Tag Archives: Action

London Met Occupies!

5 May

On May 4th, 2011 with 70% cuts London Met students occupied the Graduate centre on Holloway road. They are calling for national demonstration to support them.

Statement

A certain area of the Tower Building in Holloway Road is being currently occupied by students in protest against Vice- Chancellor Malcolm Gillies’ decision to axe 70% of courses- including Performing Arts, Philosophy and History.

Gillies’ decision came as a shock a couple of weeks ago. None of the university teaching staff was consulted about the cuts. A majority of the excellent, dedicated tutors are under imminent threat of losing their jobs.

Students already enrolled on the courses face an uncertain future. There have been rumours about transfers to other universities with which WE DO NOT AGREE.

This statement is our call for help to save our university, our future and our dreams: to keep London Metropolitan University open to everyone, regardless of their social class, wealth and chosen subject of study. The purpose of this occupation is to present the Vice-Chancellor with our demands

Demands

  1. Meeting with Vice- Chancellor
  2. Transparent process and direct communication
  3. University management goes back to HEFCE to renegotiate repayment terms
  4. Vice- Chancellor to accept proposals put forward by staff in HALE
  5. University retracts decision of cuts of ALL courses
  6. Students on existing courses which are being deleted, WILL NOT BE TRANSFERRED.
  7. Free access IN and OUT of the Occupation
  8. No student is victimized following action taken to occupy the space.

Website: http://www.wearelondonmet.wordpress.com

Book Bloc in Netherlands – March 21 – 26th: Week of Action

5 Apr

A reflection on ‘Onderwijs is een recht’ (Education is a right) demonstration on the 25th of March, The Hague, Netherlands. Halfway the largest student demonstration since decades in the Netherlands on 21st of January in The Hague, with its spectacular high stage, I climbed up its scaffolds to film from as high as possible. And exactly in this clumsy position while hanging next to the stage, which was only offered to politicians and a tasteless, popular DJ, who made the students jump to cheesy music in a park, I, and I guess many of us, realized that the story of the hijacked student movement by opposition political parties isn’t a conspiracy. It was a fact unfolding itself in front of our eyes staring at the brutally colored, branded and mass produced posters and flyers which, beside political propaganda, were a clear abuse of the fragile position of students towards the government and opposition parties. While wiping off our wet and tingling eyes we asked outselves what needs to be done.
Since the occupations at a few universities a month or two after the demonstration, a network of enthusiastic students based on self-organization during demonstrations and direct actions by and for students began to emerge. Our main focus was set on organizing another demonstration on the 25th of March. ‘Education is a Right’ was communicated to the national student union, Social Party Youth (Rood) and others whom we thought of as our allies, which unfortunately very soon was proved to be otherwise. They stated that they don’t recognize us and don’t want to be associated with our aims and the network, while they spread rumours, warning others of an anarchist group behind the 25th of March demonstration.

15,000 flyers were distributed in most of the universities in the Netherlands, emails flooded, facebook and twitter updates burning with a hope to mobilize as many students as possible. Critical questions like how to express our frustration, how to perform our action differently than on 21st January, guaranteed to make the demonstration a unique happening. However, one might say that our action was a failure because no more than 200 students were present at the demonstration. Whereupon the depressive grey weekend after the demonstration made me think of why we shouldn’t or should follow the youtube mentality?

Well yes, the youtube mentality is the mentality of stacking up numbers! Those fucking numbers seem to be our cultural value and measure of success recently and precisely that is one of the greatest problems of the demonstration as a format! I think with the exact same amount of committed protesters we had, the great amount of fantastic noises by experimental conservatory musicians, anthology of frustrations, chants and above all our photogenic superiority, we can really do something of incredible quality if we once and for all get rid of this youtube mentality and think about formats other than old fashioned demonstration and over-criticizing ourselves by emails on the next days!

Now I want to think about a master minded direct action before the parliament debate on April 12th! Who is in?

By Ehsancritique.com- 31 March 2011 Amsterdam

Albany Occupation

1 Apr

Albany Occupation March 30, 2011

A video from the NY statehouse in Albany, where grad students, high school students teachers and other government employees are protesting deep and damaging budget cuts to education at all levels.

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Students and Community Supporters Occupy Social Sciences Tower at University of Minnesota

29 Mar

Students and Community Supporters Occupy Social Sciences Tower at University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus – West Bank
http://umnsolidarity.wordpress.com/

Occupying in Solidarity with Wisconsin Students and Workers and Against University Budget Cuts

Minneapolis – On Monday, March 28th, a group of students and community members have occupied the first floor of the Social Sciences tower on the West Bank of the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. Following a rally in front of Coffman Memorial Union, participants marched across the East Bank of campus and crossed the Mississippi River onto the West Bank. Students and supporters entered into the first floor of the Social Sciences tower and held an assembly to discuss possible courses of action. Using a democratic process of consensus, protesters decided to hold the space in an open and soft occupation.

Since the occupation is non-violent and open, as of press time the University has not removed the occupiers. However, the University buildings close to the public at 11 pm each night. “We have a solid group of people here who are committed to the occupation, and we are using social media to bring more students and supportive community members to the space,” said undergraduate student Andrew, who has chosen not to give his last name. “We are planning specific events for the space in order to benefit the entire community, which we will be posting on our blog, umnsolidarity.wordpress.com,” added Sara, a U of M student who was forced to take a semester off of school for lack of finances.

Students and community supporters are outraged over soaring tuition, budget cuts, skyrocketing administrative salaries, mounting student debt, attacks on cultural diversity groups on campus, and blatant disregard for workers’ rights across the nation. In light of recent student and worker uprisings around the world, students in the Twin Cities are no longer willing to bear the burdens of the economic crisis while the rich only get richer. Inspired by the actions of students at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Madison, and other campuses around the state, U of M students are standing up against injustices in their own state and their own university.

Your money or your life: people before profit!

24 Mar

Find the feature with photos, video and materials
http://www.cantiere.org/art-03205/people-before-profits-azione-alla-borsa-di-milano.html

Euphoria to the italian “Wall Street”, the so-called “Borsa” of Milan located in “Piazza Affari=business square” : Europe rises up,  particularly involving banks & financial centres. The italian “Borsa” reacts in order to stop an action of important cultural value, fearing an attack that can cause the instability of the markets, in particular a revolt of all debtors.

Oh yeah! because the neo-liberism thru monetarism and financial istitutions enslaves millions of people thru the debt that provide to the banks huge profits. This is the theme of the lecture setted up today at the “Borsa”of Milan by the “generation debt”. An action realized in order to inaugurate a 3 days of actions involving all Europe. From London to Milan, the “Knowledge Liberation Front” aims to point the finger against the global financial system banks and other financial istitutions who are the real owners of our governments as our life.
This system uses our money in oprder to enrich itself, and leave us the debts : this system produced the crisis and than used our money, the money of the citizens in order to save the banks, leaving us with more poverty, more debts, more public debt and none welfare, culture neither public education & forcing everyone to indebt himself in a continuous growing chain of loans, mortgages, interest rates, taxes, and fines.

However the big powers, the magicians of “Piazza Affari=business square” disliked the lesson (& the action) & promptly ordered a police operation. Police, quickly arrived in order to “protect” the core of the financial economy. First police removed the press, than obscured the cameras & the end badly operated against teachers and students. Meanwhile, the officials stated that the Stock Exchange is a private place. Too bad that all their huge profits are guaranteed by the sum of our meager savings and debts which we contract, and their wealth is produced by our intelligence, our work, our co-operation.

If youngs occupy the banks all over Europe is because we want to take back our money, and the wealth we produce. In Italy more than anywhere the economic power coincides with the political and the mafia. For this reason we invite all to take to the streets tomorrow, as every day, and to demand the exile of the rais and the confiscation of all his assets to return them to culture, welfare and public education.

Take the Future – first act

24 Mar

Today, the 24th of March, also Bologna has launched the Knowledge Liberation front days of common and transnational actions against the banks and the financialization of our lives. Many students and precarious workers did practices of direct actions to reappropriate the spaces of the crisis and the social richness. We have occupied the Unicredit Bank, in the center of the city, to unmask our precarious conditions: we are stripped by the crisis and the criminal management of the European governance. Shouting “We don’t want to stay with only the pants”, we entered in the bank and we undressed, reappropriating this space as a housing place. After the action we took the streets, communicating to the city the meaning of what we struggling for.

This is only the beginning of the three common days of actions: Saturday afternoon, at 5pm, we have launched the “Take the future parade” around the streets of Bologna.

RECLAIM MONEY, SHARE KNOWLEDGE, TAKE FREEDOM!

http://bologna.repubblica.it/cronaca/2011/03/24/foto/bologna_in_banca_si_resta_in_mutande-14048353/1/?ref=HRESS-2

Glasgow University protest continues with Senate building occupied following Free Hetherington eviction

22 Mar

A hundred students are currently occupying the senate rooms of Glasgow University in an ongoing protest against the cuts both at the university and nationally.

Earlier today the occupiers were, without warning, forcibly evicted from the Free Hetherington which had been held by students and staff since 1st February, making it the longest running anti cuts student occupation in the UK.   Approximately 80 police, canine units and a helicopter were involved in what has been described by witnesses as a heavy handed response to the occupation.
Immediately following the eviction from the building several hundred then marched from the Hetherington to the main Glasgow University building and at 2:15pm entered the Senate building where they currently remain.
Liam, a first year Glasgow University student, says “I was dragged out of the Free Hetherington by three police officers.  It was completely disproportionate.  All we were doing was protesting against cuts at our university”
For more information please phone Jack on 07913 629769

BIGGER CAGES/LONGER CHAINS: The March for the Alternative

22 Mar

DSG aims to publish posts and propaganda from various sources as provocation and stimulation. The following text was produced by an London-based Trade Unionist. It is credited to “Luther Blissett”.

As we approach this Saturday’s “March for the Alternative”, the prospective number of attendees looks increasingly promising. TUC press releases continue to estimate around 100,000 people, but it’s now looking like we might be seeing many tens of thousands more than that. But it’s not just numbers the TUC have underestimated- it’s the anger of the rank and file trade unionists they represent. Whilst the TUC have been incredibly slow to mobilise towards this symbolic action, as working-class union members more and more of us feel like our unions have been lacklustre at best in offering a robust defence of the working-class in the face of the vandalism of the already degraded welfare state.

Whilst the “Big Two” unions (Unite and UNISON) continue to talk the language of social partnership, of a cooperation between the left and right-wings of management of labour, we’re left to swallow Labour cuts from Labour councils and see the support structures of our communities cut to ribbons. Under such circumstances, it’s no wonder we’re seeing much of our working-class radicalism happening well outside of the confines of our unions– the rhetoric of partnership painfully mismatches the virulent level of class-warfare the Tories are making explicit in their welfare state carve-up.

It seems increasingly that the TUC have a narrative for the days events, and they won’t let the anger or autonomous action of their members derail that. Trade Unionists are invited to attend in much the same way that Aaron Porter expected students to attend- politely, quietly, behind official slogans, as numbers. The narrative for the day (given away in the official name of the march) is not that of anger of 30 years of neo-liberal market reform and social policy– it’s that large numbers of working-class people still support and have faith in their unions and the Labour Party. Well– we don’t, and that’s not the weak, barely-alternative we’re marching for.

The affiliation of the TUC to the Labour Party seriously impedes any opportunity to launch widespread strikes against “austerity measures”. The Labour Party needs to continue to appeal to its interests- re-election to a parliament structured to inadequately represent the working-class in favour of a small number of middle-class constituencies. When almost 3 million British children live in poverty and bankers wave money at soon-to-be-jobless NHS workers, is talk of “the squeezed middle” not taking a holiday this year what we should expect from the official representatives of the workers movement? Is that a response which matches the injustices of life under capital for millions of us?

The Labour Party and the TUC bureaucracy have taken our votes and our numbers for granted for far too long. It is inevitable we will see a wide range of direct action on Saturday, from attempts to block the streets right up to occupations and economic blockades. Like our daughters and sons who took part in the valiant student protests last year, it’s looking increasingly unlikely we can expect much solidarity from the TUC towards those members who take part in these ever more popular actions. It might just be that in doing so, they are condemning themselves to “The Porter Option”, being left behind by an ever-more-militant rank and file, flailing between public (i.e. press) opinion and bureaucratic defence.

Given this, it’s perhaps wise for us to start enacting some real solidarity and self-organisation on Saturdays march. The TUC are estimating that marchers who leave from the official rallying point may have to wait up to 3 hours before finally moving off. Instead we can join some of the organised (but unofficial) feeder marches from other locations in London- the students from Malet St, or the South London workers and activist groups leaving from Kennington Park. Look out for your fellow marchers, and remember the stewards may be getting their orders straight from the police.

And more importantly, we can use the march as an opportunity to link up with other union members, activists students and start swapping tactics, our experience and practical resources and contacts to enable the struggle against austerity to pick up pace once the TUC march dies away. Rather than heading straight home, we should be visiting the student occupations that have started to spring up, and convergence centres that are planned across the capital. If we are to move beyond this lacklustre TUC narrative, we must start by building these links.

This started as a TUC march, and the efforts and resources they’ve put in to it must be acknowledged and appreciated, but it is now a march that reaches far beyond the limits of organised trade unionism. The TUC can no longer claim to own what happens on the day. It is to be a date for the expression of a new politicised generation within Britain. We should stand with our sisters and brothers in the Trade Union movement, but we should all acknowledge that the action that working class people will take may well stretch beyond the realms of what they feel comfortable supporting, and we would ask for solidarity, not condemnation, for that. All this talk of “unity” is overrated if it means a conservatism of action, an endless straight-jacket of the middle-ground- instead, we should seek not mindless unity behind symbolic action but a multiplicity of struggles and actions that strike directly at capital, the cause of this crisis and ultimately the cause of our exploitation.

If we are to move past dying bureaucracies and strike the blows needed to defend our class from capital then Saturday cannot be just another TUC mobilisation, a slow trudge to Hyde Park. It must be a day we remember, to proudly tell our grandchildren of.

Source: http://deterritorialsupportgroup.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/tucmarch1/

The Free Free Market Market!!!

22 Mar

ROLL UP, ROLL UP!!!

The Free Free Market Market

Friday, 25th March 12.00pm, Outside the ICA

The University for Strategic Optimism’s Free Education Market is hitting the West End Friday, 25th March and you’re all invited. And what will be on sale? With the major cuts to all levels of education and the public services EVERYTHING MUST GO, so come and join in the great education cattle market of the future. Time to show off those skills. Create your own stalls to bring along, we’re expecting all kinds! Why not treat yourself to a BSc in Tescosisation? An MA in Streamlining Public Culture? Or two for one in dead-end internships and part-time jobs whilst trying to scrape together enough money to postpone eviction? Six week micro-philosophy courses to help you charm creative contacts whilst networking, seal the deal on business success, and have all the right opinions about books, film, and art. Do you have some cultural capital to splash out? Oh yes!

- We are looking for people to bring along stalls, make them out of cardboard or whatever you like, use your imagination!

- If you can’t make a stall, we are looking for people to come along and throw around some specially created cultural capital banknotes or just contribute in any way you can to the festivities!

- We are looking for people who want to shout and make some noise!

Our market has a bargain for everyone. Come and bring a stall or simply swing by and flash(mob) your cultural capital. We welcome buyers and sellers of our education futures. There will be vouchers, special guests, bargain boxes and maybe even raffle prizes!

Join us for an ‘art performance’ you’ll never forget. Bring all your friends and whatever you’d like to sell off at the biggest education market since the transformation of UK’s education system into a privatised zone of business academies and the selling of the public services by the ConDem(ned) coalition. We start outside the ICA at 12.00 and move off from there to secret location – we will be seeking a number of indoor and outdoor locations to maximise profits.

See you there!

http://universityforstrategicoptimism.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/the-free-free-market-market/

Support the UCU Strike – you’d have to be an idiot not to…

21 Mar

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