The fight against austerity driven cuts by the ConDem coalition government failed. As we go into a fresh wave of resistance this piece takes a critical look at the UK anti-cuts movement.
The Higher Education green paper came out today and it’s fucking catastrophic for anyone wanting to learn. Here are six reasons why:
A submission to our site examining the spectacle of the university gradation ceremony, and a reply by one of our members.
Here is another article text from Organise!, the twice-yearly magazine of the Anarchist Federation. For print copies to order online or to download the entire…
National demo against privatisation on 25th March 2013 – University of Sussex – updates See libcom.org for news and comments with photos and video of…
This article comes from The Fargate Speaker, one of the many local AFed blogs that you can see there in the blogroll on the right.
Mark is a third year Biology student studying at Sheffield University and a member of the Anarchist Federation. He is one among many students currently occupying the Hicks Building on Sheffield University campus. The views expressed in the interview should be considered his alone and not that of the occupation’s general assembly.
- Why are you occupying the Hicks building today?
We are occupying for a variety of reasons but generally around the common purpose of being against the cuts in this university, to other universities and to education in general. Particularly we want to demonstrate against the proposed rise in tuition fees and the ongoing privatisation of higher education. However, we are also tying our actions to a wider struggle against austerity measures and cuts. So our occupation is about more than just education cuts but this is currently our primary focus.
- What has been the reaction of University security/the police so far?
They haven’t taken any action to stop us occupying yet but they have told us after 6pm that everyone who is leaving won’t be able to return. This will presumably be until tomorrow morning. It might open up again after 8am. We haven’t had any major trouble so far but police have been inside to observe what was going on. It should be stated thought that we have no intention of damaging university property. This is a peaceful occupation.
- Why should the occupation be supported?
Because the tactic of occupation, as opposed to lobbying or simply asking political representatives to make changes for us, is a tactic that has been historically successful. Clegg and his broken promise to scrap tuition fees is just one example, among many, that politicians cannot be trusted to make decisions for us. Direct action puts a lot more pressure on university management and by extension government ministers to act.Aside from the past success of these kinds of tactics what we are fighting for is essentially access to education for everybody regardless of income. We also recognise that there is a much wider struggle beyond simply what is happening to education right now. We need to extend these tactics into all of these areas where we are currently under attack. This is a fight that all of us should be taking on and working in solidarity with each other.
Yesterday (10/11/2010) saw one of the largest and most vibrant protests in London in recent history. Over 50,000 education workers and students took to the capital not only to protest against the rise in tuition fees but reforms in education in general and to protest for a fairer, free higher education system. The Anarchist Federation was among them forming a “radical workers’ and students’ bloc” which, along with London Solidarity Federation, argued that capitalism is the cause of this crisis, that the Left and the union leaders cannot be trusted to fight our battles (a point NUS president Aaaron Porter later so aptly demonstrated) and that we need united, grassroots direct action as part of a sustained fightback.
Contrary to the corporate media commentaries, a significant portion of the march also involved itself in the property destruction and occupation at Millbank tower, home to the Conservative Party HQ. Direct action was not limited to this either, with the London School of Economics going into occupation shortly after the end of the protest, a sit-down protest in Parliament Square and some limited property destruction at Liberal Democrat HQ. Students and education workers have not only demonstrated their anger at the wave of attacks in store for a whole generation of young people, but their lack of faith in parliamentary democracy and the need to take the struggle into their own hands.
Radical Workers’ and Students’ Bloc on Education March – London – 10th November 2010http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125398030849617 Meet at 11am at Horse Guards Avenue, SW1. [Map] [Download poster…
ANARCHIST STUDENT issue 1, SEPTEMBER 2010 is out. First Bulletin of the Anarchist Federation Student Network. Featuring articles on cuts in HE, lessons from the Sussex Against Cuts campaign, postgraduate study, setting up your own anarchist cinema project and a complete guide to the student Left. If you are an anarchist currently in full-time education and would like to find out more about the AF please get in touch – studentafed.org.uk
Download PDF read text online.