Last week, a large national demonstration took place at the University of Birmingham where protestors fought to oppose the privatisation and marketisation of higher education. Demands included opposition to the selling off of the student loan book and cuts to courses, as well as staff wage increases, and for the living wage to be given to all outsourced staff.
Towards the end of the demonstration, police began to kettle large parts of the crowd, and arrested 14 protestors. This followed a peaceful mass meeting and march across the campus and past the Horton Grange Conference Centre, currently the site of an occupation by the campus’ Defend Education Campaign. Many remained in the containment for up to four hours, whilst the arrests were made on, ‘suspicion of aggravated trespass, damage and assault.’
We at the Union of UEA Students believe these actions constitute a needless attack upon student protest. We would like to send a message of solidarity to all those involved in Defend Education Birmingham campaign and others who attended the rallies last week.
As we reach nearer the National Week of Action Against Student Loan Privatisation, more universities are signing up, and the pressure is on for HE management and members of parliament. Thank you to all those already preparing for the creative stunt on Thursday. Let’s gather as many people as we can to stand up for our right to protest, our right to defend education, and for ourselves as a community of students, rather than individual consumers.
Join the UEA Mass Stunt this Thursday: https://www.facebook.com/events/231374696986735/