Thousands of students take action against cuts and fees

Photograph from Whitehall by @beckpitt

Thousands of students and supporters are due to take part in a national day of action against cuts and tuition fee increases across the UK on 24 November. Post your live updates here.

The main day of action Facebook group has over 22,000 attendees.

We'll be updating this story throughout the day as events unfold, please add your own updates as comments.

Occupations have begun at some universities before the official day of action:

- Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, occupied the Brunei Gallery on Monday, the occupation continues at time of writing, held by around sixty students, updates are being posted to their blog.

- Around 50 of these students are engaged in the occupation of Lecture Theatre 7 in the Manchester Metropolitan University Geoffrey Manton building, the occupation began on Monday.

- Around 40 students at the University of the West of England (UWE) students began an occupation at the Frenchay Campus on Monday afternoon with the intention of staying overnight.

- Students at Royal Holloway occupied a corridor of the founders building last night, they are posting regular updates and have a live webcam feed

- Birmingham and Plymouth universities have both been occupied today.

- 10.45am - School walkouts have begun, with a well-organised protest in Leeds leaving the school at 10am for a march around the town centre.

- Local newspapers are reporting a number of secondary schools and sixth form colleges will be participating in the walkouts during the day.

- 12:10pm - anticuts.com just reported UEL going into occupation following a demo on campus.

- 12:20pm - London Southbank university just went into occupation, more details on on their blog.

- 12:28pm - The Guardian's Paul Lewis on twitter writes: March just broke into a sprint away from police at strand - cops now blocked the road. #demo2010, then March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn't supposed to happen. #demo2010

- 12:39pm - UCL occupied . update 12:41pm: Guardian reports that "hundreds of UCL students" have occupied the Jeremy Bentham room in the central campus building). 12:50pm - photo.

- 12:46pm - @paul_sagar writes "There are school kids at the Cambridge demo, in uniform. AND WITH THEIR TEACHERS! #demo2010"

- 12:51pm - traffic stopped in central Leeds (photo)

- 1:23pm - Warwick University in occupation in Arts Centre Lecture Theatre

- 1.30pm - Police van isolated by protesters, then abandoned by police in Trafalgar square, in process of being ripped apart. Protesters are in process of being kettled by several hundred police officers, various journalists and others reporting on twitter that things are still unpredictable.

- 1.40pm - Essex University occupied.

- 1.54pm - Leeds University occupied.

- 2.01pm - Oxford library occupied.

- 2.02pm - BBC live coverage shows police using batons to beat back protesters.

Protester bleeding in Westminster

- 2.04pm - One arrest at Bristol protest.

- 2.24pm - Over 5-600 students marched through cambridge according to the BBC. Several hundred scaled a fence to occupy Senate House. Lots of people in there, beating back people with batons. A few students jumping back over the fence to get out of the way.

- 4.00pm - over 1,000 students walked out of Chiswick community school earlier today according to twitter (no link because the twitter account appears to be the real name of a real student at the school).

- 4.48pm - Dozens of retweets on twitter that Officer U2128 kicked an unarmed 15 year-old girl in the stomach, this was caught on video. Witnesses then changed "You're going on YouTube".

- 5.42pm - video from the Senate House occupation in Cambridge:

- 5.45pm - solfed updates from around the UK:

Liverpool
Initial estimates suggested a turnout of thousands who brought Lime Street to a standstill, with a fast moving march featuring an attempted sit-down in Castle Street. While most commenters are agreeing that the protest has been peaceful, police brought out dogs and horses and there have been complaints of "intimidating behaviour." The march was largely halted as of 1pm but quickly got moving again and reached the town hall at around 1.30pm. Hundreds of people filled all levels of the Liverpool One shopping centre, and the protest broke up at around 2.30pm. The main incident saw students occupy the Guild (Liverpool's Student Union) after the march had broken up, in an interesting twist on the story of over a dozen occupations iat universities across the country - apparently many students have remained unimpressed with the performance of the likes of Aaron Porter.

- Brighton
The city saw a relatively energetic march converging on Dyke Road Park, from age 12/13 up. Numbers were difficult to estimate, but our members thought there could be 500-1000. One noted at 3.30pm: "Speeches were largely ignored, and over half the crowd has broken away on an unauthorised march. Cops are heavily outnumbered, with a total of over 2,000 people on the demo." As it ended many converged on the town hall, where police pushed the crowd back as it attempted to storm the building.

Most spectacular however were the events after the official march ended, with reports coming in of students smashing in their union building and large numbers of police being mobilised. It appears that the police have been totally outmanouvered, with roaming demos which have seen the city's VodaFone shop briefly occupied, 400-500 people holding the major Western Road and continuing struggles at the town hall - with the force's Chief Inspector Taylor noting "No other arrests apart from the earlier one for breach of peace."

As the police's frustrations rise, there has been at least one anecdotal story on twitter that a student in school uniform has been beaten up by a policeman at Priory House.

Extra...
A member in the Northwest notes: "Biggish one in Manchester again, around 700 people but a bloody enormous one in Bury up the road, police saying around 1,200. It's now finished and police say there were no arrests made.
News from Leeds: Protesters have occupied Leeds university. People are on the roof.

Massive list of what's planned for today at http://anticuts.org.uk/?page_id=778

More on libcom:
- Discuss today's events in our forum
- Discuss the 10th November protests
- UK against austerity

Posted By

libcom
Nov 23 2010 23:04

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Comments

Alf
Nov 26 2010 21:47

I'm having a lot of technical problems at present - can't log on via Google Chrome and it's very slow via Internet Explorer. I have also failed to download the pictures I snapped on my mobile on Wednesday, including a couple of the trashed police van with some slogans on it. I will try to get help from a non-technophobe, which doesn't include Jaycee, despite the generation he's in.

I am actually looking for the thread about 4 December - ie calling for actions on a day when the working stiffs can join in. It sounds like a very good idea. The question will be: what kind of actions are we going to propose?

If this isn't the place please re-route me.

Mark.
Nov 26 2010 22:23

Local press reports from Wednesday's protests in Bury

Quote:
More than 1,200 students brought part of Bury town centre to a standstill yesterday during a protest march against education cuts and the rise in tuition fees.

The walkout, organised by the Holy Cross and Bury College Against Cuts Action Group, climaxed with a noisy demonstration outside Bury Town Hall as hundreds of students waved placards and shouted slogans...

and Calderdale

Quote:
Hundreds of Calderdale students joined youngsters across the country in a mass protest.
Shouting "They say cuts, we say fight", the teenagers walked out of lessons to show their opposition to rising tuition fees and education cuts.

Around 200 students - from Year 7 to sixth form - left Calder High School in Mytholmroyd at 11am to gather on the side of New Road in Hebden Bridge.
Waving placards stating "Scrap trident, not EMA" and "Students of today are the workers of the future", they urged drivers to honk their horns as they passed.
Around a dozen police officers were on guard to oversee the protest.

At North Halifax Grammar School, Illingworth, up to 300 pupils went out at breaktime, marching through the school before sixth form students led their younger classmates in a sit-down protest in the school fields...

also Burnley, Huddersfield and Oldham

Added together the numbers on these smaller protests must be quite high.

flaneur
Nov 27 2010 00:23
Alf wrote:
I'm having a lot of technical problems at present - can't log on via Google Chrome and it's very slow via Internet Explorer. I have also failed to download the pictures I snapped on my mobile on Wednesday, including a couple of the trashed police van with some slogans on it. I will try to get help from a non-technophobe, which doesn't include Jaycee, despite the generation he's in.

I am actually looking for the thread about 4 December - ie calling for actions on a day when the working stiffs can join in. It sounds like a very good idea. The question will be: what kind of actions are we going to propose?

If this isn't the place please re-route me.

The 4th (or now the 5th?) is being discussed here.

Ideas for action could be around supporting student struggles on the continent. Question is where would you do that, the embassies?

slothjabber
Nov 27 2010 01:17

Both 4th and 5th have been called by different groups.

One group called the 'Workers and Students Movement' called the 4th - http://anticuts.org.uk/ and http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_148882865159345 - and about 8 hours later (?) NCAFC called the 5th - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=143365209046082#!/event.php?eid=172969552731286

It now looks like the two days will both be actions.

Samotnaf
Nov 27 2010 09:18
Quote:
Guardian's running the police horse charge at Westminster finally - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/26/police-student-protests-horses-charge

There was a CIF comment on scaring the horses with lion shit. Heard this round about the time of Bloody Sunday 1972, when the cops in Whitehall came out between the horses to truncheon people,and then retreated back behind the horses. I suppose it's genetic - the fear of lions. Not sure if it would still work, since maybe the cops have genetically engineered horses not to be afraid of lion shit. Worth testing out. And for those too wimpy to sneak into the lion house at London Zoo and steal the stuff, check this out.

wheresmyshoes
Nov 27 2010 11:58

Here's what's happening with us South Wales lot on Tuesday:

CARNIVAL AGAINST THE CUTS
Tuesday 30 November
3 pm, Nye Bevan Statue, Queen Street (opp. Castle)

As part of the second National Day of Action and Walkouts we call on all creative resisters to Walkout of school, college or workplace at, say, 2pm to come and be part of the Carnival against the Cuts taking place on Queen Street at 3pm.

We need to crank up our pressure on the government to make sure these politicians don't smash up our education.

FEEDER MARCHES WILL BE MARCHING TO THE CARNIVAL FROM DIFFERENT CAMPUSES AND WORKPLACES -

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY MARCH - Assemble 2pm, outside the Student Union, Park Place

More marches to be announced shortly....!

CARNIVAL AGAINST THE CUTS, LIVE MUSIC, POETRY,
OTHER LIVE PERFORMANCES, ENTERTAINMENT, POLITICS, TEACH INS

Please forward this message on to as many people as possible - as soon as possible!
And if you are on facebook join 'ACTION AGAINST CUTS - CARDIFF'

Wellclose Square
Nov 27 2010 13:10

Going back to Samotnaf's earlier comment... Lion shit was certainly still in the air (well, talk of it anyway) as a tactic against mounted police in the early '80s, as I remember, but it was the same old problem of getting hold of some. The other suggestion at the time was rolling industrial quantities of marbles under the horses' hooves... The trouble is (cue technophobic old gittery) marbles are probably as scarce these days as lion shit because the kids today... blah... blah... blah... computer games... blah... blah... blah... No idea how effective marbles would be anyway.

Samotnaf
Nov 27 2010 13:39

Wellclose - I said check this out on how to obtain LION SHIT.

radicalgraffiti
Nov 27 2010 13:58

you can get marbles on ebay

Samotnaf
Nov 27 2010 14:04

Way back when i knew people who used marble the cops would arrest them for possessing them (can't remember the actual charge) - so make sure you've got a nephew or know a young kid you can logically say you were going to give them to as a present (well, if I was a magistrate, I'd certainly believe you - and I'd charge the cops for wasting police time).

flaneur
Nov 27 2010 14:09
Wellclose Square wrote:
Going back to Samotnaf's earlier comment... Lion shit was certainly still in the air (well, talk of it anyway) as a tactic against mounted police in the early '80s, as I remember, but it was the same old problem of getting hold of some. The other suggestion at the time was rolling industrial quantities of marbles under the horses' hooves... The trouble is (cue technophobic old gittery) marbles are probably as scarce these days as lion shit because the kids today... blah... blah... blah... computer games... blah... blah... blah... No idea how effective marbles would be anyway.

Marbles are way more fun and it'd be like a homage to the pearl necklace scene in Home Alone.

slothjabber
Nov 27 2010 14:39
radicalgraffiti wrote:
you can get marbles on ebay

Or, you know, toy shops.

Anyone got any idea as to the effectiveness of pepper as an anti-horse defence? The idea is to make easy pepper spray grenades with a paper bag with ground pepper in it.

I think the idea is, it doesn't actually damage the horse, unlike marbles which can potentially cause them to fall and break their legs.

This was one of the favoured methods discussed back in the '80s I remember. Marbles, pepper and caltrops. Though as I never faced a horse charge back then (all the demos I was on were both fairly peaceful and totally ineffective) I have no clue as to how useful any of them are.

radicalgraffiti
Nov 27 2010 15:03

I think pepper spray counts as a weapon legally and you can be charged with something just for carrying it, not sure what though.

Mike Harman
Nov 27 2010 15:03

Like Samotnaf says, lion shit is easy to come by now we have the internets.

slothjabber
Nov 27 2010 15:17

Pepper spray counts as aweapon. I'm talking about ground pepper, that you can buy from the shop round the corner, without a credit card, and whout having it delivered. I can have some by the time you finish reading this post (I already have some, and some ground ginger which may work as well, I put them in my stir-fries).

Admitedly in my plan you'd probably have to get the paper bags from the internet.

Wellclose Square
Nov 27 2010 17:18
Samotnaf wrote:
Wellclose - I said check this out on how to obtain LION SHIT.

Yes, I know. And marbles are freely available too. But in order to labour my old-gittish point about no-one playing marbles any more I had to rhetorically feign ignorance of the sheer abundance of both lion shit and marbles.