Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10781
Reports of Wednesday 8th Student protests
Updated on 9.12.10. Day X looms - Thursday 9th December, the day when parliament votes on tuition fees. Masses of school, college and university students will swarm out of the gates and on to the streets to defend their futures.
Thousands will march on parliament.
Today, in preparation, demonstrations, occupations and meetings are taking place. some of these are part of the NUS and UCU day of local actions; many are marching again with Youth Fight for Education.
We are posting some highlights.
- Students are continuing to occupy in Goldsmiths, South London, and several other London universities
- 150 students occupy in Exeter
- 200 students in Falmouth, Cornwall, are demonstrating behind a banner reading "Capitalism isn't Working!"
- 300 in Manchester and Leeds, over 100 out in Leicester, 50 in Cardiff. 70 students and UCU march in Southampton and join 30 striking journalists in city centre.
- 200 in Warwick, 100 in Coventry.
- 250 protesting in Birmingham, Lincoln university occupied.
- 150 school, college and uni students on the march in Reading
- Exeter uni is in occupation, messages of support to Rob on 07743501732. Leeds trinity also occupied.
- Messages of support to leeds trinity to Andy Smith +447714272066 .
- 100 demonstrate in Liverpool
The Cornish town of Falmouth was the scene of a lively student demonstration on Wednesday 8 December.
200 people marched behind a banner saying "Capitalism isn't working", chanting anti-cuts slogans. The day began with rousing speeches, including from Socialist Party representative Tom Baldwin who mentioned the recent general strike in France as an example of workers and young people fighting alongside each other.
Although the demonstration was mainly made up of students, they made it clear that they were opposing all cuts.
Shoppers and workers lined the streets to support the demo as it passed. We finished with a call for people to come to a meeting in Truro school at 6.30pm on Wednesday 15 December to discuss how to take the movement forward and to set up an anti-cuts group.
Around 300 people marched around Leeds to demonstrate against the government's plans to make severe cuts to higher education funding, cut EMA and to massively raise university tuition fees.
The mood was angry but determined, with students from all over Leeds attending, including Leeds Uni, Leeds Met Uni, Leeds College of Art, Leeds College of Music, Allerton Grange School, Lawnswood School and Notre Dame sixth form.
Protesters marched from Leeds Met into town before protesting outside the city council chambers where Labour-led Leeds City Council is planning to cut around 3,000 jobs, delivering the message that we are not just against education cuts, but the wider cuts agenda.
Later on in the day a group also occupied Santander bank on campus for around half an hour.
Trinity University occupied: Activists at Leeds Trinity Students Against Cuts have occupied a corporate suite at their university in protest against the government's plans to hike up tuition fees and massively cut higher education funding.
The attacks threaten the very existence of Leeds Trinity University. Central funding will only remain for stem courses, ie maths, economics, science (which doesn't include psychology), law etc.
of which Trinity offers none. This means that the funding that used to cover most of Trinity's operational budget has already been cut.
If Trinity continues to recruit at the same level, even if the higher tuition fees come in - which we are fighting against with everything we have - there will be an operational deficit of £6 million and the students will be paying for everything.
Cuts are already being carried out, tutors have already been 'offered' voluntary redundancy and whole departments are under threat.
Students, with the support of university staff, will fight these attacks with all our might. We refuse to pay for a crisis that the rich have caused and want students and workers to pick up the tab for.
Please send messages of support for the occupation to Andy on 07714 272 066.
NB: Leeds Socialist Students would like to thank occupiers, protesters and others who have sent messages of support to our member Ian Pattison over the last few days and complaints to the police regarding their harassment and victimisation of Ian (for more info see http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10751/07-12-2010/defend-ian-pattison-against-police-harassment)
Reporting by Iain Dalton and Andy Smith
Holding Carlisle's first youth demo for seven years in a temperature of -10C made jumping to "hop, hop, hop - the cuts must stop" inevitable.
It was organised by Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students and backed by the University of Cumbria Students Union, with support from the PCS, Unison and UCU.
PCS members brought the Carlisle Public Service Alliance banner, which was featured in the BBC and ITV regional news programmes next to the Socialist Party banner: "Stop the cuts - tax the rich!"
100 uni, FE and especially school students rallied in the town centre to hear speeches from different colleges.
I spoke for Youth Fight for Jobs. It was great to see the protesters get fired up, with some banging placards together and spontaneously chanting "Tory scum, here we come" as we stopped for protests outside the city and county council building to demand they maintain EMA.
After the march there were follow-up speeches from the crowd including an excellent statement from some Trinity school students.
A former lecturer gave a stirring speech on how he benefited from free education and that he gave back to the students the advantages he was given.
Together with a protest organised by the UCSU and Socialist Students two weeks ago outside the Tory MP's office, this is the first anti-cuts demo in Carlisle.
We organised this at very short notice, leafleting to advertise it just the previous day, but we got such a good response because we've been leafleting for six months.
The response by students also demonstrates a shift in consciousness over that period, a shift that perhaps will also be felt in the public sector offices that witnessed the demo as it went by.