Report from Cambridge University meeting
October 19, 2011 Leave a comment
by Amy Gilligan
Over 50 activists – university students, staff, sixth form students and local residents – met on Monday night to discuss the attacks that are facing education and how the resistance to them can be built.
Introductions were given by Priya Gopal (University of Cambridge) on the HE white paper, Nina Power (Roehampton University) on defending the right to protest, and Mark Campbell (London Met and UCU NEC) on the situation facing post-92 universities and building for the November 30th strikes. The scale of attacks that we are facing in education was at the forefront of a wide ranging discussion – the forcing through the notion of students as consumers, the battle that is likely to occur, particularly in post-92 institutions, for institutions to undercut one another, the private providers set to rake in profits from proposed changes.
The way we could fight these attacks was debated. Key was forging unity between those taking action, and to widen the perspective our activity to take in the wider context of the cuts being forced upon the entire working class.
There was a clear mood to build for the education demonstration on 9th November and shut down of education on N30, with Gerrard Tully, CUSU president, highlighting the important role that the N9 demo could play in building momentum for student participation in a a walkout on N30.
Plans are now underway to organise a teach-in, local demos, send coaches down to London and get students to support picket lines.