Some 100 students have been occupying Leeds University since Day X, Wednesday 24 November. They went in following the march by 3,000 people in the city against education cuts.
Ian Pattison, speaking from the occupation, said, “We have been boosted by the messages of solidarity from trade unionists, and the support of staff and students. This is just the beginning of a mass movement that is waking up—if we fight we can win.”
The occupation organised a 200-strong all-Leeds anti-cuts education assembly last Saturday and a march of 500 students and trade unionists on Tuesday—Day X2—against education cuts.
Occupiers have planned another education assembly this Sunday, and are going to join the national march on parliament on 9 December when MPs votes on the fee increase.
The occupation is also about the all out assault on the living standards of ordinary people and the welfare state. That is why they are building the Leeds Against The Cuts protest in the city centre on Saturday 11 December.
They are demanding that the vice chancellor refuses to implement cuts or tuition fee rises and that there are no victimisations or repercussions for those involved in the occupation, protests and walkouts.
For more information please contact Ian Pattison, press representative for the occupation, on 07766 585 543 or go to occupiedleeds .wordpress.com
Yesterday, students involved in the Newcastle University occupation stepped up their action, organising a sit-in at the King’s Gate building on the university campus, shutting down the finance building.
The occupation, now reaching the end of its first week, was in response to the vice chancellor’s refusal to meet them.
Fifteen of the occupying students marched into the new complex, mouths symbolically covered with tape to show that their voices are not being heard.
Masashi Stokoe, one of them, said, “The vice chancellor says we don’t represent student opinion, but the wave of protests throughout the country recently suggest otherwise, besides which we’re supported by our democratically elected student union”.
Jon Clark, a music student who was involved in the sit down demonstration summed up the overall mood of the protesters; “We are showing the management that we take the defence of education seriously. The occupation is not a glorified sleep over—we are prepared to take action”.
The occupation of the Great Hall in the Trent Building at the University of Nottingham has entered its second day.
Students are inviting others to join them and have been holding meetings, sometimes involving lecturers, on various subjects. There is a study area, a mass meeting area and free food.
The lecturers' UCU union sent a statement to the vice chancellor, Professor Greenaway, in support of the students saying, “We are aware that a group of students has occupied the Great Hall in protest over the planned increase in tuition fees and proposed cuts to HE funding. We share similar concerns about the financial cut-backs in Higher Education and urge you to engage with the students constructively and treat their concerns seriously.”