★ ISM - UK
Consider to support the following statement as a group or individual before 12noon (GMT).
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It is a reaction to todays events in London.
We want to publish this statement and send it out to the press with you as a supporter.
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We need unity to break the Con Dems’ attacks
Stand with protesters against victimisation
Wednesday’s national NUS/UCU 50,000 strong national demonstration was a magnificent show of strength against the Con Dems’ savage attacks on education. The Tories want to make swingeing cuts, introduce £9,000 tuition fees and cut EMA. These attacks will close the doors to higher education and further education for a generation of young people.
During the demonstration over 5,000 students showed their determination to defend the future of education by occupying the Tory party HQ and its courtyards for several hours. The mood was good-spirited, with chants, singing and flares.
Yet at least 32 people have now been arrested, and the police and media appear to be launching a witch-hunt condemning peaceful protesters as “criminals” and violent. A great deal is being made of a few windows smashed during the protest, but the real vandals are those waging a war on our education system.
We reject any attempt to characterise the Millbank protest as small, “extremist” or unrepresentative of our movement. We celebrate the fact that thousands of students were willing to send a message to the Tories that we will fight to win. Occupations are a long established tradition in the student movement that should be defended. It is this kind of action in France and Greece that has been an inspiration many workers and students in Britain faced with such a huge assault on jobs, housing and the public sector.
We stand with the protesters, and anyone who is victimised as a result of the protest.