Category Archives: Brighton University Occupation

Brighton students from the occupation interviewed on internet TV

Events in the New Year / January

Just a quick update on some upcoming events in the New Year. Hopefully most of us have had the opportunities to fill our bellies and get down to some seasonal merriment over the winter break because we are going to need it!

2011 is set to be a monumental year for student activism and solidarity with fellow movements and unions. It will see the greater unity of student movements and trade unions coming together to oppose the cuts to public spending. If you have any events you would like mentioned here please get in contact with us.

First on the agenda for the new year is:

05/01/2011 – ORGANISATIONAL MEETING – VENUE TBC

We will be meeting to discuss our plans for the coming year and brainstorm some ideas about how we continue after the suspension of the occupation. This is a very critical meeting and we hope to see as many people as possible. Please do not slack off and leave it for the rest of us. Also if you have any issues you would like raised and put forward into the agenda, please either drop us a line here or the Facebook group.

Also venue is to be confirmed.

07/01/2011 – NICK CLEGG’S BIRTHDAY

It’s our favourite student “representative’s” birthday and as a special thanks for representing us and using our votes to support such a wonderfully progressive coalition, we encourage people to come up with creative ways to show how much we care. Send him a birthday card, bake him a cake or organise a street carnival to show your support. Let’s make it a day he won’t forget so readily, like his pledges and election promises.

Facebook event can be found here – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=134892613234379

11/01/2011 – SCRAPPING OF EMA PARLIAMENT VOTE

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) have called for a day of national action on this day because they expect parliament to vote on the scrapping of EMA. Unfortunately, there is little information surrounding this event. There is no official agenda to vote on the issues on the parliament website and some more verification should be sought before hand.

NCAFC is citing this website (http://emacampaign.org.uk/) as a resource for campaigning material and information.

Here is a link to the Facebook event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138065529585690

22/01/2011 – NCAFC CONFERENCE – UCL

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) are organising a conference at the University College London. They hope to reflect on the student activism of 2010 and bring together as many organisations, movments, unions and otherwise concerned people into a common debate. As well as consolidating the experiences of the various movements, they hope to debate about how to campaign democratically and effectively.

More information will be available via their website and their Facebook group.

Facebook event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184072304938176

26/01/2011 – NATIONAL WALKOUT/ DAY X4 TO DEFEND EMA

Again another The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) event calling for students to walkout and take part in local demonstrations, begin occupations or otherwise protest about the cuts to EMA.

Facebook event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=176843452345159

29/01/2011 – NATIONAL DEMO – LONDON AND MANCHESTER

Once again another The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) event being organised in London to coincide with the Young Members Network of the civil service union PCSUCU and others demonstration in Manchester. There is a bit of confusions about why there are two events but this is clarified in greater detail here (http://anticuts.com/2010/12/20/a-two-of-two-demos-demonstrate-in-london-or-manchester-29-january/), there is also a copy of a letter from Aaron Porter explaining the NUS’s stance on both events. It seems that Aaron Porter, tactical genius and fence-hopper he is, has spoken out. he is against the holding of two events on the same day, calling them tactically invalid and “unhelpful”. As we should all know by now, Aaron Porters tactical prowess is rather limited and he seems more focused on police appeasement andnotdemocratic action.

Essentially they are two separate events with two slightly different perspectives on public sector cuts that are holding complimentary demonstrations on the same day. Each site has broadened its support base to allow a greater number of people to attend either event and this is reflected in the union support of both events. Regardless of Aaron Porters perspective on the events, it is impractical for some students to travel to Manchester and vica-versa.

Here are some links on the event.

http://anticuts.com/2010/12/20/a-two-of-two-demos-demonstrate-in-london-or-manchester-29-january/

http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-struggle-for-education-continues-demonstrate-29th-january-in-london-manchester/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/20/students-trade-union-support-protest

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/new-tuition-fees-protest-aims-to-attract-thousands-2165202.html

Facebook Event for Manchester – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174574149230929

Facebook Event for London – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184694258211136

30/01/2011 – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR EDUCATION – EDUCATION ACTIVIST NETWORK

The Education Activist Network organised a meeting on Tuesday the 14th of December to organise and set-up National Assembly for Education. This will be their first official meeting to discuss the agenda.

More information can be found here (http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/report-from-the-coordination-meeting-of-a-national-assembly-of-education/).

Facebook event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=131135960280538

 

Suspension of Occupation Press Release

Press Release

Saturday 11th December 2010

Yesterday, we the occupiers of G7 Pavilion Parade collectively decided to suspend the occupation that began on the 24th of November.

The end of this occupation marks the culmination of numerous successes. Starting as a result of the three thousand strong mass demonstration in Brighton on the 24th November, this has become the largest student occupation at the University of Brighton in recent years. Furthermore, in conjunction with the many occupations across the country, this occupation has forced the NUS into a change of policy, shifting its control back into the hands of the students it represents. As a direct result of this, our occupation has secured the support of our own Students’ Union who were originally reticent in offering it. Our actions have also helped in generating wider recognition of occupation as a legitimate form of non-violent direct action, an important step given the now proven futility of depending on Parliamentary politics to reflect popular opinion.

The occupation has created a space which has served a variety of functions, the most immediate being the advancement of an alternative form of higher education. It has also operated as a base from which direct action throughout Brighton can be organised, which in turn has been successful in raising the consciousness of the general public as well as students at the University of Brighton. These successes, at both a local and national level, have demolished the myth of student apathy and have demonstrated that students can be the catalyst for broader social change, spear-heading the struggle against the advancement of neo-liberalism.

There are still many issues we wish to raise with Professor Crampton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton. However, Professor Crampton has recently shown himself duplicitous in that his statements to students and staff are radically different to his statements in the national broadsheets. To his students and staff, Professor Crampton has said that he would oppose any policy which would “significantly increase individual contributions”, claiming that it would be “damaging to the country’s economic and social development and to the success of the English university system which underpins it.” However, as a signatory to a recent letter in the Telegraph (see http://bit.ly/fGXKB4) he has stated that he believes “that the Government’s proposals for university funding are reasonable”, and urged Members of Parliament to vote in favour of tripling the cap on tuition fees.

While we are eager to continue a dialogue with Professor Crampton, given his duplicity, we aren’t hopeful it will be a productive one. Our collective voice is heard most clearly when spoken through the medium of non-violent direct action.

An occupation is not the room it is based in, it is the people that are a part of it. And these people extend far beyond those who slept in Pavilion Parade for over two weeks. The people who brought us delicious food; the people who shared their myriad skills; and the people who sent messages of support from as far away as Spain, Greece, Argentina, Mexico and Palestine – all these people occupied Pavilion Parade.

While the ideology of neo-liberalism continues to attempt to privatise our higher education, we will continue to resist.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

For more information please contact:

Email: brightonagainstcuts@gmail.com
Blog: brightonresistance.wordpress.com
Twitter: brightonnocuts
Facebook: Brighton University Stop the Cuts

Some Brilliant Events!

Banner Making 5pm Pavilion Parade

Today at 5pm we will be making banners and placards to take up to the forthcoming demonstration in London. Please come along and get creative, share our ideas and help each other out.

Find us at:

University of Brighton, Pavilion Parade, Brighton (Opposite the Pavilion Gardens in-between the start of St James Street and Edward Street)

Whilst there will be a selection of materials on hand to create some banners and placards here is a suggested list of materials we might need.

  • Wood for banner polls and placards
  • Dust sheets
  • Duct tape
  • Staple gun/stapler
  • Paints
  • Fabrics
  • String
  • Plastic / strong card
  • Cleaning materials to remove paint

Let’s make the 9th of December a day to remember for both the students against the cuts and for the pathetic coalition Con-Dem of shame.

Much love and solidarity from us all!

Weekend Timetable

Here is the timetable for the 3rd of December to the 5th of December. This will be updated as the weekend progresses. We have some potentially very big names coming down on Saturday the 4th. Stay tuned!

Friday 3rd of December

5:00pm – Talk on Eco-socialism with Graham Sharpe

Saturday 4th of December

12:00pm – Tour of tax dodgers – Meet at the Clock Tower, Brighton Town Centre

5:00pm – “Schools as Violence” with Tim Huzar

Sunday 5th of December

5:00pm – “Cultural Memory In Campaigning” Workshop with Lucy Pearce


Reinvigorated Solidarity

After yesterdays fantastic speech by Gary Hassel from the RMT and the emergency meeting that was called we have been reinvigorated. Gary Hassel’s speech was spoken from the heart and was very touching. His no-nonsense and pragmatic approach highlighted some of the issues of trade unionism. He complimented us for achieving in 3 days what a official union could only hope to achieve in 3 months. Both the occupation and Gary extended the hand of friendship and united in solidarity.

Very rightly the unions believe that our struggle is only the tip of the iceberg and the Con-Dem government is praying on the apathy of the public to only see what lies on the surface. Alongside their over-confidence in apathy, the current government is attempting to use the age-old tactic of ‘divide and conquer’. Those who have lived through the Thatcher era have the capacity to see past the smoke and mirrors being explored by the current coalition. They have not, however, acknowledge the power of the democratic youth and their ability to organise and mobilise themselves against such tactics. David Cameron with his first class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) seems not to have learnt from the lessons of history. It would seem that Cameron must have been asleep during his philosophy lectures and wide-eyed with greed during his economics lectures.

After the raw emotion from Gary Hassel we entered into a heated but very necessary dialectic on the future of the occupation. We needed to challenge the very notion of being here and reassess the effectiveness of using the occupation as a tactic to meet our goals. The debate stimulated our minds and further united us in solidarity in our common struggle. After our affirmations, we entered a phase of reorganisation and began anew.

It was very clear that our focus should be in spreading awareness of the Day X demonstration in London on the 9th of December and getting as much attendance as possible. We will start flyering and liaising with local businesses and charities.

Also in the works is a redesign and thematic consolidation of our internet presence. So far the YouTube channel has been reworked to include the stop the cuts logo and has been recoloured purple to represent our university colours. In the works is a redesign of the blog layout and theme, a comprehensive photo stream and a unification of the various social media streams.

Also we decided that we would continue the occupation for those who either were forced to leave or decided to reassess the effectiveness of their occupations. If any students from those occupations would like to join us, they are more than welcome!

For those who are facing huge legal costs that have resulted from their evictions, we are doing our best to fund-raise to make a donation of solidarity. We will stand united, after all this is our revolution!

Stay tuned for more announcements!

Much love and solidarity from the occupation and stop the cuts movement!

Solidarity message in the snow from Brighton occupation

Email sent to heads of School and Faculty, and the Senior Management Team

For the past three days students of the University of Brighton have been occupying Pavilion Parade. The occupation started as an act of solidarity with other students across the country, in response to the Browne Report’s proposals for higher education in England. The occupation is committed to non-violent resistance to the Browne Report’s proposals.

We are making the following demands of the University of Brighton’s Senior Management Team:

  • The Vice Chancellor to release a public statement both supporting student protests, and condemning the attacks on education.
  • No victimisation or disciplinary action against anyone involved in anti-cuts protests and/or occupation.
  • A statement from the Vice Chancellor detailing a full disclosure of dealings with Kaplan.
  • Make all university finances transparent; make any planned cuts public.

In addition we are making the following national demands:

  • No to all proposed cuts, and the abolition of tuition fees.
  • LibDems to be held accountable, via right to recall, for pledges made prior to the election.
  • NUS to fully support all students in their action against cuts and rising fees, also we demand the resignation of Aaron Porter as NUS president.

We request a public response from you with regards to our demands.

In solidarity,

The occupiers of Pavilion Parade

Images from the first day

http://brightonresistance.imgur.com/pavilion_parade_occupation/