With recent strikes, occupations, and violent repression, the university is becoming a battleground. What does this mean for university staff and students?
To begin, I should stress that the choice to be inside the university is disappearing. Whether by escalating indebtedness, involuntary outsourcing, or indeed, summary suspension for political activity, exclusion from the university is making a comeback.
This resignation letter was sent by one of the 235 workers at the University of Sussex, who are being outsourced by university management.
Sheffield Strikes Back, a newly formed broad left group of Sheffield students, have occupied the Arts Tower – the tallest university building in the United Kingdom.
The group, which includes activists from Sheffield Autonomous Students, Revolutionary Socialists Society, Labour Students, Socialist Students and the Living Wage campaign, walked into the lecture hall at about 7:30pm and have now claimed a major lecture theatre and the building foyer.
Higher education workers at 149 UK institutions are taking strike action today after rejecting a 1% pay offer.
Lecturers and support staff are taking part in the industrial action, organised by the three major unions in the sector - University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite.
University workers have taken a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2009 according to the unions.
If TED took a turn to leftist (or any) critique, Žižek, the professor of “toilets and ideology,” would be the keynote speaker. The irony of the animated lecture, “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce,” is that a diatribe on “global capitalism with a human face” would get over 900,000 views on YouTube.
A standard feature of the hand-wringing associated with the crisis of the university is a fixation on the humanities. After all, for those of us in the so-called creative and critical fields, illustrating, visualizing and – dare we say it – branding the crisis is a new and unique opportunity to show off. This is what we went to school for, isn’t it?
Beyond Thatcher : militant testimonies on miners’ struggles and British syndicalism from yesterday and today
This year, Margaret Thatcher’s death reminded us of the economic policies she initiated in Britain and her anti-social and anti-union fights. In the last months, Autre Futur [French syndicalist website and association] wished to go further and to conduct a series of interviews with different British unionists and syndicalists, about these past struggles but also about the present, in order to get a better grasp of issues which have emerged in recent decades.
The relevance of these testimonies and thoughts have been shown to go beyond the British context and remind us the importance of a greater international cooperation and solidarity in the face of life and working conditions’ deterioration.
It has come to our attention that Martin Smith – who resigned from the Socialist Workers Party following rape and sexual harassment allegations – is now based in the Social Work department at Liverpool Hope University. Trigger warning: rape, sexual harassment.
The accusations against Smith were covered up by an internal investigation from the party’s disputes committee.
Last week Leonarda Dibrani, a 15 year old school girl, was dragged off a bus during a school trip and deported back to Kosovo by French authorities. The incident has brought fresh attention on the issue of immigration in France and has led around 12,000 students on to the streets to protest in support of Leonarda Dibrani, disrupting or closing over 170 schools across Paris, Marseille, Angers, and Grenoble. Many scuffles have broken out with the police as they have tried to dismantle makeshift barricades.
The family had been deported due to their claim for asylum being rejected on the grounds of “Insufficient prospect of social and economic integration.” Further protests are being planned for over the weekend, including a march through Paris on Saturday afternoon.
One of Leanarda’s teachers said that: