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On behalf of the University and College Union, I would like to send our
solidarity to the students taking action at Goldsmiths. Our higher education
system is under a sustained attack that will turn the clock back on
generations of social progress, democratic advance and educational
achievement. Under the Coalition government, our country looks set to become
the most expensive place to study in the world, while the cuts to public
funding represent an unprecedented attack on the fundamental basis of our
education system, an attack that may well lead to the closure of colleges
and universities. This government is in danger of setting new standards in
promoting social exclusion, cultural impoverishment and economic decline and
your action is a measure of the anger that is swelling up amongst staff,
students and increasingly from our communities. Our mass demonstration on 10
November will be the first opportunity to make the coalition feel this
rising force. I hope to see you there.
Sally Hunt, General Secretary, Universities and Colleges Union
Head of Campaigns
_____________________________________________________________________ Your resistance is a beacon of hope in times of despair. By following your example and working together we can overcome these attacks on our education and public services. Strike! Occupy! Resist the cuts! Resist fees! Education for the masses - not just for the ruling classes! Heartfelt solidarity,
Syed Bokhari former student Sussex Uni one of the ‘Sussex Six’ suspended for occupying the managements building last year. ________________________________________________________________ Congratulations for taking a stand against the devastating cuts to university education that both students and staff now face. The rise in fees and cuts in funding announced by the government, pose a mortal threat to state education and the ability of working-class people to fulfil their educational potential, which is their right Let’s all work together, students and tutors, to build action for 10th November and beyond, that will show the Con-Dems that we won’t stop until we have won!’
Clare Kelly, Maggie Pitfield, John Wadsworth, Claudine Kirsch, Dennis Atkinson Betty Liebovich, Rosalyn George, Tiffany Prince
UCU members, Department of Educational Studies ____________________________________________________________________ Dear Goldsmiths Occupiers, Solidarity from Kingston, and congratulations on an effective and disciplined intervention! The government’s proposals amount to nothing less than the wholesale dissolution of the public university system, and given the current political options you’re clearly right to assume that direct action offers the only realistic chance of blocking their implementation. If over the coming weeks and months mobilisation spreads across campuses and secondary schools then we can still save our university system, and prevent this government from condemning the future of higher education to the undiluted rule of market exploitation and class privileges.
Professor Peter Hallward, Philosophy Department, Kingston University. _____________________________________________________________________ Just a short email of support for the action you are taking from the Carshalton branch of UCU. We all need to fight to Defend Education. Well Done!
Martin Smith UCU Carshalton Branch Chair _____________________________________________________________________ Lewisham Unison Local Government Branch fully support community campaigns to resist the local government funding cuts that will have deep and wide ranging negative impacts across the borough. There is no doubt that these cuts will hit first and hardest the most vulnerable members of society. The student occupation will raise public understanding of how immediately services on the ground will be slashed or delivered to a lower standard, and this is a far cry from the ‘back office’ and ‘efficiency’ savings so widely reported in the media. Well done Goldsmiths students! Sadie King Equality Officer Lewisham Unison Local Government Branch. E
Edinburgh College of Art Students Union send their support for what you’re doing down there, well done guys! Excellent to see such action taking place against this issue, an excellent scene to see in such dire times.
Francesca Miller ECA Student Miller Student President _____________________________________________________________________ Hey, been given this email as an address to send messages of solidarity to in light of the occupation going on. Just want to say to keep up the good work, we’ve all got to fight this all the way and i look forward to seeing you all on the march on 10th november and any other campaigns against the ridiculous ideological cuts to Universities and the burden of an increased and unfair student debt.
Solidarity from Portsmouth. Matt Blackall _____________________________________________________________________ About a year ago the London College of Communication (University of the Arts London) was occupied by students in protest against the several departmental cuts taking place. We were few, but we stood tall and, despite outcomes, Oppose LCC Course Redundancies made a stand and caused a stir in a relatively apolitical college. SOAS, my current institution, is more of the beaten path when it comes to occupations. Yet, occupations, like many other direct actions through which students reclaim their universities and control over their education, are vital steps in the exercise of our rights as students and as citizens. I’ve learnt a lot a year ago, but I will join you tomorrow (so stay put!) because it always seems to me that there is something else to learn!
In Solidarity, *Joana Oliveira Pinto*
*National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts* and former general secretary of Oppose LCC Course Redundancies
The Six-Gun and the Fountain Pen
Someone remarked at the GUCU meeting yesterday that the coalition cuts constitute an “attack on thinking.” This is close but not quite bang-on the mark. The defunding of the arts, humanities and social sciences is an attack on a very particular kind of thinking, the kind which questions, for example, not only why public policy often doesn’t achieve its goals (an immanent critique), but why those goals are what they are to begin with, what agendas they embody below the surface, and how they might be different (a transcendent critique). That’s a dangerous sort of thinking, a threat to powerful people and institutions who benefit from the status quo and would prefer that people focus on the reasons for petty tick-box failures rather than threatening to bin the boxes altogether and replace them with something more humane.
So it’s no wonder they’re going after, by default, places like Goldsmiths, and all institutions which value creative, critical thinking. It’s not just that what we do here doesn’t make as much profit as, say, engineering or chemistry (though even that proposition is dubious given the enormity of the creative industries), but that what we do is potentially threatening. What they seem to be saying to us is: “You are useless.” What they actually mean is: “You are dangerous.” They are correct.
Woody Guthrie wrote in The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd that “Some will kill you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.” The assault on the arts, humanities and social sciences constitutes intellectual execution by fountain pen. But don’t ever forget that the pen is ours as well. Shoulders with you for defending it.
To the Goldsmith’s occupiers,
At this evening’s Oxfordshire Trades Council meeting a motion in support of your
action was passed unanimously. Your action’s are something to be proud of and a
great example to students, unionists and and the wider public of how concerned
citizens can take action to fight the damaging, radical alterations to our society
currently being undertaken by a government with no mandate to do any such thing.
We extend solidarity and wish you all the best in your future campaigning!
Solidarity from the #savemdxphil campaign! Good luck with your occupation. (My best advice from our occupation is to drink enough water, eat some fresh fruit, get enough sleep and set clear end points to how long discussions can go on (taking a vote if consensus hasn’t been reached). The revolution can’t use you if you die of scurvy/dehydration/exhaustion ;))
Solidarity from London Met Uni UNISON. Us support staff are opposed to these cuts as much as the lecturers and students are. Our union calls for free education: tax the rich not the students! We salute your ins
As an ex Goldsmiths student, (fully grant-aided), I would like to express my
admiration and support to the students who have the courage to demonstrate
against this government’s threats to the future of education and indeed any
hopes of building a fair, just and equal society.
Irene M. Lomas
Just sending solidarity greetings and hope it goes well today. It comes at
an important time with the statistics on graduate unemployment and cuts to
HE as well as other public services. Our young members, many of whom are
looking to return to higher education in the next few years will be put
off from going and also face the prospect of mass job redundancies.
Apologies for not getting down last night but I was working. Anything I
can do to support the campaign let me know. I will try to get down this
afternoon if it’s still on.
Lewisham Unison Young Members Officer (Personal Capacity)
just wanted to send a message of solidarity to all the students involved
in the occupation. This is expressed in a personal capacity and as
President of Goldsmiths UCU.
Senior Lecturer in Education
LSE Students’ Union Members In Solidarity With Goldsmiths Occupation
Remember Remember the 3rd of November… On the day that the Tories & Lib
Dems announced their plans to increase student fees to £9,000 - Students
at Goldsmiths University have occupied Deptford Town Hall.
The Sabbatical Team at London School of Economics Students’ Union have
stated their unequivocal solidarity with the Goldsmiths Students’ Union
and their occupation against cuts and fee increases announced today by the
Ashok Kumar, LSE SU Education Officer, said “Members of the London School
of Economics Students’ Union have gone to the occupation in solidarity,
and we will continue to send members until the occupation ends. This is
the only way to react to this coalitions con. Their attempt to create an
atmosphere in which a cap of £9,000 is dressed up as a compromise is not
fooling anyone. Indeed, if yesterday’s welcome party by LSE’s students for
Chris Huhne is any indication, the Lib Dems are in for the worst nightmare
of their short lived and pitiful foray into the halls of power.”
Charlotte Gerada, LSE SU General Secretary, said “It is an abomination
that the government are unloading the entire burden of higher education
cuts onto young people, instead of realising that graduates are a true
investment to society. The government has its priorities all wrong -
telling some sections of the population to be financial prudent and not
incur unnecessary-debt, and to our young people, that it is totally
acceptable to take on mortgage-style debt before they even start out.”
Hero Austin, LSE SU Community and Welfare Officer stated, “The Goldsmiths
occupation will no-doubt be the beginning of larger and continued actions
around the country. Indeed, direct-action is a critical component in the
fight against today’s unconscionable attack on higher education.”
Greetings from UEL and congratulations for taking the initiative and making a
stand. These cuts are an attack on the most basic of our rights. Occupation
of university building is a potent symbolic act which effectively reclaims
the university as a space for the development of oppositional ideas.
Hopefully this will be the first of many such actions across the country. In
Debra Benita Shaw
Senior Lecturer/Programme Leader, Cultural Studies
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of East London
I’d like to communicate the support and solidarity of the Hereford
College of Arts UCU branch for what you have done and continue to do.
I’m also a research student in the sociology department at Goldsmiths
and so your action is doubly significant to me, personally, keep
fighting the cuts!
Steve Hanson (UCU branch secretary, Hereford College of Arts)
_____________________________________________________________________ Read more here: http://savegoldsmiths.tumblr.com/post/1474933440/emails-of-support