Reflections on the demonstrations and occupations at the University of Sussex, and the wider issue of privatisation and marketisation of the education sector.
Sussex University, 25 March: An afternoon of fireworks, flares, and a not-so-friendly police force. Finally, a demonstration that began to demonstrate something. But this wasn’t merely “fuck the police” (although that sentiment was central); it was in opposition of the 235 jobs being cut through outsourcing at the university, in clear opposition to creeping corporate control of education.
The battle against the bedroom tax in Huddersfield has commenced resulting in a near riot outside Barclays bank.
The battle against the bedroom tax and the cut in council tax rebate was launched in Huddersfield when supporters of Huddersfield Anarchist League staged a thirty strong protest outside the local town hall on 21st March. A delegation of five people addressed Councillors to demand answers to questions.
Around 1000 people marched through the streets of Piacenza on April 6 to protest against the exclusion notice served on Aldo Milani, national coordinator of the radical union SI-COBAS.
The notice bans Milani from the city of Piacenza for three years, and came just three days before the national strike of logistics workers, which involved thousands of workers in Northern Italy, particularly in Piacenza province, where many important warehouses are located.
Another march took place in the heart of the Susa valley on Saturday March 23, 2013, organised by the NoTAV people together with local authorities and other local bodies, which have been part of this struggle since the beginning.
Many people, perhaps as many as 40,000, took part in the day of protest. This has been the case for several years now – since the term “NoTAV” changed from meaning “protest against the new high-speed railways between Lyons and Turin” to “developing a new model of managing the common good”.
Though there have been many appropriate criticisms of the recent discussion of marriage equality and the focus on liberal organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, the challenge to Proposition 8 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court has mobilized a mass of people to speak out and get organized. Organized by Basic Human Rights Oregon, the rally in support of marriage equality drew hundreds in front of the federal court house. Marriage equality is not the endgame of fighting heterosexism, but it can stand as a marker for those who are organizing more largely to challenge homophobia on an institutional level.
The anti-privatisation campaign at the University of Sussex is gathering strength - and there are signs university management are feeling the pressure.
The student-led occupation of the Bramber House conference centre is now 6 weeks old. Monday 25th March has been called as a national demonstration against the privatisation and marketisation of universities.
On 25 February there will be demonstrations across Italy to highlight the difficult situation in which refugees from a number of North African countries have found themselves over the past 18 months. The demonstrations are also to draw the authorities’ attention to the need to support refugees’ integration and inclusion in the country.
The so-called ‘North African Emergency’ provisions expire on 28 February. This is the national programme drawn up to manage the arrival of refugees from the war in Libya and other conflicts in the region.
Following a demonstration of over 300 staff and students in opposition to the privatisation of services at Sussex University; a large group of people have occupied the conference centre on the top floor of Bramber House.
In May 2012, the University announced its unilateral decision to sell off most services provided on campus, over 10% of its workforce, to private investors. This announcement came with no student consultation, and next to no consultation with the 235 workers and trade-unions concerned.
Today scores of people protesting against austerity occupied the offices of the Greek Labour Minister. The occupation ended after two hours - following violent clashes with the police
Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the offices with banners, and chanted “We are not clients, we are workers”… this is in response to comments recently made by the minister, who claimed that the Greek social security system was founded on clientism.