Anti-education cuts demo - 10 November

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no1
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Nov 15 2010 12:19
Xander wrote:
I don't think the investigations editor of the torygraph is going to register on here with a picture avatar or show up at any meetings for that matter.

It seems to me that he doesn't like to leave his desk, given that most of his article consists of copy-paste from facebook. Funnily enough, he's just written an article gloating about how "civil servants who spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter" are going to get the sack. These Tory boy types just don't get the idea of solidarity do they.
http://not4attribution.blogspot.com/2010/10/facing-sack-civil-servants-who-spend.html

elsquith
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Nov 15 2010 16:54
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Anyone in London organising for this? I'm trying to organise a walkout of my school and I don't know what will happen afterwards, it would be best to congregate with other uni/school groups.

Maybe try contacting some of the London groups listed here?

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Ellar
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Nov 15 2010 19:28

Over ten thousand people are attending the national walkout on the 24th on facebook and apparently there are plans to occupy the lib dem headquarters which are circulating on the internet.

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 15 2010 23:58

Condemned by Green Party lol: http://www.greenfeed.org.uk/feeds/?p=104699

Mike Harman
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Nov 16 2010 03:59

The LibDem headquarters plans have already been picked up by the media so I'd expect there to be a massive police presence. Would be better off spending the energy on occupying universities in London where there can't possibly be a concentrated police presence, less chance of more arrests etc.

Samotnaf
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Nov 16 2010 05:50
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Would be better off spending the energy on occupying universities in London where there can't possibly be a concentrated police presence, less chance of more arrests etc.

Should emphasise "less chance of more arrests": if occupations here in France, or in Britain in the past, are anything to go by, there are often some very nasty arrests, or sometimes just beatings without arrests. Though, at the same time, the State will probably want to encourage the peaceful protest line of the NUS, so they'll be thinking about the best means of divide and rule - which means allowing innocuous occupations as long as they don't become a centre for other actions (other occupations even) outside the universities; they'll be wanting to ghettoise the struggle, and aim to limit entrance to possible occupations to just students, I'd guess.

Also they'll be wanting to keep the discourse limited to just a critique of fees, and certainly not a single critique of the content of the courses or of the hierarchical roles, admittedly increasingly proletarianised, supposedly aimed for in the future world of work. That this future is like a carrot in front of a donkey, reached by fewer and fewer, might be becoming more and more obvious, but as an alienated desire it should also be subject to critique, which so far nobody seems to be doing - or have I missed something? The excellent riotous form of this struggle (which has cheered up millions, I'd guess) shouldn't obscure the need to develop a revolutionary content to it - otherwise all people will be aiming at over the next 10 years or so will be a repeat of social democracy, this time by violent revolutionary means.

Mike Harman
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Nov 16 2010 06:19
Samotnaf wrote:
That this future is like a carrot in front of a donkey, reached by fewer and fewer, might be becoming more and more obvious, but as an alienated desire it should also be subject to critique, which so far nobody seems to be doing - or have I missed something?

I haven't seen any sign of this from either the news coverage or statements put out from the anti cuts groups, in general there's been no content in regards to the education/university system itself, only 1. fees 2. EMA cut 3. cuts to universities 4. cuts in general, roughly in that order.

What is encouraging is that there are early signs of students making links with lecturers on the one hand over cuts, and with secondary/sixth form/FE students over EMA (which is essentially a benefit cut) on the other. And of course most of the university students on the demos are going to finish their courses before the fees come in, this makes it a bit more abstract for them (unless they have younger siblings about to go in), but it also means there's not going to be any mileage for measures like delaying the introduction, not applying it to existing students etc. to buy them off - since that's already more or less the case afaik.

While I'm not there at the moment, it feels like there could be quite a bit of a barrier to a more generalised critique of society coming out of this. It's the first Tory government for 13 years, the LibDems, which get a lot of student votes, are a very easy political scapegoat for both the fee rises and in general supporting coalition policies, economically a lot of blame for the crises is on 'the banks', the media, unions (especially those linked to the Labour Party), and the Labour Party itself (although I'd hope most people would see through that last one) can all very happily play into that narrative.

Having said all that, this is an extremely positive start, very very early in the game, so in the same way we were proved very wrong about the outcome of the protest, we may be pleasantly surprise by the rest of the movement as it develops. Just trying not to get too excited right now!

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Rob Ray
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Nov 16 2010 15:26

Someone's handed themselves in for dropping the fire extinguisher, poor bastard - if police get their way he'll be sent down for life for basically getting too hyped up and being an idiot sad.

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Entdinglichung
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Nov 16 2010 15:57
Rob Ray wrote:
Someone's handed themselves in for dropping the fire extinguisher, poor bastard - if police get their way he'll be sent down for life for basically getting too hyped up and being an idiot sad.

unlike in most other countries in Europe, there is stil no distinction between youths and adults in anglo-saxon penal law; e.g. in Germany, the highest sentence for someone between 14 and 20 is ten years

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 16 2010 18:31
Rob Ray wrote:
Someone's handed themselves in for dropping the fire extinguisher, poor bastard - if police get their way he'll be sent down for life for basically getting too hyped up and being an idiot sad.

From what I heard 2nd hand over lunch - fuck, isn't it awesome when people start talking to you about this shit? - they're gonna try attempted murder on him, which could work out in his benefit since it'll be a harder one to prove as opposed to attempted ABH or even attempted manslaughter. Either that or I've watched too much Law & Order...

In seriousness, is the Defense Campaign advocating for him?

Jason Cortez
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Nov 16 2010 21:28

It seems a very poor idea to hand oneself in, obviously the fire extinguisher slipped fro their fingers made wet by the foam being released.

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jef costello
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Nov 17 2010 00:11
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
In seriousness, is the Defense Campaign advocating for him?

You're probably right about the charge Caiman, but there's no such thing as attempted manslaughter as manslaughter is for when you didn't intend to to kill. I'm almost wondering if it's worth removing the post but I imagine they've thought about this. (they can always retry him on a lesser charge)
I remember a couple of people got long sentences for letting off fire extinguishers at G20 or something in London a few years ago because they had the book thrown at them.
Either way this guy, aswell as others who were arrested, is going to need some support.

Jason Cortez
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Nov 17 2010 01:15
Quote:
Over 80 students crammed themselves in the learning centre of the John Roan Sixth Form, Greenwich today to hear eye witness accounts from students who marched alongside education workers last Wednesday on the massive demo against tuition fee increases. Students are in uproar at the prospect of being saddled with debts of over £44, 000 if plans to increase fees to £9,000 go ahead. The feeling amongst The John Roan Sixth Form students was one of anger and determination to stop the government's plans to wreck the lives of a generation. Students spoke of the deceit of a government that warns about the national debt and yet is happy to see students take on debts that will cripple their working life. As one student pointed out: "This is an attack on working class students like us. The rich can pay for their education but we will be denied the right because we can't take on that level of debt."

Students discussed the planned walkout on Wednesday 24 November and if such action can force the government to back down. After a lively discussion it was agreed by the meeting that the John Roan students would walkout en masse. "Will it make a difference?" one student asked. " Who knows", said a student in response, "52,000 and the storming of Millbank made the news and everyone is talking about it - imagine what is possible if we double it to 100,000. We need walkouts, occupations and street actions. We'll only know if we try. And we've gotta try - this is too serious not to go all out".

John Roan teachers will be meeting this week to discuss what solidarity action we can offer to the students and education workers in further and higher education who face over 40% cuts.

Kirstie Paton
NUT rep at the John Roan School, Greenwich

Mike Harman
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Nov 17 2010 03:15

Looks like they're going to rush this through as soon as possible in the hope people will give up once it's through the commons, which frankly doesn't seem all that unlikely to me - http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/nov/15/clegg-early-vote-tuition-fees

Samotnaf
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Nov 17 2010 04:36

There'll be no turning back: TINA (there is no alternative, Thatcher's slogan) is in charge. Which means giving up on demands of this nature . I doubt if demanding things off the government is going to get anywhere in the present epoch. As a way of uniting - round an impossible demand - I can't see it's very helpful. Better to "unite" round attempts to practically subvert the austerity plans, though that's easier said than done. But what's most useful is to develop a social movement that makes demands off those who contribute to it, to demand everything from our friends/comrades or potential friends/comrades.

As for the fire extinguisher - when you look down on the defenders of this society, they all look the same; clearly the guy mistook the cop for Clegg and just wanted to help put out the fire on his pants. Perfect defence, no?

cobbler
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Nov 17 2010 07:52
Samotnaf wrote:
There'll be no turning back: TINA (there is no alternative, Thatcher's slogan) is in charge. Which means giving up on demands of this nature . I doubt if demanding things off the government is going to get anywhere in the present epoch.

That's rather defeatest. And even Thatcher was forced to turn back once...

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 17 2010 09:12
Jason Cortez wrote:
Quote:
Over 80 students crammed themselves in the learning centre of the John Roan Sixth Form, Greenwich today to hear eye witness accounts from students who marched alongside education workers last Wednesday on the massive demo against tuition fee increases. Students are in uproar at the prospect of being saddled with debts of over £44, 000 if plans to increase fees to £9,000 go ahead. The feeling amongst The John Roan Sixth Form students was one of anger and determination to stop the government's plans to wreck the lives of a generation. Students spoke of the deceit of a government that warns about the national debt and yet is happy to see students take on debts that will cripple their working life. As one student pointed out: "This is an attack on working class students like us. The rich can pay for their education but we will be denied the right because we can't take on that level of debt."

Students discussed the planned walkout on Wednesday 24 November and if such action can force the government to back down. After a lively discussion it was agreed by the meeting that the John Roan students would walkout en masse. "Will it make a difference?" one student asked. " Who knows", said a student in response, "52,000 and the storming of Millbank made the news and everyone is talking about it - imagine what is possible if we double it to 100,000. We need walkouts, occupations and street actions. We'll only know if we try. And we've gotta try - this is too serious not to go all out".

John Roan teachers will be meeting this week to discuss what solidarity action we can offer to the students and education workers in further and higher education who face over 40% cuts.

Kirstie Paton
NUT rep at the John Roan School, Greenwich

That is fucking sweet. Where'd you come across this Jason?

Jason Cortez
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Nov 17 2010 09:43

PMed

Samotnaf
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Nov 17 2010 12:01

cobbler:

Quote:
Samotnaf wrote:
Quote:
There'll be no turning back: TINA (there is no alternative, Thatcher's slogan) is in charge. Which means giving up on demands of this nature . I doubt if demanding things off the government is going to get anywhere in the present epoch

Quote:
That's rather defeatest. And even Thatcher was forced to turn back once...

Don't see it as defeatist at all - a major social crisis may be on the cards over the next few years or so, but even if that happens this government has already said it won't back down on the tuition fees (it might temporarily back down on other things though - it's got more room for manoeuvre than Sarkozy in France, for instance).
And Thatcher didn't back down - she had to be replaced with Major before they withdrew the poll tax...and replaced it with council tax, which was a partial victory insofar as the unemployed didn't have to pay it. But for the rest, council tax and the VAT increases were no turning back. It seems very unlikely that Camoron will be kicked out over the next year or two. And it'd be a sign of weakness if they did back down, though I suppose a recalcitrant Clegg, grovellingly apologetic, could take over from Camoron to calm an otherwise possibly volatile situation (though we're obviously a long way from that so far, and it'd be useless to be over-optimistic).

What I meant by all this was that capital's project is to not only not give an inch but to take back the inches taken from it ever since Bismark first introduced the Welfare State as a means of social control. It really feels like the old punk slogan "No future" (though a temporarily great future for the McLarens and Johnny Rottens of this world) is the only future capital has in store for us. Scary as it may be, it seriously seems to be "All or Nothing", and this time no ifs and buts.

Quote:
All this and more amounts again to a reproduction of the fundamental conflict between labor organized as wage-labor, and the means of production organized as capital, a conflict to which capitalism has no, and seeks no solution. Rather it is in liquidation, destruction, deprivation, immiseration of capital—fixed, circulating, constant, and variable— that our capitalist places all of his, or her, hopes for the future.

- Insurgent Notes, July 2010

mons
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Nov 17 2010 12:10
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PMed

Could you PM me too. Very interested and know some sixth formers who might want to get in touch.. Cheers

SCORCHER
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Nov 17 2010 13:58
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your newspaper ... the conscience drugged by lying articles written by men of no ability”.
- Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz

-

The Independent wrote:
The Anarchist Federation has taken grave exception to the claims that acts of violence were perpetrated by only a tiny minority of the thousands of students who took part in last Wednesday's demonstration against the Coalition's planned tuition fee increase.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-smash-a-window-lose-the-argument-2135045.html

-

Quote:
You cannot hope to bribe or twist
Thank God! The British journalist.

But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there's no occasion to.


- Humbert Wolfe, The Celestial City
Mike Harman
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Nov 17 2010 14:19

Don't have the energy for it right now but comments are open on that article.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 17 2010 14:45
Samotnaf wrote:
But what's most useful is to develop a social movement that makes demands off those who contribute to it, to demand everything from our friends/comrades or potential friends/comrades.

interestingly, i argued something like this at the start of the current Sussex occupation, that we should be aiming the occupation at other students, those who were at Millbank (or wished they were) rather than making demands of management/government we're currently in no position to make. some weird version of impossible transitional demands got into the statement (asking management to denounce the cuts etc), with the argument being we could 'do both'. we may as well have demanded free palestine imho. personally i hate that kind of consensus thinking, since the idea of refusing to address the government/management but only or fellow students/workers completely loses its power if you also make demands on management/the state. all that said i'm critical of 'demand nothing' as a general strategy, but i think austerity will only be pegged back by widespread unrest rather than demands, so we should be addressing our class not theirs.

Samotnaf
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Nov 17 2010 14:55

Apart from anything else, the standard distortion of history in the son of the former Reichskanzler Lord Lawson - eg neither Mandela nor Gandhi were against violence;

Quote:
Gandhi... even refused to support a mutiny of a section of the Hindu Royal Garwhali regiment – who were brutally punished for the mutiny - when it refused an order to machine gun unarmed rioting muslims, saying he wouldn't want soldiers in an independent India to refuse his orders to shoot if that became necessary!!!!!)(Le Monde, 20th Feb. 1932).

But it's really not worthwhile endlessly attacking every scumbag journo's comments in defence of the "non-violence" of bourgeois democracy, particularly such an obviously ruling class shithead like Lawson.

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jef costello
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Nov 17 2010 14:57
Jason Cortez wrote:
Kirstie Paton
NUT rep at the John Roan School, Greenwich

I applied for a job there.

Samotnaf
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Nov 17 2010 15:12

Sorry for not being clear - my last post was a response to MikeHarman's

Quote:
Don't have the energy for it right now but comments are open on that article.

, referring to http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-smash-a-window-lose-the-argument-2135045.html.

JosephKay:

Quote:
i'm critical of 'demand nothing' as a general strategy,

So am I - but it depends whether a demand can be realised or not, and "impossible transitional demands" are a classic leftist manipulative ploy to get the "naive" into the action then hit them with the truth that it's all impossible without a revolution later, or some such version of this. What I said was

Quote:
There'll be no turning back: TINA (there is no alternative, Thatcher's slogan) is in charge. Which means giving up on demands of this nature . I doubt if demanding things off the government is going to get anywhere in the present epoch.

Demanding things off particular bosses or institutions might well be a different matter, depending on the situation. Abstract principles like "Demand nothing" or "You always have to make demands" don't get to grips with practical realities. Though even making demands off the government could possibly win temporarily, though not on this issue now. The USA, where tuition fees are far higher, along with the prison population, is the model.

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Rob Ray
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Nov 17 2010 15:25

Lawson's got a big readership, so taking him on over comments about anarchist groups can't hurt - all publicity etc etc.

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 17 2010 19:23

On the back of Goldsmiths UCU seizing the initiative by publically supporting the students and earning Downing St's chagrin in the process, their next move? A "public meeting" with Tony Benn, John McDowell, some other chancing Labour cunt, etc, etc...

Lemme guess, some kinda collective amnesia in which we'll all forget who introduced top up fees in the first place...

cobbler
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Nov 17 2010 19:27
Samotnaf wrote:
Don't see it as defeatist at all - a major social crisis may be on the cards over the next few years or so, but even if that happens this government has already said it won't back down on the tuition fees (it might temporarily back down on other things though - it's got more room for manoeuvre than Sarkozy in France, for instance).
And Thatcher didn't back down - she had to be replaced with Major before they withdrew the poll tax...and replaced it with council tax, which was a partial victory insofar as the unemployed didn't have to pay it. But for the rest, council tax and the VAT increases were no turning back. It seems very unlikely that Camoron will be kicked out over the next year or two. And it'd be a sign of weakness if they did back down, though I suppose a recalcitrant Clegg, grovellingly apologetic, could take over from Camoron to calm an otherwise possibly volatile situation (though we're obviously a long way from that so far, and it'd be useless to be over-optimistic).

What I meant by all this was that capital's project is to not only not give an inch but to take back the inches taken from it ever since Bismark first introduced the Welfare State as a means of social control. It really feels like the old punk slogan "No future" (though a temporarily great future for the McLarens and Johnny Rottens of this world) is the only future capital has in store for us. Scary as it may be, it seriously seems to be "All or Nothing", and this time no ifs and buts.

Okay, fair enough, I get your drift now, and somehow I managed to miss this "But what's most useful is to develop a social movement that makes demands off those who contribute to it, to demand everything from our friends/comrades or potential friends/comrades." when I read it this morning, which I agree with.

I think you are right that this government, for as long as it's in power, will not turn back: to do so would be to bring in it's own defeat. But to protest the cuts is to raise the issue of the attacks this government is making against the people, to focus discontent and hopefully to galvanise those who perceive the (increasing) injustices in the system.

To turn back the education cuts and nothing more would leave us in much the same situation overall, much the same as ousting the Tories only to find Labour elected...

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Choccy
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Nov 17 2010 19:30

I know the school well wink