“Royal Holloway activists have been interrupting UCAS day tours being led by members of College Council, who are planning to make huge department cuts, job losses and has made privatisation agreements with 3 companies including the textbook publishers Pearsons, to make arguments against cuts, fees and privatisation. Students, and workers in the GMB and UCU are also leafletting and talking to people about future events – a discussion on the white paper tomorrow, and a rally and picket line for striking workers on the 30th.”

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