November 30th day of action against cuts and fees

November 30th day of action against cuts and fees

Tens of thousands of students will walk out of class for the third time in as many weeks today during a national day of action against cuts and tuition fees.

Protests last week erupted into occupations at around fifteen universities across the UK, with reports of as much as 35 universities and colleges having been in occupation over the past couple of weeks. We expect to see even more occupations begin as a result of today's day of action.

Reports have also come out over the past week of police brutality against demonstrators, including horse charges and 'toxic fire extinguisher' spray against kettled protesters in Whitehall, mounted police charging demonstrators in Manchester, and riot police attacking protesters at Lewisham Town Hall yesterday evening, including pushing students down stairs.

We will update this page regularly as the day develops. Please post local reports in the comments below.

11:53am - via Facebook

"15 students have moved into occupation of the Tory offices in Aberdeen in attempt to shut down operations for the day. Police quickly arrived on the scene and the protest continues, it is believed the protesters will be moved off the premises soon, but the office will be closed for ...the day."

11:56am via @LeedsStudent "One person already arrested", "Police containing protestors". http://twitpic.com/3bl0ld

12:06pm - Wayne in comments says:

Just back from our wee morning picket at Uni of Glos. The response to the banner and fliers was easily the best I've experienced in Cheltenham and a lot of students said they were planning to join the protest (which here is on the 8th December for some reason). Security were summoned to remove our banner on order of the campus manager; they were quite apologetic about it but I think their jobs are very vulnerable just now. All in all, it was a bit lame but we shifted our leaflets and got a decent response from colleagues and from the students.

12:07pm - Sheffield uni demo subject to section 14 order. Cops attempting to limit demo outside Clegg's constituency office to 100 people.

Leeds marchers being kettled with cops in front and vans behind, first arrest of the day after an early scuffle.

12:18pm - Great Hall, Trent Building, University of Nottingham has been occupied (via twitter)

12:21pm - BBC News just reported protesters in Trafalgar Sq. have legged it down Whitehall an hour earlier than planned, presumably to avoid getting kettled.

- more on this from http://lsjsn.wordpress.com/:

Around 500 college students just charged down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square only to be met by a wall of police.

The police had been hidden down a side street and emerged as they saw the protesters charging.

The protesters then returned to Trafalgar Square and were last reported to be heading toward Buckingham Palace.

One observer remarked on the incident as being: “Very French revolution.”

Few University of London students are currently at Trafalgar Square, although a delegation from Queen Mary has been seen and student from UCL and SOAS are en route.

Protesters have split into two groups. One group are still at Whitehall, and one have headed into St James Park.

Riot Police have been scene following the St James Park crowd and are expected to attempt to kettle them in.

Reports that other protesters have made it to Parliament Square are also coming in.

12:32pm - "King's College London have occupied against the coalition's proposed rise in student fees and cuts to EMA. We have taken a lovely lecture theatre and are sitting peacefully through a very long maths lecture so as not to disrupt anyone's education. Join us!"

1:30pm - Rob Ray in comments posts:

Bristol: Police have sent in the horses and are chasing protesters with them.

London: Snowballs flying, apparently hitting a couple of the Fit. Picadilly and Regent Street apparently brought to a standstill?

Liverpool: Attempt at kettling from police, some shoving but nothing major? Mostly at a standstill, smaller numbers than last time. However, uni roof has just been occupied for a banner drop.

Also worryingly there's a report that troops are being brought in as backup for the cops, in blue baseball caps - though that may just be rumours...

1.34pm - School students protesting outside Birmingham council offices: http://twitpic.com/3blu08

1.40pm - That Birmingham council office protest has turned into an occupation of 60 people!

1.41pm - protesters in London are spread out all over the place, largely evading police attempts at kettling with a few exceptions, first reports of brutality from @UCLOccupation of people being rugby tackled into railings. Huge police lines in some areas but those areas are being avoided for obvious reasons.

1.42pm - 1,000 protesters outside Nick Clegg's office in Sheffield.

2.42pm - Slade school of art occupied. Cat and mouse continues in London, appears to be some convergence of both police and protesters at Trafalgar Square.

2.58pm
- Kettling at Trafalgar Square has begun, police horses are there, not letting anyone out.
- student interviewed at Birmingham says they'll stay there as long as possible.
- Occupation of majorie arnold an ziff building on leeds uni campus. Staff being evacuated now.
- "Occupation of majorie arnold an ziff building on leeds uni campus. Staff being evacuated now."
- @edactivistnet - Students have occupied part of Queens University in support of free education. #demo2010 #dayx2"

3.12pm
- Oxfordshire Council offices invaded a few minutes ago: http://twitpic.com/3bmp2i; Protestors in Oxford, mainly secondary school students, have occupied County Hall. Some have made their way onto the roof.
- Liverpool : march banned but people broke through. Road and rooftop sitins. Police kettling now in Liverpool.

3.17pm - Sheffield University occupied.

3.26pm - Riot police in Trafalgar Square, eight police vans. Kettling in operation.

3.40pm - Trafalgar Square kettle broken (though reports say not much of a kettle, with small groups being allowed out). Fireworks let off.

3.58pm - Students are occupying at Kingston University.

4.11pm
- Students have taken the multi-storey car park at Hove Town Hall.
- Protesters occupy Lloyds Bank in Cardiff.
- 400 people occupying lecture theatre at Manchester University.
- Students in Sheffield occupy university library.

4.30pm - reports of police in Brighton using tasers against protesting schoolkids. As yet unconfirmed.

5.50pm - Birmingham Council occupation has ended with a march around the city.

See also:
- Follow the #dayx2 hashtag on twitter
- Find your local anti-cuts group and event on anticuts.org.uk
- Read our coverage of resistance to austerity in the UK

Comments

Auto
Nov 30 2010 16:40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeI3atyE_ng

Slideshow video of the Oxford demonstration/occupation of County Hall.

Spread it around, if you can.

Auto
Nov 30 2010 16:44

From Cardiff:

"RT @CDFUniOccupied: Students have occupied Natwest, Lloyds TSB and Vodaphone today, all closed. Student Council meeting later! #dayx2 #solidarity"

Auto
Nov 30 2010 16:53

From Nottingham:

"DarkesTAngeL31 RT @nsafc: Internet is fixed thanks to the support of Notts Save our Services! Photos and more info coming soon. #solidarity #dayx2 #uonoccupation"

Nice bit of solidarity action between students and the local community there.

Ed
Nov 30 2010 17:00

Video of police arresting a lecturer in Manchester..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECb2a3mqdOA

Auto
Nov 30 2010 17:05

"JamesABolton York #solidarity occupying bridge over the Ouse, traffic at a standstill #dayx2 @UCLOccupation http://yfrog.com/ngei00j"

Chilli Sauce
Nov 30 2010 17:09
Quote:
Cheney school students (Oxford) over 16 wanting to join today's day of action against the rise in tuition fees have been locked in the school grounds. They are planning to protest in the school against fees, cuts to EMA and their political detention.

Please send (text) messages of support to Chloe c/o 07792422574

What's the situation here? Texts still needed?

Red Marriott
Nov 30 2010 17:10

Central London; 12 noon around 5,000(?) gathered in Trafalgar Sq. with very few cops visible. Approx 10 mins later crowd moved off down Whitehall - line of cops quickly blocked street. (Lots of cops deployed, sited in various side streets throughout city centre.) Crowd reversed, went down The Mall and across St Jame's Park, then gradually dispersed in smaller groups in various directions; 300 outside Parliament, others to Piccadilly, Buck Palace, The Strand, St Paul's etc. For rest of day until now students and school students in roaming groups of various sizes criss-crossing the West End, staying mobile, dispersing and reforming, trailed by cops through the heavy snow. Considerable disruption of traffic flow through central London.

In Against Beyond
Nov 30 2010 17:18

Bristol: After the main student demo was cattled at Uni of Bristol campus, there were small clashes between mostly black youth from colleges and the police. They charged the crowd of few hundreds youth with horses on Woodland Road at the Uni. I hope someone will put up a video showing it all on youtube. The youth were incredibly brave, throwing stones, bottles and smoke bombs on cops. Unfortunately the crowd got more and more fragmented by new cops arriving from the side streets. After about an hour the people were all cattled in about three (?) groups and the rest of us dispersed at about 3.30pm.
A great moment was when a big chunk of people escaped from the main cattle earlier in the afternoon, using a rope. People bound one end around a tree and rolled out the rest, stood behind it and then ran with the rope through the police line.
I have seen four arrests but have heard that 10 people were arrested, some of them 14, 15 years old. The movement needs to improve its protection, including dearresting, having 'informers' to watch our backs and thinking about blocking the access roads to reduce the chance of kettling in.

no1
Nov 30 2010 17:22
no1 wrote:
Ed wrote:
Reports of tasers being used by police in Brighton!! Can any of the Brighton lot confirm this?

The cops say no, twice: http://twitter.com/CInspTaylor
Seems to originate from here: http://twitter.com/brightonnocuts
Not seen anyone else say this.

Sources on the march didn't see tasers being used, and think it's very unlikely because there hasn't really been a situation in which cops would have had to.

Steven.
Nov 30 2010 17:32
Red Marriott wrote:
Central London; 12 noon around 5,000(?) gathered in Trafalgar Sq. with very few cops visible. Approx 10 mins later crowd moved off down Whitehall - line of cops quickly blocked street. (Lots of cops deployed, sited in various side streets throughout city centre.) Crowd reversed, went down The Mall and across St Jame's Park, then gradually dispersed in smaller groups in various directions; 300 outside Parliament, others to Piccadilly, Buck Palace, The Strand, St Paul's etc. For rest of day until now students and school students in roaming groups of various sizes criss-crossing the West End, staying mobile, dispersing and reforming, trailed by cops through the heavy snow. Considerable disruption of traffic flow through central London.

This tallies with what I heard and saw.

Apparently it had been agreed with the police that they were going to be allowed to march down Whitehall to Parliament Square. However when they started a police line formed across Whitehall and the crowd reversed and broke up into different groups.

I saw a couple of hundred in Trafalgar Square around 3 p.m., quite boisterous atmosphere, burning of placards, few fireworks exploding, looked like mostly schoolkids, quite a few with masks on. They were blocked in by riot police.

Soon a few hundred more marched into the square, escorted by loads more police, set off some flares, had some speeches, chanting "one solution revolution" and fist waving. Looks like the police plan was to escort all roaming groups of protesters back into Trafalgar Square and kettle everyone. At this point I decided to leave, which was tricky as people were not being let out of the square. I found one exit where the police let me walk through, but they wouldn't let people who looked like they had been on the demonstration through. As I was leaving another group of about 100 kids was being marched up completely surrounded by about 150 riot police into the square.

The dispersing was bad from the point of view of making numbers look smaller, but seems like maybe quite a lot of disruption was caused.

mons
Nov 30 2010 18:46

Just got back from Oxford stuff. Was quality. 90% were school students, well over 500 in total at peak, but more joined in from public and I'd guess more like 1000 took part over the day. Briefly occupied County Hall (saw an anarchist - circled A - flag being flown inside by one school student), then Barclays, Lloyds were occupied as well. All banks shut down. People went marching through shopping centres, militant mood. Some nasty police stuff, batons, pushing and police horses pushing through people, led to lots of 'fuck the police' shouts.
Just quickly, Cheney students did get out and join the protest - hundreds of them!
I'm buzzing with energy, will write this into a more detailed and coherent news article in now.
The quote that sums it up was one guy saying: "We can do whatever the fuck we want".
School kids have formed a network that meets in Oxford with people from loads of schools

Auto
Nov 30 2010 18:49

This is the list of demands that were given by the Oxford county hall occupiers.

* The closing of 20 Oxfordshire youth centres be reviewed.
* The "building schools for the future" programme be reinstated.
* The "aim higher" programme be reinstated.
* Higher education tuition fees be scrapped.
* EMA to be maintained as it is.
* Teacher funding be maintained as it is.
* Police forces around the country stop the use of intimidation and violence against peaceful students.
* The Metropolitan Police issue a public apology for the events of 24/11/10 in London.
* Nick Clegg to personally visit Oxford and negotiate with J.P.G (Joint Protest Group Oxford - as far as I am aware this is a loose coalition of different protestors).
* We demand that we are let out peacefully by the Police.

mons
Nov 30 2010 19:06

Interesting, Auto, hadn't seen those before. It's very reformist, unsurprisingly. They were only in for 15 minutes probably, so must have been pre-written. The Joint Protest Group - who will have pre-prepared those demands - is just school students - there are representatives from a load of different schools.
This is a tricky line to draw and I can't see it clearly, but the more political, generally liberal, and 'middle class' (I hate to use that term, especially as I'm from a poor household, single mum with shit job and pay, etc. but by most would be called middle class - but hopefully it's useful here meant in the cultural sense) are involved with the Joint Protest Group. The bulk of the protest today was by people not at all in that category

Auto
Nov 30 2010 19:17

I think the most interesting thing is the number of young people involved who aren't 'political' yet are being energised to organise and take action. It's amazing to see. Hopefully things keep up!

Also, does anyone have a list of the new university occupations (with websites/emails/etc) that began today? Trying to keep track of them all.

Cheers.

Mark.
Nov 30 2010 22:32

The new age of student protest - Guardian report about the occupations at Leeds, Cambridge, Newcastle and UCL

Video from the UCL occupation

Guardian report from London

Guardian round-up of the days protests

Quote:
The scale and reach of this month's student protests have shocked the authorities, who fear that mobilisation against government's austerity cuts could spread. Riot police were called to Lewisham town hall on Monday night when 100 protesters in the London borough tried to force their way into a meeting where councillors were voting to cut the budget by £60m. Police said arrests were made and several officers received minor injuries. The same protest groups are expected to focus on a council meeting in Camden, north London, tomorrow.

Telegraph photo round-up

mons
Nov 30 2010 20:26
Quote:
The Conservative leader of the local authority [Oxford], Keith Mitchell, said via a tweet: "County Hall invaded by an ugly, badly-dressed student rabble. God help us if this is our future."

He can fuck off, we're beautiful. I googled pictures of him, but actually I quite like the way he looks sad

I will write up a report of Oxford today tomorrow and put it on here.

Auto
Nov 30 2010 20:53

An ill-advised statement, going by the feeling among the protestors.

So what do people think the day went more generally?

Wellclose Square
Nov 30 2010 21:38

Noticed from some of the pictures in London a load of coppers in sky-blue baseball caps (one of whom was lashing out pretty freely with his fists on the TV footage). Am I right in thinking that 'coppers' wearing the same headgear in Manchester were actually troops seconded to police duties? Were the blue-capped thugs in London soldiers too? Was that what Supt. Paul Broadsword was warning the kids about the other day?

Steven.
Nov 30 2010 22:10

they were just police with baseball caps on. I don't know where the rumour about soldiers came from but it seems pretty silly.

Steven.
Nov 30 2010 23:22

wow, that sucks about Trafalgar Square. Although unfortunately I'm not surprised, it looked like that's what they were planning, I phoned people still in the square after I left warning them.

Just been looking round Facebook, and it is so strange (but also awesome) to see all the comments and participation from people who are/were so obviously pretty apolitical kids. A comment today on an event page from a cute teenage girl with no political stuff on her profile [ no paedo] was: "We need loooaaaads of people to come otherwise the feds will overpower us like they did today"

Mark.
Nov 30 2010 23:51
Mark.
Nov 30 2010 23:59
Auto wrote:
Slade School of Art has been Occupied.

http://london.indymedia.org/articles/6188

https://sladeoccupation.wordpress.com/?kalvis.com

Quote:
THE OCCUPATION OF THE SLADE SCHOOL OF FINE ART We believe that the current proposed cuts to university funding threaten the existence of arts and humanities education in England and Wales. It is for this reason that we have made the decision to occupy the Slade School of Art building. We demand that the government provide the same protection for arts and humanities in universities as is provided for the sciences. We vehemently oppose the transformation of the university system into market based model; education should be a public debate, not a private economy. Therefore we the students of the Slade are offering a space for the assembly of all art colleges in England in order to organise non-violent direct action against what we view as an attack by the government on the arts. This is not a virtual exchange, this is a physical assembly. We are demonstrating the value of physical space for art education through the continuation of our day-to-day activity, as well as by inviting other colleges to participate in open events, lectures and workshops. Our occupation is not designed to be disruptive, nor will it engender any damage to the building. Rather, we want to highlight the value of intellectual and cultural exchange within art courses. This is not a boycott, it is an act of support. As well as fully supporting the demands of the existing UCL occupation of the Jeremy Bentham Room, the staff and students of the Slade School of Fine Art demand the following from UCL: A statement from the UCL provost condemning the cuts to arts and humanities courses and stating the intrinsic value of these courses within higher education. A statement from the UCL provost guaranteeing the protection of the Slade’s courses as they are. This means preserving the current staff to student ratio, protecting facilities and space and continuing funding for visiting lecturers. A statement from the UCL provost guaranteeing the survival and continued funding of all other humanities courses within UCL. Free access in and out of the building 24 hours for all students, peers and speakers for the duration of the occupation. Ensure no victimisation or repercussions for anyone participating in the occupation.
little_brother
Dec 1 2010 00:16
Auto wrote:
From Nottingham:

"DarkesTAngeL31 RT @nsafc: Internet is fixed thanks to the support of Notts Save our Services! Photos and more info coming soon. #solidarity #dayx2 #uonoccupation"

Nice bit of solidarity action between students and the local community there.

Yes. Notts SOS was invited and spoke at university meeting last week where occupation was mooted. Students are participating in Notts SOS meetings. Staff have been involved with occupation (which is ongoing). So there is good communication. The local anti-cuts campaign is trying to link up everyone, in spite of trot sectionalism which is actually worse on campus than in the local campaign!

Keep an eye on http://nottssos.org.uk for developments in Nottingham.

ernie
Dec 1 2010 01:06

The demo itself was not as large as last week, about 300., but did included more 5th form schools pupils . Marched form the college into the centre of town and had a rally/meeting. People were asked to speak and some did. Then marched back again (much reduced in size by then) not sure what happened after that.
Spirit was not as exuberant as last week, but still pretty high and defiant , may be a certain sense of we have done this once already what next. Someone said to his friend "Why are we allowing ourselves to be herded like sheep". The main 'organisor' appears to be one young guy with the backing of the Anti-Cuts Alliance, but overwhelmingly those participating were not passively allowing themselves to be organised but at the moment are not sure what else they can do. But to give the guy his due he did offer the microphone to those who wanted to speak. Many home made banners, including one saying: "The rich get richer and the rest are f..,ked" One of the people who made the banner spoke at the rally making the same point which got a good reception.
An unpleasant tone entered into the situation when one speaker said about the government giving money to Ireland, when it could have been used to pay for EMA etc. There was a large boo in support probably not meant to be anti-Irish but against the cuts, some young people near me were uneasy about this response and one said that is racist isn't. This response ties up with the way the media have covered this loan. But then a very angry young person got up and denounced rich politicians and this got a good cheer .
Those participating were still keen to take leaflets, and the idea of self-organisation certainly appeared to rang a bell .
The impression I got was a sense of what next? What can we do now? But also a real determination to stand up to this attack.,

ernie
Dec 1 2010 01:09

The Channel 4 news lead with film of light blue capped police punching out at students. One unfortunate lad feeling the long arm of the law in his face! The police appeared to 'lose it' for a moment or two.

Joseph Kay
Dec 1 2010 01:34

one de-arrest caught by the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-11878523

Mike Harman
Dec 1 2010 03:01

University College Falmouth occupied:

http://twitter.com/#!/FalOccupation

flaneur
Dec 1 2010 08:08

Thought the demo in London yesterday was mint. The manic "turn left, turn right, go back" decision making at the front meant the Benny Hill coppers were on their toes for the entire time as was everyone else. Got a lot of cars beeping in support despite the roads being blocked. Couple of attempts at kettling were broken through. Best bit of the day was having a sit down thinking it was all finished having seen some get kettled by Embankment, only for a different crowd to come down the street shouting "Whose streets? Our streets". The restraint shown was very impressive especially as we passed incredibly alluring targets like a flagstore Topshop and Scotland Yard.