24 Nov 2010

Stroud student protest today

Outside Neil Carmichael's office this afternoon a group of students were protesting - Neil was in London but his office staff were seeing them. I spoke very briefly to several students and also contacted the press as this is an issue that really should get a hearing.

Photo: Clegg signing pledge this April

What on earth are we doing to the next generation?? Climate change, nuke waste and all the other problems are more than enough....here is my hurried quote to Stroud Life:

I welcome the protest in Stroud to highlight the shocking assault on education funding. The recession has already hit young people harder with disappearing university places and increasing youth unemployment. Now the Educational Maintenance Allowance is being scrapped, college funding slashed and there are huge rises in university fees. Over 300 academics note the planned increase in fees means the "effective removal of higher education" for working people while the Institute of Fiscal Studies says that the cuts will lead to "insignificant savings to the taxpayer".

The Lib Dems are rightly the focus of much anger. You can't make an election pledge to oppose increased tuition fees then break it weeks later. With workers and students on the streets many of us may wish this will hasten the fall of this Government. There are better ways to tackle the deficit like reclaiming the billions lost in tax avoidance and investing in our future with green technologies.


Meanwhile with all the comments about violence it was good to see the Green party's Jenny Jones writing on the student protests and young greens call for NUS to organise NVDA training: "I personally agree that many of the Coalition’s actions justify civil disobedience. Where I draw the line is the argument that violence is justified because the impact of this government’s brutal policies will have a destructive impact on people lives. As soon as protest turns violent we lose the argument." See more here.

3 comments:

Philip Booth said...

A friend sent this of the demo in Sheffield:
https://cid-4ae75349715b764a.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Deputy%20PM%20Nick%20Clegg%5E4s%20office%20under%20student%20protest%20-%20today!%20%5E52%5E6?Bsrc=Photomail&Bpub=SDX.Photos

And see:
GREEN MP SPONSORS AMENDMENT CALLING ON LIB DEMS TO HONOUR PLEDGE OVER
STUDENT FEES

...AND REGRETTING LABOUR'S ROLE IN INTRODUCING TUITION FEES
IN THE FIRST PLACE

Caroline Lucas, Britain's first Green MP, today
sponsors an amendment to an opposition motion on tuition fees in an effort
to toughen-up Labour's critique and call to account Liberal Democrat MPs
who have failed to honour their pledge to oppose increases in tuition fees.


Today sees an Opposition Day debate on school sports funding and then
tuition fees (1). Labour leader Ed Milliband has put forward what the
Greens regard as a weak motion (2) calling on the government to publish its
education plans in detail and expressing concern over student debt. The
Green Party leader, together with MPs from the Scottish and Welsh
nationalist parties, has tabled an amendment (3) spelling out a much
tougher critique of the government, noting Labour's role in introducing
tuition fees in the first place, and calling on Lib Dem MPs to honour their
pledge to oppose rises in tuition fees.

Caroline Lucas commented this
afternoon from her constituency, where she was taking part in a student-led
protest against tuition fees and education cuts:

"Given that 90% of MPs
went to university, mostly without having to pay tuition fees, it's
completely unacceptable that the Tories and Lib Dems are getting away with
this.

"Liberal Democrats are breaking the promises that helped them get
elected, and meanwhile Labour is failing to provide the real challenge the
country wants to see."

Philip Booth said...

PERFECT POLICING OR INSTITUTIONALISED
VIOLENCE? LEADING GREEN CALLS FOR EVIDENCE FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO
WITNESSED LAST WEDNESDAY'S STUDENT PROTESTS IN LONDON

Jenny Jones, a
Green Party member of the London Assembly and of the Metropolitan Police
Authority, today issued a call for demonstrators and any other members of
the public who witnessed the student protests in London last Wednesday (24
November 2010) to submit information regarding their experience of the
policing at the event.

Jenny is asking people who were present to
"provide examples of the policing [they] witnessed, both good and bad".


"OFFICERS ACTING AGGRESSIVELY, AND SENIOR OFFICERS TURNING A BLIND EYE TO
THIS"

Ben Duncan, the Green Party's home affairs spokesperson, who is
also a member of the Sussex Police Authority, commented today:

"Jenny has
had letters from parents thanking her for speaking out at the way the
police treated young demonstrators. She's also had enough feedback to
indicate that there was a serious problem both with some police officers
acting aggressively, and of senior officers turning a blind eye to this.
There's also growing evidence that the kettling tactic is unjustifiable and
dangerous."

Jenny Jones has set a deadline of 12 December for responses
which she will present in an open report for the Commissioner and the
Metropolitan Police Authority.

Meanwhile leading Greens, including party
leader Caroline Lucas MP who yesterday attending a student-led protest in
her Brighton Pavilion constituency, continue to encourage students and
others to protest non-violently against what Caroline Lucas has called "the
government's attack on the next generation and on the future of education
in Britain".

Philip Booth said...

The government is facing a legal challenge over its plans to raise tuition fees to £9000 a year. Public Interests Lawyers are seeking a legal review on behalf of 2 sixth form students due to start university in 2012, the year the higher fees are introduced
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/legal-challenge-launched-over-tuition-fees-2223828.html