Musicians support Save UEA Music Campaign
November 16, 2011 Leave a comment
by Jack Brinded
300 students turned out last Wednesday to defend University of East Anglia’s beloved Music department, as the University’s senate met to confirm it’s proposed closure.
The Save UEA Music campaign has so far collected over 7,000 signatures to a petition (which can be signed at http://saveueamusic.org/) against the proposed cuts, and attracted celebrity support from the likes of Brian Eno, Chris Martin and Jools Holland, as well as a shout-out from Rise Against at their UEA gig on Thursday.
The campaign also been supported by the Occupiers at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, one tent in particular was covered in messages of “Save UEA Music”, linking the local movement in Norwich to the national struggle against austerity.
The campus demonstration, which coincided with the national student demonstration in London, was part of a massive campaign to rescue the school’s future by profit minded university bosses.
The protesters congregated in the Union Square before marching on the Vice Chancellor’s Registry, and then the UEA council building where the Senate was due to sit. Amongst thunderous drums and a belting rendition of “Do you hear the people sing”, calls went out for unpopular VC Edward Acton’s resignation and occupation was discussed.
Sources claim several members of the senate looked visibly shaken by the commotion, and complained about the noise, evidently rattled by the large student turnout.
The decision will now be forwarded to UEA’s council for the final verdict on the 28th of November, but another demonstration is planned for that day, and while the senate may still be planning closure, the battle is still there to be won. As many protesters noted: “This is just the beginning”.