Posts Tagged ‘Solidarity’

People keep asking me why I’m still in this office and what I’m doing, well im working to inform people about the affect of the governments cuts and stressing out day after day to get myself heard. I tell people that it’s because I’d rather work to try and create a decent future, rather than let the government take control of everything that is good left in this country and rip it to pieces. My future, everyones future is at stake. We work on the anti-cuts campaign because we want the people in charge to get the message that they are wrong, it’s not ok, and yes you do have to leave number ten. The direct attack on the Arts, for example has become a genuine concern, the devaluation of arts and humanities is writhe in the air with funding cuts and slanderous propaganda, even Russell group universities deeming them to be an easy option as ‘soft subjects’ and therefore of less value. This attitude is both appalling and untrue with many humanities subjects showing the same level of difficulty as science and maths based causes, which are held in such high regard by the Russell Group.

This has come after much concentration on the cutting of funding for any non-core subject. The clocks really are turning back, to a point where universities will be full of the rich and the lower classes will be taught to function as a body only to serve its country. This whole strict curb on the arts and humanities is simply an attack on individualism, something everyone in the U.K and indeed the world is entitled to. we pride ourselves on being a democracy. the country is becoming, little by little, the controlled state you see in some of the movies. With every gesture that the condems say they will put forward, they sweep under the proverbial carpet countless little freedoms and lifelines thousands depend on. They are attacking the people of this country and the people have and will start fighting back.

Solidarity and good health

Second week in the office and the campaign is rolling now, a lot of advertising for the coming demonstration in March to which we are selling tickets to in our office AS46.
If you are interested in going to the demonstration on the 26th of March but are still unsure about things come up and have a chat, we will put your mind at rest and hopefully encourage you to bring family and friends too.
Once again it has been a busy and yet productive weekend, Andy and Jordi attended an executive meeting for the UCU on Saturday and gave some up dates with the campaign followed by some much appreciated applause. The members did a whip around seeing us raise a nice little donation for campaign materials; it is always nice to see committed individuals.
One issue that came up over and over both by ourselves and by the UCU members was addressing this culture of fear that seems to have developed around protesting, the media sensationalises violence in protests in order to reinforce this culture of fear, by creating a moral panic and all together negative portrayal of protests it puts people of attending.
Firstly, the violence that may occur at a protest is confined to small groups of individuals and this is not representative of the larger mood of actions of protesters. The Manchester anti cuts march on the 29th of January proved this, not only did unions and students take to the streets but so too did young children and families. Toddlers smiled from their prams with the hustle and bustle of the march and school children of all ages raised signs from ‘Let me learn’ right down to cut nuclear ‘weapons not my future.’
It is inspiring to see a nation take to the streets in Egypt and that is because they are fighting against corruption and for justice, its easy to see images of riot police In London of tanks in Egypt and get scared. But, remember protesting is a right and one everyone has and should use if you feel your voice doesn’t deserve to be listened to on the streets then why do you think it will be listened to when you complain to your MP about broken roads or not being able to afford to send your kids to school.
We want to try and remove this fear, if anyone would like to chat to us about protests or the movement, or would just like to speak about the anti cuts campaigns here and in the rest of the country we are happy to help.
We are in the office 9-5 most days so drop in and have a cup of tea and a chat.
Solidarity and good health.

As students fighting for education it can sometimes be forgotten by onlookers that we don’t all just refer to our own education, we refer to education for the masses, we refer to the education our younger brothers and sisters should have the opportunity to have. Sometimes the student movement can be seen as something that people will suggest is self interested and even just an excuse to kick off about.
However, this is not, never has been and never will be the case. The student anti cuts movement is one that wants to see equality and the standards of academic institutions to be able to offer experienced supportive lecturers, who have time to spend with their students and offer a high standard of education.
An article in the guardian this morning states:
‘Universities admit ‘soft’ A-levels damage chance of top places’.
Shocking statement isn’t it? Well if you read on it actually states that this is the opinion of Russell group universities, the most prestigious universities in the country fall under the Russell group, these universities are backed by some of the wealthiest people here and abroad.

So what this article actually suggests is ‘Countries richest hate humanities and arts’.
Seems to be a continuing theme in education as of late, instead of being able to freely choose the subjects you would like and to develop your education in order to go on to your chosen career, we are all being funnelled in to specific courses like drones being trained for a specific purpose.

We all have a right to education and we all have the right to choose our field of interest!
We won’t be told that our subjects are of ‘less value’ or ‘bogus’. As a student who took Psychology at A level and is now continuing it at university, I can tell you that this ‘Pseudo science’ as suggested by many is just as valuable and just as difficult in terms of content as any maths or science degree.

The devaluation of subjects by our country’s wealthiest and ‘elite’ population is something that cannot continue, this government is ever increasing its progression towards an elitist culture in which its poorest and most vulnerable are ideologically attacked, systematically and without remorse.

When you look at this government and the things the anti cuts movement are combating, is it really so hard to believe that the systematic assault by the richest minority on the poorest majority in this country is simply a smaller piece of a greater Elitist culture?

We are fighting for your right to education, we are fighting for your right to individuality and we are fighting for your right to equality. We are fighting because we are passionate that everyone deserves these things, we are fighting for school kids, college kids, university students, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, lecturers and the whole of this country.

We won’t be ignored and we won’t be silenced.
Solidarity and good health.

The events in Egypt are a global phenomenon and are being watched and heard about all over the world, it bears considerable weight here in the U.K with the majority of people. The left wing groups in the U.K seem to be keeping considerable track of events, with our twitter page going crazy with updates on the situation, due to the cuts the government are carrying out many left wing groups feel they share an affinity and empathy (as everyone should) with the Egyptian people.

Many people in the U.K make reference to the protests and the activism in Egypt being the same as that here in the U.K which while on a basic level is true, though it is also something that we personally do not agree with. The simple fact is that while activists in the U.K and activists in Egypt struggle against an oppressive government that seeks to exploit and ideologically attack its poorest citizens, the levels in which the government are acting is completely different.
Egypt’s citizens faced their own military, a frightening concept indeed. Where as in the U.K the ever growing prospect of a police state is becoming apparent even to the most a political of people.
As of this morning however the Egyptian military have begun supporting the efforts of the anti government movement clearing the square of Mubarak’s supporters.
2011 is looking to be a real time of global change and as such, it should be a time where everyone looks around at the troubles abroad and in our own society and begin to realise that ideological assaults are targeting all but the richest citizens. People need to start pulling together and helping the anti cuts movement in any way they can. If this means just dropping in to chat with us at the LTSAC office, which operates a 9-5 open door drop in Monday to Friday or even helping with awareness and participation in events and attending protests, that is great. Everyone’s contribution is valued and everyone’s opinion will be heard, we are a community and part of being a student community and a member of Leeds Trinity University College is to become an informed and socially active individual.
Leeds Trinity encourages ”empowerment of individuals, enabling them to contribute to their community as productive, enterprising and creative citizens of the world.” (Quote from page 2 of Leeds Trinity University College strategic plan 2007-2012, revised Nov 2009).
This is something that we encourage from all students and certainly something that LTSAC are passionate about; by following this concept it means we aim to address the attack on education and this country’s most vulnerable by the government. We want to offer our students a campus that they are proud of and want to spend time on after their daily education is over.

Solidarity to all that strive to combat the oppression and greed of the worlds richest and their attack on the vulnerable.

Well, today should be a busy one. There is a joint union meeting between Unison and UCU at lunchtime. There will be an LTSAC meeting tonight in the office at 5, which should be interesting to say the least. There is a socialist student meeting afterwards, where Andy is going to do a lead off about how to deal with the far right and who exactly the EDL are, all welcome but please bear in mind, it will be a political meeting and not the forum for disagreement. If you want to disagree, stay around after and we will do that.

So, what else is going on? We have the office now and I think some people are seeing the triumph as a bit of a concession on our principles, which is silly, we are not going soft but how long can we be expected to maintain an occupation with limited support and limited recruitment? Not to mention, that we are one of the very few occupations that had any demands met or even acknowledged. The point of the office is start to deal with the issues of the wider students concerns regarding the cuts and to educate, inform and involve the wider student body, once we have convinced them that this is a massively serious issue that all at Trinity should be at least concerned about.
The office has a different attitude about it of course, we are much less frustrated with each other and the world in general, except the tories but that is not going away any time soon. The campaign are working on many levels now, one to try and inform people about the issues in a much more accessible way, one to continue to press our demands with management and the other to be involved in the wider anti cuts movement and start to have a presence at the wider student, worker and anti-cuts movements that are growing all over the country.

We have several thousand meetings to attend and that is only because we don’t have the people to attend several million. The meetings vary from very useful to extremely annoying but they have to be done. We are talking to LUAC (Leeds University Against Cuts) and LMAC (Leeds Met Against Cuts) about joint funding advertisement printing, so there are practical issues as well. Not to mention, the universities are a huge part of the business community in Leeds, we should be able to leaflet in the community and expect a positive response. To that end, we are talking with other wider movements about involvement in their campaigns as well.

The sad realisation is, that there are so many places facing closure, so many cuts that are devastating much needed services all over the country but without an office like this, we would not have a chance of even hearing about them all without people constantly monitoring, talking and getting involved with each other. The tactic from the government seems to be, attack everything all at once and get the cuts through before people can get to their feet, which we are not going to allow. The slow nature of the rising, suggests that people have become a little too comfortable but as we look at what is being attacked, people are being given no choice but to notice now. Travel, advice, services and many other things are all under attack, people are going to have to start saying it is not acceptable to remove basic human rights.

Getting used to another situation and a new office. People are tired, annoyed and dealing with a lot of pressure while deciding how to get this new thing moving. We have all discussed the many things we are hoping to do from the office and know where we are going with it but as people are still reporting the same old tired behaviour from students on campus, it seems a daunting task. There are still parties going on till 7 in the morning that are really loud. This is fair enough but it is not fair enough when you have a lecture then next day. There are a lot of complaints that seem to be pushing out into the community but not really going where they should. People not really realising that they have a voice and it should be listened to.

The student voice was talked about yesterday morning but it seems to have been diluted. We think this is because the political voice everywhere is largely muted. People in Britain don’t complain, well, except stupid fascists and no-one cares what they think. It is a tradition and almost an identity that the British that are too polite to complain about anything. This just seems like an invitation for people to deliver bad service, not care and still get paid. This is just not acceptable, people have a right and a duty to complain if they are being treated unfairly. People have a right and a duty to oppose oppressive government and this right and duty doesn’t change, whatever age you are.

The apathy that every anti-cuts movement is dealing with, we feel has come from a generation of people getting just enough to not want to complain about the awful conditions people work in and the gradual decrease in rights protection. The Labour party’s gradual creeping death seems to have largely worked and some of the initiatives they brought in were of value but, it was at a cost it would seem. The cost is that people don’t feel that complaining will make anything better. People feel that once they have enough to live, to an almost acceptable level, then if they complain they will lose the little they have. The working conditions in Britain are some of the worst in Western Europe and nothing has been said because people don’t complain. People are really not going to keep asking until they get a satisfactory lifestyle.

Alicia from the socialist party last night was talking about the bread and roses strike, where protestors, largely women protestors, won their demands to get their wage back and after they had won that, carried on to demand a pay increase and fewer hours for the workers. This should serve as an inspiration to people that not only is it possible to win but at the same time, every person should get involved and demand that not only they but everyone in society has a decent lifestyle, an opportunity to work in fair conditions and equality.

The student voice? What exactly is the student voice? How do we go about talking through it? Do the students even want someone to talk on their behalf? Given the chance what would they change? Would it all be self interest or would genuinely inspirational ideas come out of it? These are all questions we are considering today. After a really great rally, it became apparent that people here felt their voice would not be heard no matter what they did really. Even if it was heard, it would be ignored and this is not the attitude of a free society, surely?

What difference can really be made? Well, locally there are student elections, you can vote for the person that best represents you and your interests but is there really any accountability? Can we be expected to believe that once the deputy Prime Minister got in on lies, people in much lower positions could do the same? If the second highest office in the country can be obtained through deceit and broken campaign promises, then surely this can be the case throughout all of society? We would like to think not but at the same time, the student voice seems to be somewhat subdued. In larger institutions, you can barely walk a foot without a society, an event, a charity, a nightclub, a campaign or an awareness issue being raised in a poster. Yet, there are scarce places in the university that it is ‘acceptable’ to put posters, when you do obtain funding for posters legally, they are removed without consent or compensation, which surely can’t be right? If you are expected to believe you are part of the institution and one that matters and there is an issue that bothers you, shouldn’t there be a place where you can voice this concern to see if your fellow students agree? Apparently not but that is what we are trying to address. We want you to consider ideas of how to get everyone on campus to actually hear something you are saying, short of just using our fancy new megaphone.

We also want to start acting like a student voice. If there is an issue that concerns you, literally any issue, then feel free to drop in and let us know what that issue is. If it is something that concerns the students, then as students, we would like to know about it and if there is anything we can do about it. There is going to be a mass campaign of fun on the campus, that will hopefully spread throughout the campus. This should at least get people who wouldn’t normally stay on campus involved and doing something with each other as we have also heard complaints of there not being enough to do for off campus students.

The point of all this being, if there is something you want to arrange, if there is something you want to talk about, come up to the new office and have a word with us. We will do what we can to encourage the student voice again.