The good news of the occupation has just reached Mexico, so lots of support from here.
Education now can only mean educating for the survival of humanity and that means fighting against the rule of money. The point of the cuts is just the opposite: to subordinate the universities ever more tightly to the dynamic of money which is human suicide. We must fight the cuts, not to defend the universities but to transform them.
Rage, rage, rage: rage against the rule of money.
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Wishing you best of health and peace/safety in tomorrow’s demonstrations!
Good luck to all in London, and the rest of the protesters maintaining their home fronts!
You’ve fought the good fight, now it’s time to reclaim our education from hypocrisy, ignorance, neoliberalism, capitalism, and governmental self-interests. This is our future, not THEIRS–we won’t let them take it.
Leeds University management has officially issued the students occupying the Michael Sadler building an eviction notice.
The eviction is to be carried out at 8am, Wednesday 8th December.
Our press officer, Ian Pattison, is also currently being seriously harrased and intimidated by West Yorkshire Police, ahead of the planned protest against cuts tomorrow afternoon.
The occupation is calling on all supporters to mobilise in defence of the students right to peaceful protest.
We encourage everybody to stay over in the occupation this evening, and/or rally at the occupation Wednesday, 7.30am.
Yours in solidarity, ‘The Occupiers’
Below we’ve reprinted the letter received form management.
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre letter 7 December 2010
To all individuals occupying the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre
The University of Leeds is committed to promoting and positively encouraging free debate, enquiry and peaceful protest; and it has so far accommodated your occupation of the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre and other parts of the Michael Sadler Building. (For the record, and contrary to your claims, we did not turn off the heating last week, or set off the fire alarms; and nor have we disabled wi-fi in the area.)
You have therefore had a reasonable opportunity – almost a fortnight now – in which to publicise and build your campaign.
The University cannot however accept an indefinite occupation. We have to take account of the interests and the concerns of staff who work in the Michael Sadler Building, and we cannot ignore the disruption which your occupation is causing to the normal work of the University, for example preparation for next week’s degree ceremonies, which has a potential impact on over 2,700 students – and their families and friends.
Above all, I remain concerned about health and safety. Although I acknowledge that you have removed some locks when asked to do so by my colleagues, I am disappointed that fire doors are still being locked at all, albeit mainly outside normal working hours. This clearly contravenes the requirements set out in my letter of 24 November, and gives me no confidence that you will work with University authorities to ensure the health and safety of everyone who uses the Michael Sadler Building. I was particularly concerned that fire doors were found to be locked when evening teaching was under way last week.
Against this background, I hereby give you notice that you are trespassing in the Michael Sadler Building, and that the University requires you to leave the building by 8am on Wednesday 8 December 2010. If you do not comply with this instruction, the University may take appropriate measures to regain possession of the building, without further notice to you. Any attempt to occupy other University buildings will also be regarded as trespass and again action may be taken to remove you.
I must make it clear that the University will not seek to victimise or otherwise take action against individuals just on the grounds that they have been occupying parts of the Michael Sadler Building. It would however take disciplinary or other appropriate action in respect of any of the following:
~ any action which jeopardises the health and safety of staff or students of (or visitors to) the University (including those occupying the Rupert Beckett) – or any failure to comply with any reasonable health and safety instruction;
~ any physical assault of University staff or students;
~ any theft of or damage to property;
and it reserves the right to take legal action against you to recover use of the building.
I would be happy to meet a small delegation to discuss these matters if that would be helpful.
The University of Leeds
Professor/author Ira Shor–a key thinker and doer of engaged pedagogy within the school system & student-empowered learning–has sent Leeds occupation a message of solidarity:
Bravo! Keep fighting back against the disastrous policies of cutting budgets and raising costs. Education must be defended as a democratic right for the majority and stopped as privilege for an elite.
Prof. Ira Shor
City University of New York Graduate Center
United we stand against cuts, empower the students and the public!
Happening on 8 Dec. 2010 (Wednesday):
SHUTTING DOWN SCHOOLS. DEMANDING ACTION. TAKING BACK EDUCATION.
☆ In morning: Mass strike of schools, colleges, universities to resist the efforts of governmental cutbacks on education and public services.
☆ At 12 pm: Protesters should meet outside of Leeds Met Student Union for demonstration.
Location of Leeds Met Student Union (across from Dry Dock):
Professor Dave Hill has posted commentary on the current UK cuts, protests, demonstrations, occupations, Day X, direct actions, financial fiascos, youth resistance, classism, and anti-cuts movements storming throughout. It’s very good, please check out the whole text here.
Here is an excerpt:
Students are revolting! And quite right too. From the 52,000 strong demo in Westminster on Nov 10 (which went via the Millbank Tory Party HQ- not your average day at the office!) to disciplined and organized student occupations, sit-ins and teach-ins at Leeds, Manchester, Sussex, Middlesex and other Universities, through subsequent Days of Action, to student protests across Europe- Paris, Lisbon, Athens, Dublin. Saying, chanting, acting, demanding, `No to Education Cuts’, `No to (increased) Charges for Education’, `Education should be Free!’ The 10 Nov demo, organized by the National Union of Students and the college lecturers union, UCU, was the biggest student demonstration in a generation.
Hello, we’ve just added a page for petitions created for the protesters and occupiers at Leeds. Please visit this page to sign and share with others. Thank you.
This is such an interesting blog post: found it scrolling through sites mentioning the Leeds protests. UK is here mentioned in perspective of national demonstrations, but pinned with the rising current of anguish, frustration, and all-out anti-capitalist movements around the world.
With the new reforms the government reduces the national spending on education by 80% and the fees triple, reaching the amount of 9,000 pounds. The students occupied the University of Sussex in Brighton and the University of Leeds, a quite radical move for the british standards, since in British universities does not exist the asylum, as it is in Greece.
But it’s not just England that is currently in turmoil. In Portugal, a potential victim of the IMF, took place one of the biggest strikes, participating 3 out of the totally 10 million citizens of the country. In Italy, students stormed the building of the Senate, during the protest against the higher education reforms promoted by the government… Demonstrations, strikes, conflicts, occupations are taking place at this moment not only in Europe but throughout the world.
Click here to read more of the article. Very cool.
Leeds Coalition of Resistance is a local anti-cuts group that campaigns for national solidarity and coordinated actions.
They update posts here regarding the occupation, demonstrations, other coalitions, and national conferences.
3 Dec. 2010
From Yorkshire Evening Post:
Up to 100 students have made the Rupert Beckett lecture theatre in the Michael Sadler building their temporary home since Wednesday, November 24, and it is thought they could attempt to stay beyond the end of term next Friday.