Steven [and Notts Students Against Fees and Cuts],
As you might be aware, I am from America. We are swamped with total bullshit at all times from our government and media. I wish I could say that I’m following what’s going on in the UK but the truth is I’m not. There are more pressing matters in my life and those who are around me. Almost no one around me has graduated college, let alone attend it. Stay fired up, stay kicking ass, remain defiant, and don’t stop demanding what you deserve.
To all students in occupation of the Great Hall of Nottingham University
Please accept this message of support and fraternal greetings from the Nottingham PCS Town Committee.
Our committee comprises representatives and activists from civil service departments across the city representing 1000s of PCS members at departments such as HMRC, DWP, CPS, DSA, DVLA, HMCS, GOEM, EMDA, Land Registry, Natural England, DEFRA, POA and Independent Living Fund.
We face the most severe attacks that we have ever faced. Attacks on our pensions, attacks on our redundancy payments and attacks on our jobs and our pay. Indeed, public servants have already suffered over 100,000 job losses and estimates suggest that we will suffer a further half million over the next four years as a direct result of the cuts. All this from our employer – the Government. PCS will be conducting an indicative ballot over the next few weeks and will ask our members to reject attacks on our redundancy pay and other rights. We will no doubt take strike action in the New Year and will also be building for a major demonstration.
Members of PCS and of this committee have been inspired by the leadership that the students are demonstrating to the Trade Union movement, to the anti-cuts movement and to society as a whole. We are proud to stand along side our student brothers and sisters and will continue to do so.
We wish you well and hope that you will join with us at the planned national TUC demonstration on 26 March 2011.
United we stand, divided we fall!
Yours in solidarity
Chair – Nottingham PCS Town
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many – they are few.’
Shelley, The Mask of Anarchy
Dear brilliant friends!
We congratulate you on your inspirational direct action and wish you every sucess in your righteous struggle against cuts. Billions can be found for banks and tanks, why not for education and the common people? 2009 saw the welcome return of an old tactic to the British political scene – the occupation. Student occupied, workers occupied against job cuts, parents, teachers and pupils occupied against school closures. All these little struggles are part of a bigger struggle for a more humane world that puts people before profit: The seeds of the new society are being sewn in the battle with the old . . . BRING ON THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT!
Dare to struggle!
Dare to win!
Love and Rage,
Cardiff Stop the War Coalition
Well done to all of you in occupation, you are an inspiration to so many other students and workers up and down the country.
As you know, what the Con-Dem government are planning to do to education (and the whole of the society) will be devastating and will completely change society for the worse. If we don’t fight this will be inevitable, if we do fight we can win!
What we need now is for the workers to go on strike to really stop the government.
(UCU Left Young Members Coordinator and Education Activist Network)
We congratulate the students for their exemplary initiative and encourage all academics in the UK and abroad and the trade union movement to stand by them in their demands and to ensure that no legal action is taken against them.
Sustained protest and direct mass action, such as the current occupations, are the only serious option we have in order to resist successfully the government’s proposals.
The government’s proposed education ‘reforms’ are a blueprint for the wholesale privatization of UK higher education. This would abolish almost all funding for teaching in the arts and humanities and transform UK higher education into a fully market-driven system. Such a vision of the future of UK higher education must be rejected. The government wants to make it even more élitist and subordinated to the interests of capital and the state.
The government’s proposals are a part of a much broader and violent attack on the working and living conditions of workers that is taking place throughout Europe and worldwide as a consequence of the economic crisis.
HM supports student occupations’ demands that universities must fight for free education for all, and sees the struggle as a part of a broader movement that is taking place from Greece to France to Italy and across the rest of Europe against government cuts and austerity programmes.
Only by unifying these struggles can we successfully fight the government’s proposals. HM will continue to support all such resistance.
Signed by Editorial Board and Corresponding Editors of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory.
Well done, without this occupation there would be no focus for our fight against cuts and fees in education.
We are sending this message of support and solidarity for your continuing occupations and all other activities you are undertaking. The government cuts agenda will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in society and is going to have a devastating impact on communities across the country. By your actions you are making a difference in highlighting and opposing the damage the proposals will do. Your actions are also an important part of the nationwide mass movement of resistance and promoting of alternative solutions to the economic crisis.
York Stop the Cuts – Right to Work Campaign
Derby University UCU congratulates all students who are keeping the campaign alive against the increasing tuition fees and the cuts in HE funding.
In particular the marches and occupations, that are being conducted across the country, have galvanised debate, discussion and media interest. Derby University UCU applauds them.
We particularly would like to thank students locally in neighbouring Nottingham University for their occupation and the consequent effect it has had on strengthening the campaign against tuition fees in the area.”
We hope that some of branch officers may be able to visit you to pass their support directly
PP University of Derby UCU branch committee
Hello Nottingham Students against Fees & Cuts:
I’m emailing from Far Distant Canada to tell you how much I support your occupation, and how much I admire you all for standing up for yourselves, for each other, and for the students that will follow you. Like you, we here in Nova Scotia are being told that tuition is going to go up and that we need to go into crippling debt in order to get an education. People who paid $500 a year for their tuition tell us we should be paying $10,000 a year, and that we’re taking advantage of tax payers in Nova Scotia, as though students don’t pay taxes, as though our parents and our families don’t pay taxes, as though we have no economic value to an economy that is a net-importer of students from across Canada.
We have a right to an education. Our professors have the right to be paid for their contributions. The staff at our universities have a right to a living wage.
I hope you are all as safe as you can be, and I wish I could send you more than words. But know that people here in far distant Canada are watching you, are supporting you, and thinking of you.
Master’s History Candidate
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
We wish to express our solidarity with the peaceful occupation of the Great Hall by students of this university. We support the demands issued and request that no disciplinary action is taken against either staff or students taking part in the occupation.
Furthermore, those of who teach contest the claims made by the University and the Student’s Union that the occupation is disrupting timetabled activities in the Great Hall. We wish it to be placed on record that we would be happy to teach any classes we had scheduled in the Great Hall as usual.
Postgraduate Research forum in the School of Politics and International Relations
University of Nottingham
On behalf of the members of Lincolnshire County Branch Unison I’d like to extend this message of support for your occupation against the disgraceful removing of the cap on Tuition Fees and the ongoing attack on the principle of free education. As you all know the Condem coalition are attacking the whole of the public sector in an undisguised attempt to make workers and future workers pay for the free market crisis. Our members in Lincolnshire along with other workers nationally and internationally are facing what the rich and powerful are terming as the Age of Austerity. This is a situation which has been forced on us all by Politicians and Bankers in order to protect the whole free market system from collapsing. Their hope is to make us pay by lashing jobs and services in Health, Local Government, Civil Service, and Education, in short the very fabric of civil society. In Lincolnshire alone we are facing a massive package of cuts with services being rundown, upwards of 1000 job cuts in the council, the threat of privatisation and pay freezes. This picture is replicated throughout the country.
Students have shown the way forward in recent weeks with militant demonstrations up and down the country and now a series of occupations. Students have a long and proud tradition of supporting workers in their struggles such as the Miners Strike when students held rallies, made collections, and stood side by side with Miners on pickets lines as the full force of the state was thrown against them. This tradition continues today as was witnessed in Lincoln recently when Lincoln students stood side by side with BBC NUJ members on their picket line during the pension strike.
The struggles over the coming months and years will only intensify as the condem attacks take hold and the Anti-cuts movement grows. It is only through supporting each others struggles that we will win and it is with this in mind that I’d like to say your fight is our fight.
Lets turn the Age of Austerity into the Age of Resistance.
Assistant Branch Secretary
Lincolnshire County Branch Unison
Your action, and the action of your fellow students all over Britain, in standing up to a mendacious, undemocratic government is one of the most important and exciting developments in my recent lifetime. People often look back to the 1960s with nostalgia – but the point about the Sixties is that it took the establishment by surprise. And that’s what you have done. Your admirable, clever, courageous actions have shocked and frightened a corrupt political class – coalition and Labour – because they know you have the support of the majority of the British people. It is you, the students on the streets – not the Camerons, Cleggs and Milibands – who are the authentic representatives of the people. Keep going. We need you. All power to you.
As academics, teachers, researchers and postgraduate students in the School of History at the University of Nottingham, we wish to express our support for the peaceful direct action recently ended and for the continuing efforts of our students, in alliance with academic staff and concerned citizens of all ages from local communities, to make their voices heard and have their concerns taken into account at this crucial moment for the future of higher education. We urge the University to take note of their demands and the Vice-Chancellor to express opposition to the current government’s destructive agenda for higher education.
Dr. Nick Baron
Dr. Daniel Hucker
Dr. Gwilym Dodd
Dr. Joe Merton
Dr. Spencer Mawby
Dr. Claire Taylor
Dr. Rob Lutton
Dr. Karen Adler, Member of Senate
Prof. Chris Wrigley
Dr. Sarah Browne
Dr Ross Balzaretti
Dr. David Appleby
The LRC believes all fees should be abolished, the student grant restored with free education funded from general taxation. There is no need for extra fees or a graduate tax. This Coalition government will be condemned by a generation for marketising education and making university education an elite privilege again.
We wholeheartedly back the students and we call on all Labour MPs, including the shadow Cabinet, to join the demonstrations and back the occupations.
This is no time to stand on the sidelines. The Labour Party and wider labour movement should back the students’ inspirational struggle.
John McDonnell MP
To our British sisters and brothers in struggle
Please welcome our solidarity from Mexico. We have known about the heroic struggle you are undertaking in defense of free education in your country, and we salute it enthusiastically. In Mexico, same as in the rest of the world, we all suffer from the attacks to public education from a government working for the big capitalistic groups. Recently, our government has decided to allocate a large portion of the budget for education to the absurd war against the narco that has led to the murder of thousands of citizens, the majority of them being youngsters. The struggle you are leading is an example for students that fight against state policies to restrict access to education to millions of young people all around the world.
We will stay alert about your struggle and we are here for all the support we can offer to you from Mexico.
Revolutionary greetings for you all!
Students of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Mexico (POS-México)
The National Federation of Geography Students of Argentina supports unconditionally the occupation of university buildings and other means of strike led by students and scholars of the University of Nottingham against education cuts and privatization of the Conservative-led coalition in power. As an organization that has the fight for free and public education for all as a core objective, we send you our warmest greetings of solidarity in these times of struggle. We know that the political environment is not helping you, due to the broadly apathetic attitude of today’s British society, but it is delightful to see from the South that you have stroke the political scenery with a strength that surprised everyone, and to see that there is already evidence of steps forward in the lobbying of politicians who will decide on tuition fees this Thursday and later as well.
Our Federation was born in the year 2000, as part of the popular struggles against cuts in education, as well as in health and other key welfare areas. In those years we made it to stop the introduction of fees in public universities, and thanks to those mobilizations today our universities are still public and free. In other words, we won! That is why we want to tell you that.. it is possible, comrades. Struggling never is worthless, and the taste of victory is unbeatable. You will win this fight, and all around the world we will celebrate this victory for public and free education for all.
We will keep an eye on the development of these events, and please let us know how we can help.
From the land that gave birth to Che Guevara we say… Hasta la victoria siempre!
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS OF ARGENTINA