Occupying in Bristol against university fees and cuts

On Monday 22 November students at the University of the West of England (UWE) started an occupation of the ‘core 24’ building at the university’s main campus in Frenchay, Bristol. So far 60 students have occupied the building.

Frankie Langeland

This action runs alongside a rally at the campus which is happening on Tuesday and a demonstration on Wednesday, where students from UWE will link up with students from the University of Bristol, City of Bristol FE college and pupils from secondary schools around the city.

Students inside have taken part in discussions about why they are protesting and the way forward for the anti-fees movement. Food has been provided from lecturers at the university and the university’s UCU branch sent speakers to talk to the students about how the cuts will affect them.

A local NUT branch who had heard about the occupation also came down after their own branch meeting, bringing more food and solidarity greetings. Nigel Varley, Chair of the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance, came to speak to us about the anti-cuts movement in Bristol and how we are all being hit by Tory cutbacks.

Both the BBC and the Bristol evening news reported on the occupation with the BBC linking it to the occupations happening at SOAS and Manchester Metropolitan universities and also the national student walkout that is taking place this Wednesday across the country.

Messages of support and solidarity have come in from local community groups, trade unionists, Socialist Party branches and Socialist Student societies.

In the evening a sound system was brought in so we could have a party. This brought in more students from the campus who we could discuss with.

The success of the occupation and the support shown from outside led us to vote to continue it, hopefully until Wednesday when we will join students walking out in protest over tuition fees and education cuts, assembling in the centre of Bristol for a student demonstration.

Messages of support can be sent by text to 07769 173 641.