Students and staff from the ‘Really Open University’ group, today distributed an open letter to security staff on the University of Leeds campus. This was in response to the arrest of our friend on Thursday of last week, as well as an expression of solidarity with security officers as university workers and in order to highlight the fact that we are all on the same side of this struggle. The text of the letter is below.
An Open Letter To Leeds University Security Workers
On Thursday night last week (28/1/10) one of your security officers arrested a friend of ours protesting the impending cuts. His act was to have spray painted anti-cuts slogans on the temporary plywood walls recently erected around the building site opposite the Student Union.
As students and staff, we are on the same side.
We wish to make it clear to University security that there is a political struggle taking place on campus. The planned £35 million of cuts are an attack on our education, jobs and futures, to which we cannot be made passive observers. Our struggle is not with you: you will no doubt also be facing cutbacks and job losses, and as such we will lend full support to you if you take industrial action.
Your fellow workers at the University of Sussex have informed us that they will be losing six out of a security team of sixteen with no cut in workload or a pay rise. As with the activists and workers in Sussex we are fighting against all job and pay cuts. We are fighting for proper rewards for those who actually work but have not shared the benefits of obscene profits. Our interests do not lie with the Vice Chancellor, a man who earns £237,000 a year, that’s £39,000 more than the Prime Minister.
Though some of our action may be deemed illegal, and we understand your commitment to preventing them, however we ask you to consider first whether you consider our actions JUST before assessing their legality. We would ask you not to allow yourselves to be used as a private campus police force by the same university bosses who are implementing cuts. Our struggle is to defend jobs, fight the cuts and transform the university!
Really Open University