Them them eat paint! Education struggles set to continue in Nottingham after vote to raise fees is narrowly passed in Commons

Amidst the widescale revolt on the streets of London on the day of the vote to raise tuition fees, and the front page news spectacular of the paint bombing of the heir to the throne’s car on his way to a Royal Variety Performance, one thing is clear. After this narrowly won House of Commons vote, we are definitely not amused, and the fight against raised fees and other cuts to education will continue.

The choice of fees or graduate tax from different politicians is a diversion. The bottom line is that tuition fee rises, by whatever means students will be asked to pay them back, and the abolishing of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for 16-18 year olds are examples of ordinary, and in this case mainly young, people having to pay as individuals for the economic crisis. We are told there is no alternative but there is – make education, like healthcare a common good, freely available to all. Our society has become so much more unequal and this has to be reversed. Private individuals continue to increase their wealth in spite of the crisis that was caused by speculation and the search for quick profits.

The attack on the royals, whilst this one off opportunity will no doubt be debated endlessly in terms of ‘security’ as will be the policing of anticuts and fees protests in general, it’s importance is mostly symbolic. What is really important is that more and more people are prepared to take to the streets to say no to privilege, no to top management bonuses, no to multi-billion tax dodges, and no cuts in services, arts and education. Why should we be the ones to suffer while the rich carry on entertaining themselves seemingly regardless of what we are going through?

Not only students …

On the website of Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts names of a total of 85 university staff at University of Nottingham from the School of History, School and Modern Languages and Culture and the School of Politics and International Relations can be found, in full support of last weeks occupation and opposition to the rise in fees.

One of the staff supporter who spoke during the occupation has written an article on his blog: Trade unions and global restructuring

It is especially good to see education workers supporting the students’ initiative, and that a city-wide education network is in the making. This network will hopefully involve students in higher and further education colleges and schools, parents, teachers, lecturers, researchers, technicians, admin and clerical, porters, cleaners, caterers – everyone. Organising in education will be a theme of the forthcoming Notts SOS conference on 15th January 2011.

See also: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts! Press release: Students expose Vice Chancellor’s regressive views and University’s lies and Notts Black Arrow: Nottingham Against Austerity

Parents against student debt - sign held on London anti-fees protest on 9 December 2010
Parents against student debt - sign held on London anti-fees protest on 9 December 2010

Nottingham Students Against Cuts and Fees events on Monday 6th and Thursday 9th December 2010 [plus videos of 4th protests and Billy Bragg at occupation on 3rd]

Anti university fees demo in Nottingham 4th dec 2010Nottingham Students Against Cuts and Fees are organising big events this week that you should all come and get involved in. These follow the suspending of the occupation on Friday and the marching through nottingham on Saturday 4th December. Watch [video of the march] on the 4th and Billy Bragg’s views about the university’s ‘concessions’ put forward to end the occupation.

1. At 2:30pm on Monday 6th, there will be a rally outside the Great Hall in conjunction the Vice Chancellor meeting that the occupation successfully negotiated. Please come down and show your support and make some noise! Download flyer: nsafc_rally_forum_6_dec_2010.pdf

2. At 3:30pm, also on Monday 6th, all students are invited to join an open forum discussion with the VC over the raise in tuition fees and cuts to the university, which is taking place in the Great Hall. All students are allowed to come, even if you weren’t in the occupation; even if you’re unsure about your position. Come down and hear the debate and get involved! (Same flyer as above)

3. On Thursday 9th, MP’s will vote in the commons to raise tuition fees. NSACF have organised coaches to take students, staff and supporters down to London for the National Day of Action. This is a big event, involving all occupations and the student movement as a whole! Download flyer: nsafc_dayx_9_dec_2010.pdf

The suggested donation for the coach is £5, but whatever you can afford. If you are interested, please email: with your name – Coach leaves 9am from Portland steps on Thursday 9th.

Also, join the Facebook event. for the 9th December activities.

Education, Education, Education – university fees and Gedling school protests in Nottingham on Wed/Thurs

NEW: What happened in Nottingham on the 24th? [report with links to photos and midlands TV coverage]

NEW (from London demo): Mounted Police charge protesters at Whitehall 24 November :
Commentary on Guardian website: Student protests: video shows mounted police charging London crowdMet police issue denial but witnesses tell of terrifying ordeal.

24 November: National Walkout against Student Fees and Cuts. In our region, so far there are walkouts being advertised in Leicester, Lincoln and Loughborough and Nottingham.
University of Nottingham action confirmed for Wed 24th is as follows: Rally at 2pm on Portland Building steps [view campus map – PDF]. Download Teach-in Leaflet. Then meeting at University of Nottingham, 4PM, ROOM D138 PORTLAND BUILDING, NOTTINGHAM UNI to join students and staff in open discussion. Speakers from University and College Union (UCU), Notts Save Our Services + Many more TBC. Info: 07849392842.

25 November: WE ARE ONE ‘Night of Light’ demonstration in Gedling to protest at the government closure of Gedling School – meet 5:30pm in the Phoenix pub car park [directions here]. Bring Glo sticks, torches … anything bright. Call Dale Vizzard for details: 07833762387. All welcome. Support from NUT:

Save Gedling School campaign on the Notts SOS march in Nottingham, 20th November 2010, with banner
Save Gedling School campaign on the Notts SOS march in Nottingham, 20th November 2010


The campaign to save Gedling School and Specialist Science College from possible closure is organising a ‘night of lights’ evening demonstration this week. The event will demonstrate the widespread community support for the school.

The campaign began when Nottinghamshire council officers indicated they were minded to recommend the closure of Gedling School, with a decision to be taken by the council’s cabinet members on December 15.

Gedling is a popular and friendly school that excels in many areas – in 2009 it achieved the best science results in the whole of Nottinghamshire. Since the possibility of closure has been publicised there has been an upsurge of support for the school across community and party lines. In a meeting on Monday afternoon both Conservative and Labour Gedling District councillors told Nottinghamshire officials that their plans were based on incorrect statistics and muddled thinking.

The event will begin on Thursday November 25 at 5.30pm. Supporters are asked to assemble at the Phoenix Pub (on Wollaton Avenue. Nottingham NG4 4HU), before marching down Wollaton Avenue to a campaign rally that will take place within the grounds of the school. Bring torches,
glo sticks….anything bright!

Chair of the campaign committee, and parent governor, Caroline Diss, said:

“Any possible withdrawal of our local school, with its specialism and outstanding results in science, and which is at the heart of the local community, would represent a blow to any notion of parental choice.
There are no places in neighbouring schools that perform well in the area leaving the only alternative option for Gedling parents a school that is in special measures.

“We know that no member of the cabinet would want that for their children. They have the power to stop this nightmare scenario happening to ours We implore them to reject the local authority’s recommendation to consult on closure of Gedling School”

Terry Chambers, Head of Year 9, said: “We feel it was important to show the strength of feeling, not only from the pupils but also the parents, the staff, ex-pupils and the whole community against the closure of our school. Any closure would have a devastating effect on the whole community. It seems crucial decisions of this kind are based on spurious data and statistics when the reality is that they will be
destroying the future of so many people.”

Save Gedling School:
Save Gedling School (campaign supporters network):
Save Gedling School Facebook:

Defend student occupation of Tory HQ – and follow up Day of Action on 24th November

Students and education workers at Conservative Party HQ - showing a lot more people than the so called rogue minority reported by the mainstream mediaSeveral people have already commented on this via our newsletter No 1, but I think we need more comments on here and a higher profile for the issue of tuition fees in the light of yesterday’s events in London. I for one want to place on record my support for those students who occupied Millbank Tower, Tory Party HQ.As others have said, the real violence here is the violent assault by the Tories and LibDems on the access rights of students, particularly working class students, to higher education. The comments of Aaron Porter, the President of NUS, calling his fellow protesters mindless hoodlums, were totally out of order. Up until the General Election Porter was to the right of the LibDems in that he supports tuition fees, though not any increase. Those who stormed Tory Party HQ were venting the frustration and anger not just of students but all those who are experiencing or will soon experience the Tory axe. The determination of these young people to say no to these attacks is an inspiration to us all – it is time for us all to stand up and be counted. Let’s mobilise as many students as possible for the demo on November 20th and show that thousands can demonstrate in Nottingham as well as London.


NEW – Press Release for Day of Action on Wednesday 24th November:

NEWER – Stop the hunt on the Millbank protestors (Facebook)

Coaches to the NUS and UCU education demonstration in London – Wednesday 10 November 2010

Poster to advertise the NUS and UCU demo-lition event on November 10th 2010The UCU (Universities and College Union) and NUS (National Union of Students) are jointly organising a national demo, ‘Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts’ on Wednesday 10 November 2010, in central London. Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham UCU will have a coaches running for members and non-members who want to attend the demonstration (contact local unions for information). The NUS at University of Nottingham will also be running coaches.

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