last wrote to you all in the early hours of Tuesday evening when the members
of the Cambridge student occupation were feeling particularly low and
optimism was almost non-existent.On Wednesday morning, however, after a good night's sleep and a couple of
rousing speeches from the Marxists within the movement, hopes were rejuvenated,
and optimism was reinstalled. This was partly due to hearing that Sussex Uni
had managed to get all their demands met after a week of occupation. This made
us realise that we could not leave after only 5 days, and that we must wait
longer and make harsher demands from the University.
The newest University in London, London Metropolitan, is in trouble. Earlier
this week, a crowd of over 100 disgruntled teachers, students and staff
gathered outside the Holloway campus to protest against cuts of up to 500 jobs.
It seems the cuts are the result of bad book keeping by management that led to
years of over-reporting of student completion rates to the Met's funding body
HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England). Now HEFCE is demanding a
repayment of £38 billion and, as usual, the tops intend to produce the bulk of
it in the form of staff cuts.
I'm writing this inside the Cambridge University Law Faculty at 1am on Wednesday
28th January, after approximately 100 hours of occupation. At the time
of entering the building (last Friday evening) I believe we were the 16th
student university to have been occupied in protest of the Gaza situation.
I have been active in the occupation over the last four days,intervening
in every meeting and trying to ensure that we follow a genuinely Marxist
method in our attempt to have our demands met.
the 21st of January 10 school students from all around Edinburgh
attended the first meeting of the ESSU (Edinburgh School Students’ Union). The
meeting was billed under the title “Why we need a Union” and was attended by
students from three different high schools.
There has been an explosion of anger among young people all over
Europe. This anger is directed at hardline neoliberal policies aimed at
privatising education and casualising youth employment. In a word they
have been designed to make young people bear the burden of capitalism.
The youth have been fighting back. This inspiring movement recalls
memories of the pan-European movement of 1968. It could be bigger and
more significant, as it coincides with a reawakening of the organised
working class in the teeth of the crisis of capitalism.