Tag Archives: Stop The Cuts

Email to Brighton SU President Terry Preston regarding November 30th strike action and November 9th student demonstration (via Stop! We are good times)

Hi Terry Hope you've had a good summer and settling into the new job has gone smoothly. I'm emailing regarding the proposed strike action that, if it goes ahead, will occur on November 30th (see this article for info). Both Unison and UCU (covering pretty much all union staff in the University) will be balloting their members over the coming weeks. In light of the AGM motion covering the support of our lecturers striking, I wondered what the Stud … Read More

via Stop! We are good times

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May and Grayling’s Jigsaw: A bad weekend for higher education (via Stop! We are good times)

In an ideological pincer movement the higher education sector came under attack on two fronts this weekend: first, courtesy of Theresa May, from the release of further details pertaining to our government's 'Prevent strategy', ramping up the pressure on universities to 'tackle Islamic extremism', and second from the announcement that an elite, profit-making New College of the Humanities has been founded by A. C. Grayling et. al. These are further … Read More

via Stop! We are good times

AGM Success

We’re very pleased to announce that, during yesterday’s AGM of Brighton Students’ Union, the two motions that were put forward by Brighton Students Against Cuts were passed.  This means that from now on the Students’ Union is committed to:

  1. supporting all future strike action by our lecturers, and
  2. actively opposing the Government’s funding cuts to higher education and the University’s decision to charge £9000 a year tuition fees.

Additionally, motions were passed to: boycott all Israeli goods produced on illegal settlements; to ensure that students aren’t described as ‘consumers’ and have their fundamental rights as students upheld; and to encourage the University to promote widening access to higher education.

Finally, prior to any of these motions coming under discussion students voted not in favour of continuing our affiliation with NUS for the remainder of this academic year.  This means, until the start of next academic year, University of Brighton Students’ Union is an independent entity.

Please spread word of these successes to any mailing lists you have access to.  We’re very proud that this academic year started with University of Brighton’s first ever occupation and ended with tangible and significant victories within our Students’ Union.  Looking to next academic year, with a politicised Students’ Union and the fact that the effects of the Government’s funding cuts will start to be felt by students in their everyday lives, we’re excited to see what can be achieved in the resistance to the marketisation of higher education.

Jan 26th Meeting

University of Brighton Student Union Elections

Tim met Sam Mallender (University of Brighton Student Union President) to find out more about the upcoming SU elections and the dates and deadlines of it.

  • Nominations are now open
  • To nominate yourself you need five backers to sign saying they will pledge their support to you*
  • 9th February is the closing date for nominations
  • 14th February is the deadline for publicity materials to be forwarded to the SU for your campaign.

*I think this is meant to mean that they have to actually be ready to support your campaigning efforts, and not just sign like a petition.

Although it is felt that ultimately the staff will always have the overriding powering in deciding the direction of the university, it is felt that the stop the cuts movement should make attempts at stimulating the union into being more pro-active in external and internal affairs through providing debate among the staff and students. We need people who can articulate themselves and present solid arguments that might have the potential to encourage greater political activity among the student and staff bodies. We want the UBSU to be more than just some careerist sabbaticals who fill their c.v.’s representing student apathy.

We are exploring a variety of possibilities to achieve this both as individuals and as a collective. There was a general agreement that we back Tim Huzar for what ever position he chooses to nominate himself for. Again the general agreement was that we should support Tim as an individual, and not just a “spokesperson” for the Brighton University Stop The Cuts group. This way he can make a pitch that appeals to the wider student body and potentially achieve a greater potential. We also explored the possibility of running a ‘slate’ nomination for election that would seek to campaign collectively as a group for multiple positions on the union.

This topic is very high on the agenda for next week as there will only be one more opportunity to decide on this collectively. Tim is going to gather some more information to present at the next meeting so if your interested in this, please come to the next meeting and put your point of view across.

More information is available at : http://www.ubsu.net/suelections

Brighton Source Magazine

Brighton Source Magazine wanted to do an article, on students becoming politicised through the student protests, with some comment from us but unfortunately they went to print before it was raised in the meeting. They did however mention us. It will be in the forthcoming  February  edition of source which you can find here as a PDF http://www.brightonsource.co.uk/.

It is also distributed to various university campuses, including halls of residence.

Brighton and Sussex University Joint Meeting

We decided that we will meet on the 9th of February instead of our usual meeting to discuss our common aims. Most likely it will be held on their campus and details to follow.

Coach Tickets

Brighton UCU have booked a coach for the demo on saturday, tickets are £8.40, available to staff and students.

Get in touch with either (depending on your campus)

Vicky Margree  (Pavilion Parade) – V.Margree@brighton.ac.uk

Patricia McManus (Elsewhere) – P.Mcmanus@brighton.ac.uk

“Con-Dem-Ed” Leaflets

We want to create a flyer that targets student groups in a more holistic sense. We have felt that our previous flyers have focused to much on our own issues and this gives others the impression of self-interest. Whilst it is true that a lot of what people do in general can be attributed to self-interest, we want to engage and inform key groups listed below. This list is not exhaustive but illustrates the groups we need to engage.

  • International students
  • Teaching students
  • Health students
  • Union members
  • General public / apathetic students

UCU Ballot – February

The UCU are balloting for strike action in some time in February and considering the tremendous solidarity and support they have given us we are looking to flyer lecturers and students. We proposed to make a separate leaflet for lecturers to encourage them to ballot for action and one for students to encourage them to support their action. A pamphlet was also suggested. More details to follow.

It is imperative that we show them our support.

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

 

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!