Leeds Trinity Students Against Cuts have decided to go back into occupation tomorrow. This was mostly decided at the end of last year, that while we were all very pleased with what we accomplished in the last occupation, none of our demands had been met. However, it was decided that suspension made more sense than staying in over Christmas for us as we feel recharging and engaging the student body when they return is going to serve everybody the best. With so much to arrange in January, the occupation is going to serve as a base of operations. There are protests all through January and building until the 26th March TUC All Together For Public Services March.
The March demo is literally suggested to be the largest Britain has ever seen already. National newspapers are discussing this as potentially the largest instance of working people and students uniting to fight an oppressive austerity regime in Europe, ever! The purpose of the demo is to raise awareness of how the cuts are going to affect public services and the public sector. They are also inviting students to get involved to help rebuild the community that the Condems are resolutely destroying. With this many organisations coming together and organising, following another three months of student marches, locally, nationally and regionally, the students alone are suggested to be 200,000 strong already! If there are as many workers then this will be twice the size of the famous poll tax riots of 1990.
So, that is the main aim march for many movements at the minute. There are national meetings of student anti-cuts campaigns to organise student actions and to make sure we are all working together in the right direction to explain how the majority feel about this governments draconian cuts. This will allow every organisation to work together, support each other and ensure that even local marches have a showing from every university in the area. Occupations have been sending solidarity to each other and this will continue. To that end, consider sending some solidarity to Kent occupation they stayed in over Christmas and New Years! If you want contact details, come down to the occupation on the 4th and we will let you know how to pass on your support.
There are other marches planned for March. LTSAC are going to be supporting the Vale, which was talked about in a previous blog entry, have a look if you are interested, have a look if you are not, they need your support. We will be sending some students to march in solidarity locally to get them as much press and support as possible. It’s an amazing service, run by amazing people and is invaluable to everyone who uses the service.
There are local marches planned in Leeds for students campaigns, college students campaigns and workers are beginning to organise local actions. The 11th of January sees another march starting at Parkinson steps, so it is not like we are going to get lost since it is our 4th starting there so far. This is a march to demand the reinstatement of EMA and should serve as a valuable lesson to any university student who thinks the tuition fee fight and the funding fight is over, you are wrong, lesson learned. EMA is vital to many students and think what you will about how it is spent, there are thousands of children benefitting from it that deserve our support. Education should be for all, not just the rich.
Also, the movement are going to be looking ally with local causes that require support. If there is an antifascism march, then that should be considered. If you can think of any other cause that is worthy of fighting for in these difficult times, then let us know and we will see what can be arranged. With movements like UKUncut growing and doing some amazing work to ensure that the people who abuse the system the most and feel they are above tax are held to account, we as students and concerned members of society, should be looking to support them in any way we can. This support can come in many forms and can be something as small as getting informed and not supporting a corporation that is unethical for whatever reason. We have all read the news about tax evasion and if you have been reading this blog, you have a fair idea of how we feel about it but the figures don’t lie. £100bn in unclaimed tax a year and the largest portion of that is from the people with the most to spend.
Get involved, show your support, come down and have a chat with people to see what the movement is about. See how you can get involved but be nice. Seriously, we are not here to take your abuse and at the end of the day, a good portion of us have stood against Maggie’s Met, what makes you think some stuck up little tory is going to chink our armour? Solidarity to everyone who is reading this from other organisations and we will see you in the crowd soon enough.