Time to get involved

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

There has been a shift in attitude yet again in the occupation. After another very serious talk about what is next for all of us, we are looking at how we can spread out and get the information we have to people. As some people are now finished their week of refreshing and others are just coming back to uni, we are looking at a full uni (except placement second years and some exceptions) for the first time in occupation. This should mean more support and more opposition. Either way, we are happy, there is plenty to say and there are plenty of people to get into it with but with the campaign literally becoming “save Trinity” now, there is a new fight.
Cameron and Clegg are the worst form of people, they feed on the people who are already poor and don’t even consider what their lives must be like. There are projects where an MP will spend a day or two in a council estate but actually, even when they do that they cheat and take along a mobile phone. They would not live in the conditions millions of people are expected to every day and it is disgusting. How can someone lead who has no idea what it is like to be even their average constituent? That is hardly the point at the minute though, there is a far greater demon in our midst and its name is closure. Leeds Trinity University College is at risk of closure or worse, resale to another university. We have had confirmation from Principal Freda Bridge that there is a serious risk at Trinity but there are worse things coming and more.
Many people at Trinity are not that politically aware and we think, apart from that being a shame, it is our duty as a politically motivated (though unaffiliated) group to explain some of the things that are not wider knowledge. We are all stakeholders at the university and it is with great sadness we face the prospect of its closure but does that also mean we should be made liars of in case there is a chance of us getting through and taking these draconian cuts? I wouldn’t think so. What is the point of being a well educated, community reinforcing, and active member of society following a degree, if we are forced to lie or cover up what we know to allow a business to essentially potentially continue? Is there any integrity in ensuring that people will be alright to continue the lie the government are utilising to ensure that the back-biting is aimed at each other, is successful? The government have brought in these cuts but it is not going to be there on the front lines explaining to each of these people they are going to lose their jobs, their university, their disability living allowance, their job security, their homes and many other things. It is not them it is council workers, bosses, union reps and other people who do not want the cuts anyway.
Recent polls show that 73% of the country doesn’t see the need for the austerity measures and if there is a need, then it should come from the bankers and the top 2%. We don’t know how many people out there know this but in England 2% of the people control 98% of the wealth! Just imagine if that money was shared out amongst everyone else? That is another issue though and despite that, the government are still not telling these people face to face they are costing them their jobs. They are relying on managers and people who run the various places that have been cut to implement a new budget that strongly punishes the poor. We don’t find this remotely acceptable as it creates a situation that is going to hurt millions of people who don’t deserve it on many different levels.
There is an alternative however, each university has been told that it won’t close because of these cuts and we won’t allow the university to be bought off, so what is the solution? Well, quite simply it is to play the Tories at their own game. We are suggesting that the university take a leaf out of the Liverpool councils from the 80s book and just keep spending as if nothing had happened. We suggest this for the council as well actually and it is a tactic that University of Central Lancashire are also considering. It captures the very essence of what we are about as well and is frankly, a beautiful idea. It says in no uncertain terms “this money is vital for the institution, this institution is vital for the larger community and because of that, we are defiant of a government that lied their way in and cheated their way up, we will NOT be your hired assassins and we will NOT sell our integrity for fear of what you will do to us!”
If you don’t agree with any of that, if you don’t have the strength to claim that last statement yourself, if you have read all of that and don’t understand, come challenge us about it. There are several community events coming up, including a banner making session on Wednesday 19 in the evening at the front of the occupation. We are in here 24 hours a day, come and challenge us, come and ask questions or come and prove that you are not going to be made another liar, who will say anything to save their own skin while damning others to the poverty line! We know the Trinity students have integrity, now we are asking them to prove it.

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Comments
  1. Samael Sexingtown says:

    So if Leeds Trinity doesnt shut. Will u say it was all u guys that stopped it??? Is dis fair.

    • No, of course not. This campaign isn’t about us as individuals, it is about supporting the university through this monumental time. Even Freda has said in the papers ‘We face the most turbulent and potentially dangerous period for years.’
      If the university manages to get throught this, it would be through a combination of staff, unions and students working together and standing strong.

  2. Rob Rattray says:

    Great blog, great students

    As Chair of UCU Leeds Trinity, I have to demonstrate our gratitude to your efforts. You represent the best of students and your peers will struggle to appreciate what you have done.

    You might not want credit but you’ve got it

  3. Council Worker says:

    I completely support your occupation against closure. I also hope that Leeds Uni and Leeds Met will go back into occupation asap. I know that I’m not alone in this – at work we talk about “the students” day and daily – you’re a source of inspiration to workers who’ve been ground down by seemingly endless series of rationalisations (aka cuts), re-organisations (aka more cuts), and now voluntary redundancies and a management mantra of doing ‘more for less’ and ‘less for less’ (guess what…?). We know that each round results in worse services for Leeds people.
    In social care services we know that every new initiative – like the misnamed “Fairer Access to Care Services”, or ‘Personalisation’, trumpeted as ’empowering’ service users and ‘increasing choice’- is actually about cutting direct provision, reducing collective and democratic provision and accountability, and ultimately putting council tax into the pockets of private, low wage, high profit companies. Far from safeguarding and empowering vulnerable people the national and local implementation of government policy restrains and constricts people’s lives and worlds, eroding dignity and crushing them and their carers in poverty and isolation.
    So why aren’t we out on strike? Well, because people are quite frightened and not even confident enough to have union section meetings. However the student marches and occupations have significantly changed the atmosphere at work, which is brilliant. Even in the summer my colleagues would warn me to watch my back and not to talk politics. Now nearly every conversation is political, even when the Miserable Manager ( who has been known to tell people off for being ‘too cheerful’) is around.

    How can students and people like me work together for the benefits of us all? I agree with calling on the Council itself to provide a lead: refuse to implement the cuts,refuse to implement the ridiculous policies emanating from these ConDem parasites, set a deficit budget… and our unions need to stop negotiating the terms of their members’ emiseration.
    I can’t get to your community meeting, but what I’d like to suggest is that you start moving your agitation out of the Universities and into public sector workplaces with leaflets, flashmobs etc, making the links between cuts in education, jobs and services. In the meantime,please email me the petition. I can circulate it round colleagues, take it into work and see where I can go from there.

  4. Council Worker says:

    PS: there’s a lobby of the next full council meeting on Weds 19th. The more, the merrier!

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