Today a representative from the Occupation visited the Leeds Against Cuts rally which was sponsored by the Leeds Trade Council. There was a great turnout of about 150 people and a generally good feeling in the crowd. After a great speech by several union members and an informed and really quite nice Inland Revenue worker, the rally were ready for Ian Pattison to deliver the same speech he had delivered in London just days before to 30,000 students. It was realising the speech followed that of Ian that the nerves really kicked in but then the same old anger replaced it and everything went very well.
I explained that we had occupied with the co-operation of the University and staff individually. To move forward however, we must work together and push for even greater co-operation and solidarity than we have seen in the previous demonstrations. After asking for support from the audience, people were responding very kindly and there seemed to be a genuinely pleased response to everything that was said. Special applause was reserved for discussing how the degree we choose has nothing to do with the free market; we are free people, who should be able to become educated in any area, as is our right. The coalition govt. can’t decide for us.
After the talk and another talk from the PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) and Leeds Trade Council Treasurer, the crowd dispersed to reveal lots of lovely supporters of our movement who wished everyone well and promised sandwiches of support. All in all, it was a great day and special thanks go out to Iain Dalton for arranging our participation after another of his supportive meetings. The support gained today and the inspiration to continue fighting against these classicist cuts, make everything worthwhile, even the carpet bed and the late night morons.
While talking to people following the rally, I also arranged for some television coverage and some media coverage to be obtained, hopefully further fuelling our constantly growing campaign against the cuts.