News that more students have been arrested and/or suspended for protesting brings a chill to my heart. But we’ll keep fighting
One of my most popular posts on this blog was about the Student Debt Sell Off, ahead of the Day of Action on November 20th, so as it is the Week of Action this week, I thought I’d come back to talk about an issue that is still important to me.
Student protesting has had a few bumps recently. Students at my own university were kettled, after occupying the Irish Studies department for just under three days. More seriously, students at Sussex (‘The Sussex Five’) were suspended and just this week students at Birmingham were arrested and suspended. Universities are clamping down hard on any dissenting voices and this is the exact opposite of what universities are for. We should be allowed to discuss things, rather than having to run away scared of suspension.
It is important that we don’t let this get us down. Despite going to a University where the Vice-Chancellor is the king of privatisation and is paid twice the wage of the prime minister (See 10:1 Campaign) I am determined to keep on fighting for student voice. For me, this isn’t just a fight about debt, but a fight about our rights as students to express ourselves and be involved in decisions that affect us. Of course as I’ve said previously, and as has been said by many who are probably more eloquent than me, student debt is a major and rising problem and something we need to tackle. But if students keep losing their rights, I fear that we’ll have even more problems on our hands.
Tonight I will be speaking in a public meeting (Gilmour Room, 7pm) about the sell off, and I have signed this letter by the Student Assembly listing a large number of reasons for our campaign. Do have a read and get involved, and if you’re in Liverpool, I hope I will see you tonight!