A call to workers

The following demands were agreed at by delegates from occupations and walkouts at the national coordination meeting in London on Sunday 28th October.

Click here to download this statement as an A5 leaflet (pdf)

We oppose the government’s plans for £9000 tuition fees, devastating cuts to university and college funding, and the abolition of EMA. Education is a right. It should be free and publicly funded.

We celebrate the resistance which took off on November 10th, including school walkouts and university occupations on a scale not seen since 1968. We pledge to continue this resistance, and call on others to join us.

The occupation at LSBU has already won concessions from a management which intended to scrap all language teaching. But our main adversary is the government of Cameron and Clegg, and from now on we will coordinate our resistance to this government at a national level including the national demands below.

On Tuesday November 30th when Parliament debates the issue of tuition fees, we call on all students to walk out and protest in greater numbers, to build various creative actions including marches on town halls and Tory and Lib Dem offices, digital protests and a second wave of university occupations. We will elect stewards for our demonstrations, and in London we will assemble in Trafalgar Square at 12 to march on Parliament, where we will make our voices heard throughout the debate.

We especially welcome the call from delegates at the special conference of Universities and Colleges Union for a national demonstration on the day when Parliament votes on tuition fees. We call on other trade unions as well as the NUS to add their names to this call and to mobilise for the biggest turnout possible to fight for the right to education.

Our fight for education is part of a wider fight against austerity which seeks to make ordinary people pay for a crisis not of our making. A victory against tuition fees and to defend EMA would be victory for all those under attack. It’s a fight that we can win, but not if we are left to fight alone.

We call on parents, workers and trade unionists to do everything in their power to join our resistance on the day of the vote in parliament, up to and including walking out to join our demonstration. We call for schools and universities to authorise absences for this demonstration, so that no student is punished through detentions, exclusions or the taking away of EMA.

We call for full support for all those students arrested and victimised as a result of their involvement in the protests. We ask that you take practical steps to build solidarity with our struggle. Invite students to speak at your workplace or union meeting. Pass motions in support of us in your union meetings and call on your trade unions to get behind us. Build support for the campaign defending the right to protest

We call for General Assemblies to be organised in every town, bringing together all university and school students and their parents, workers, trade unionists and all those in struggle against the cuts together to respond to the attacks we face and organise resistance. On Sunday December 5th our occupations will host these assemblies. A London teach-in will bring people together to debate education for the people not the market.

Visit our occupations and support every protest. We will return your solidarity in every way we can, starting with sending a delegation from this coordination to support the tube workers’ strike. We are stronger if we fight together and we add our names to the call for a general strike. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters fighting against austerity across the world.

This government has no mandate to wreck the future of a generation, but we have a mandate to resist!

Our Demands

The government must tax the rich in order to pay for their crisis rather than inflicting austerity on ordinary people.

Educational institutions must publish accounts for public scrutiny in order to ensure democratic accountability.

Education staff and students must be free to protest against cuts without penalty or administrative hindrance.

There must be an immediate end to police violence and victimisation of protestors.

18 Responses to A call to workers

  1. Rob J says:

    Organise next demo on a weekend so more students/pupils & parents of future uni students
    can attend. ??

  2. Stuart1c says:

    Once again the police and politicians have made it look like the students were the trouble makers. No mention by the BBC or others of the tactics used by the police to anger students and members of the public by kettling them in, which is illeagal. The court of human rights states that preventing the public from going about their lawful business is against the law. I watched with disgust as Clegg &Co were making pathetic excuses for their total betrayal of the pledge they made during the election on student fees. The government say they have to cut costs, yet they can give another country £& billion in aid because the banks in that country have stuffed the economy there as well.

    I would like to hear from anyone who interested in helpng to run a full time campaign of protests and petions to stop this disgraceful rise in student fees, which will leave graduates with tens of thousands of pounds of dept, which will mean they will probably not be able to get a mortgage in years to come until the debt is payed off. All the promises from government mean nothing now, they are like all governments, they lie in order to gain power, then blame previous governments for their failure to deliver. History teaches that the only way to get the government to listen is to protest loudly, not violence, but co ordinated protests outside parliament as well as outside the party offices.

    This government can save over £30 billion pounds this year by sorting out the supply system they have for government tenders, but they would rather hit the poorest and those unable to defend themselves than upset the company directors who are getting very rich off of government contracts. The future of this country is in the hands of the young generation we have now, they will be the ones who bring this country out of it’s financial mess, and it is time they had their say.

    I am disabled, but i am more than willing to travel to London to help with the protests to ensure that todays young peole get as much support as possible, and i would urge everyone who is disabled but in a position to travel to do so, as their future is at stake as well, and i have always found students to be very supportive of other groups causes, so it is time we helped them.

  3. Anthony R says:

    My eldest daughter is 10. I am going to be seeing the effects of these budget decisions and want to protest. However I am not part of any student networks. How can I find out when the next protests in Manchester are happening?

  4. sergoba says:

    are there any events listed in devon? i was a part of the kennicott protest in totnes but its a bit small.

  5. Paul says:

    Britain’s students are an inspiration. Good luck to you all. You are leading the way – whilst the government is walking backwards.

    Two things:

    The facebook page requires a login to view it. Is this intentional? (We’re not all facebook users.)

    If there isn’t one already (and I haven’t found it if this is) perhaps you could create central list of the ongoing events and sit-ins? I suspect a lot of people would be willing to help if they knew what was going on.

    • sergoba says:

      i think that they may be hesitant to do that because government staff a sweeping the internet to pre-empt protest action, like in london, westminister yesterday.

  6. cyberman says:

    Keep up the protests, and remember the suffragettes. After a long and often violent struggle they eventually succeeded in their aims.

  7. Tom Long says:

    If you really want to rattle the establishment the demonstrations need to also include a demand to end British rule of England – Home Rule For England – free from the cynical British state and all its vested interests that shaft England.

  8. Retallica says:

    Should definately consider the boycott of main roads across Britain, literally just a load of student protestors sitting in the main roads that lead in and out of city centres etc.

    Whilst I dont really agree with peaceful protests (There ineffective) The disruption that this would cause nationwide would get some attention.

  9. Jenni says:

    I was “contained” in London last week. This is brutal, morally questionable and totally deplorable. This is bound to happen again so I suggest the following Gandhi inspired tactics:

    (1) Take a lot of warm clothes and a cushion to sit on;
    (2) Take a picnic and plenty of warming tea;
    (3) When contained repeatedly ask to leave, loudly but not violently;
    (4) When refused set up your picnic, have a street party and be prepared to wait hours;
    (5) When the police are bored and prepared to let you leave the contained area refuse to leave. Continue peaceful street party.
    (6) Wait for the police to arrest you all and have to carry you away bodily
    (7) Watch the state collapse around you as no democracy would withstand the world seeing it’s peaceful protestors being treated in this way.

    Good luck!!! I wish I could join you protesting again next week!!!

    We lost the battle but will win the war – violating our human rights has only inspired more protest.

  10. Ines says:

    I think that there should be more protests held on week-ends which would enable other students (especially school aged) to attend… No matter when you hold them I strongly support you in them and will hopefully be able to attend on in the near future!

  11. Tom says:

    the next stage in protest should be a civil disobedience campaign, this will up the anti for the government and force response which will probably make the government and the police look bad .

  12. The problem is people not understanding how the police work. They are like an army. They will get in place and await further commands. They don’t just dispatch and get to work. You normally have around 30 minutes before they are giving the go ahead – probably by consultation with the Prime Minister.

    I was there last Wednesday, I got out just in time.. headed to Charing Cross. From witness reports the kettling began just 10 minutes after I went. Police already waiting in the side streets of Whitehall started to move in. I got out of there promptly when the police vans were lining up against the national gallery.

    There was no reason why people couldn’t have relocated, say to Lib Dem HQ. Of course, the protesters weren’t doing anything wrong or illegal – and the police behaviour (including the lone police van – what was that all about?) was down right wrong. Kettling is illegal – tourists and other members of the public were caught up in it too.

    I hope with the upcoming protest people will be more clever. I think organising it so there are say 2 groups of protesters at different times is more effective. That is, if the police are deployed and kettling the first lot… The “backup” group can assemble elsewhere. If they are more active (maybe not violent but making more noise) the police will not have much choice but to relocate thus ending the original kettling. The best option is to choose a location which takes a little travel to. This requires vast numbers of people to beat them at their own game.

  13. Anonymous says:

    More peaceful protests are needed to show the government that they really are out of touch with reality. The cuts started by Labour have already affected my physics degree. Prices have already increased putting extra burden on students.

    Company’s are demanding graduates more and more therefore discriminating against those without degrees. It is therefore important that everyone has the opportunity to obtain a degree. This is not students being greedy and wanting what is not needed. This is students wanting what society now requires that they have.

    This government is descriminating the poor and it needs to stop now.

    I would like to join protests but I would need to know when they are being held next and they would need to be at the weekend.

  14. Gramsci says:

    The government will not listen on this issue, it’s the same old tory party and I do not differentiate between the Liberals and Tories anymore.
    We wouldn’t be on the news if there wasn’t vandalism or violence peaceful protest is the ideal but the police are continually harrasing and kettling the protests. We cannot stand for the police becoming an arm of government oppression!
    Fight back!

  15. Solidarity with the British workers & youth striking on June 30 !
    On June 30, a strike is being organised in the United Kingdom. In the present context of capitalist crisis, rulers want to make us pay for it and impose austerity measures on us. With that in mind, the British government, as in France, is implementing drastic budget cuts and attacking pensions.
    For the working classes, paying for the capitalists and suffer this austerity plan is out of the question. And as had been the case in France last Fall, the British people will have to fight to save their pension!
    This is why the Fédération Syndicale Etudiante supports the workers in the UK who will take to the streets on June 30. The FSE, as a union of future workers, refuses to accept and to give in to austerity measures. The FSE had already hailed the British students’ engaged struggle last November and hopes many of them will keep opposing those antisocial policies. The FSE, who fought alongside workers in France to defend pensions, recognises itself in the struggle and the rightful demands made by the British militants. We suffer from the same policies!
    Students – Workers Unity!
    Only struggle pays off!

    Rémi-Kenzo PAGES, FSE International spokesperson
    fse.international@gmail.com

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