Tuesday, 23 November 2010

After the student demo... Defend the Right to Protest: Unite against the witch hunt - No to victimisations

There is a meeting tonight at Friends Meeting House in London to defend those victimised after the student demonstration of 10 November.

This will be of especial importance after reports have emerged that tomorrow's student actions against cuts to education and the increase in fees are to be policed by Bob Broadhead. Broadhead ran the disastrous policing operation at the G20 protests in the City of London in 2009 which led to the death of Ian Tomlinson. The Territorial Support Group will also be on standby.

Defend the Right to Protest

Unite against the witchunt - No to victimisations


Tuesday 23rd November, 7.30pm,

Friends Meeting House, opposite Euston Station

Speakers include: Arrested students, John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mark Serwotka PCS Gen Sec, Sean Vernell London Region UCU, Ashok Kumar – President LSE/Education Activist Network, Matt Foot Socialist Lawyer and Jeremy Corbyn MP.


“A few broken windows are nothing compared to the wholesale destruction of the education system and the welfare state”

61 students have been arrested since the Nov 10th protests and there has been a widespread moral panic whipped up against those who took part in the Millbank occupation. Despite this it is clear there is widespread sympathy with the protesters. Yesterday 299 academics signed a statement which declared “we will fight with students over fees”. Thousands have signed a statement supporting arrested students fighting to clear their names and calling for unity against the governments attacks.

Come along to Tuesday’s public meeting and help to build a united campaign against the witchunt and victimisation of students.

Statement: http://teneleventen.wordpress.com/

The Con-Dem government has launched a savage attack on further and higher education. The Tories plan to increase tuition fees to £9,000 a year, make swingeing cuts in courses and lecturers and teachers jobs. They also plan to cut the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). The EMA is a small grant given to students in further education to enable them to attend college. Any cut in the EMA would deny many poorer students the opportunity to access further education.

The ministers in this Con-Dem government all benefited from free education – they received grants and their tuition fees were paid by the state. Now they want to close the doors to higher education and further education for a generation of young people.

Their policies are creating a two-tier education system.

On Wednesday 10 November over 50,000 students and lecturers marched in central London against the Con-Dem plans. This is the biggest demonstration over education this country has seen for more than two decades.

The Guardian newspaper headline declared ‘This is just the beginning’. It is right, the Tories attacks on the poor and trade union movement means that there will be many more strikes and protests against the government’s austerity measures.

Britain is not the only country facing huge cuts and austerity measures. Across Europe, particularly in Greece, France and Ireland there have been massive protests, occupations and sit-ins against the austerity plans their governments have tried to introduce.

It therefore can be no surprise that when the students and lecturers marched passed the Tory Party HQ, thousands of protestors occupied the building and its courtyard.

The next day some sections of the media carried lurid stories attacking those that occupied Millbank.

This witch-hunt is an attempt to detract people’s attention away from the real issues. A few broken windows are nothing compared to the wholesale destruction of the education system and the welfare state.

We the undersigned believe:

It is vital that we all unite to stop the government’s attacks.

We support all those students and lecturers falsely arrested at Millbank who are fighting to clear their names.

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