STUDENTS at a North London secondary school have vowed to demonstrate in solidarity with teachers and other public sector workers who are striking against government pension changes.
On November 30th, students from Camden School for Girls are marching in solidarity with Workers from across Britain. Students are united in opposition to the Coalition Government’s plan to make public sector workers, such as our teachers, pay more and work longer for a lot less.
We also oppose the vicious and ideological cuts to public services inflicted by the unelected Coalition Government. Together with the Students and Workers of Great Britain, we are the 99%.
The only way for a British Citizen under the age of 18 to exercise their right to political representation is by self-representation through protest.
We are marching because although most public sector workers are modestly paid, their pay has been frozen while the price of basics is shooting up. Now they are expected to pay an extra £3 billion a year for much worse pensions, by a government that cancelled the banker’s bonus tax that raised almost the same figure. Despite being too young to vote, we can see that it is wrong to make public sector workers pay an unfair contribution to reducing a deficit they did nothing to cause.
As one Year 12 Student said, “The first rule of economics is that if your economy isn’t growing, something is seriously wrong. Our economy isn’t growing, and this is because of the Condem Cuts”
“The Coalition’s Cuts are ideological”, said another. “This is proved by the fact that whilst expecting public sector workers to pay an extra £3 billion a year for their pensions, they are letting companies such as Vodafone off of tax bills as big as £6 billion.”
Our students are also worried about their own futures. Our generation will be the first for a very long time to be worse off than our parents were. This is because our economy isn’t growing, and because the cuts to Public Services and Education are going to make our Education far more expensive than that of our parents and politicians who received free Higher Education, and also make it far harder to get a job. We are headed for a lifetime of debt and there is nothing we can do about it.
“These cuts are not going to help clear the deficit.” says one student. “What clears the deficit is injecting money into the economy so that it grows and our country earns money.”
See you on the streets. We are the 99%.
See Guardian article for full story http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/may/09/universities-extra-places-richest-students?CMP=twt_fd
This is perhaps the most outrageous development in the fees saga so far.
Please, if you are a prospective university student, consider co-signing the below letter, which I shall be sending to the Guardian later today.
The notion that wealthy parents will be able to pay up-front international-level fees for extra places at universities is of grave concern.
It comes to us, as prospective university students, as the latest development of the marketisation of university education.
The Autumn will already see for the first time prospective university students shopping for university courses and campuses of different prices. This will have a devastating effect on the choices of poorer students, many of whom will see the top universities – charging £9,000 a year – as off limits, and instead opt for cheaper institutions.
That wealthy students could bypass merit-based university applications to access a largely inaccessible system completely contradicts the government’s assertion that the new regime of university funding is “fair” or “progressive”.
We call on the government to recognise university education for its worth to society. Their reforms to the university system will only accelerate a steady trend for universities to act like production-line businesses, considering neither fair access nor the notion that education is about more than calculating whether an expensive degree will earn one more in the long run.
ANTI-CUTS RALLY – CANTELOWES PARK, CAMDEN ROAD, 1PM ON WEDNESDAY 23RD MARCH
The march for the alternative is now less than a week away. On Wednesday, we will be inviting speakers from the labour movement and from a nationwide campaign to establish a national school students union to Cantelowes park where we will rally for the alternative.
Last year, Camden showed the nation the anger we all feel about this government’s cuts in education. But the rise in tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA are not isolated. The government’s wider programme of cuts and reforms will compromise not only our own futures but the future of British society.
We will now be rallying in a bid to build momentum for the Camden delegation on Saturday 26th – and to make sure that school students from across the country will be there to say no to the government’s package of cuts and regressive reforms.
All are welcome to come and show support at Cantelowes park. We are also looking for speakers to address the rally – if you can help, please email email@example.com or tweet @camdensitin
A note of clarification – the Twitter username and this blog originated in publicising our successful 24 hour’teach-in’ and occupation in December. We would like to thank everyone who supported us in any way for this action – including teachers and members of staff at the school. We appreciate that some in the latter category made significant sacrifices on the day of the occupation – so now, as we take our message directly to the government on the 26th and beyond, we hope we can count on their full-hearted support.
During the live debate, after Lamb had given weak excuses over his broken election promise, on tuition fees, Sophie told him: “You are the nasty party. You’ve lost the entire student vote.”
Sophie can be seen at the bottom of the linked page HERE.
Today saw hundreds of students at Camden School for Girls assemble for a lunchtime meeting about the true effects of the cuts proposed to higher education, EMA and beyond.
The students gave up their lunchtimes to hear guest speakers, including two of the UCL occupiers, with whom we have been working closely in solidarity over the past few weeks.
This meeting was a precursor to tomorrow’s planned ‘teach-in’ action, which will see students voicing their protests at the government’s proposals, respecting the school’s educational provision through attending lessons, while emphasising education’s sacred nature through staging a programme of self-teaching and constructive protest.
We haven’t even begun our ‘teach-in, yet we have already received numerous messages of support, including two from senior Members of Parliament:
CAROLINE LUCAS – LEADER OF THE GREEN PARTY AND MP FOR BRIGHTON PAVILION:
A message of support for tomorrow’s teach in:
Students are likely to be amongst those hardest hit by the coalition government’s cuts, with the Educational Maintenance Allowance being scrapped, college funding slashed and the huge hikes in university fees. Many people will be priced out of going to university – and those who do go will be saddled with huge debt. This is unacceptable for a society which values social mobility and inclusiveness. So I want to applaud you for standing up for a fair education system and for opposing cuts to other key public services. A new movement is being born and is determined to show that another world is possible – thank you for being part of that and I hope you know that you are making a real difference.
JOHN MCDONNELL – FORMER LABOUR LEADERSHIP CONTENDER AND MP FOR HAYES AND HARLINGTON:
Just a message of support and solidarity to Goldsmith’s students for their occupation and Camden school students for their sit in tomorrow.
CHERWELL SCHOOL STUDENTS UNION:
Dear students of Camden School,
We agree with your demands, and we stand in solidarity with you to
save our education.
We support your sit-in and wish you the very best.
See you on the streets!
We stand in Solidarity with you.
These messages have been extremely humbling and inspiring, and we thank you all for your support!
If you have a message of support, please post it as a comment or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello all and thank you for visiting our blog; we are a group of sixth form students from North London showing our disdain and anger at the proposed education (and other) cuts, as well as the rise in tuition fees proposed by our Coalition government. We are a diverse group of people all with different views and beliefs yet we are united in this one belief that these cuts are largely unworkable and unjust. We feel that our generation is being penalized for the mistakes of past generations and as a result we are having a 24 hour sit in at our school in North London; to provide a peaceful way of showing our distain at the con-dem government; and we ask of our school to support us in our demands:
1. That the school make a public statement condeming the increase in fees and the abolishment of EMA.
2. That the school does not penalise anyone for taking part in the sit in
3. That the school continues to support students in protests.