Two recent letters to the Guardian have drawn attention to the damaging effects of the new tuition fees regime, as well as to the wider ramifications of the government’s neoliberal programme of ‘reform’ (read: market discipline) for Higher Education. As the second letter points out, “there are 60,000 fewer students in English and Welsh universities this year”. The first letter calls on University Vice-Chancellors to clarify their position on student debt.
Every student and teacher in Cambridge should be aware of the following two dates: on October 20th, the Trade Union Congress is organising a national demonstration in London*, after a TUC conference at which a motion to consider the practiacalities of organising a general strike passed with a significant majority; the National Union of Students is organising a demonstration on November 21st. CUSU plans to book coaches, although there is currently no information about this on the CUSU website. You, too, should attend.
The 2010 demonstration was well-attended by students at Cambridge: eight full coaches travelled to London on the day of the fees vote in Parliament. In the run-up to the fees vote, a number of local demonstrations had been in organised in Cambridge itself, co-ordinated by CUSU. If the present sabbatical team hopes to see a solid attendance on November 21st, they would do well to call and organise (with support from activists) a series of preliminary local demonstrations in the run-up to November 21st, in order to call attention to, and publicise, the damaging effects of the government’s agenda.
Snapshots from Greece: The leafy wastes of Cambridge are a world away from Greece, but anyone who is not entirely and myopically given over to the fetishisation of Work will know that the ‘Cradle of Democracy’ is currently the weakest link in the chain of European capital. The threat of fascism in Greece is a real and present danger. This video shows Golden Dawn militias conducting sweeping raids directed against migrant traders – the apparatus of the bourgeois state (the police force) nods and winks at this fascist campaign of street violence and intimidation, edging towards more and more active complicity with the fascist militias. Other sections of the police force have been caught in the act framing anti-austerity protestors. March against the English Defence League in Walthamstow on October 27th.
You must try to understand that real things are at stake in the present moment. You can cover your eyes, but you cannot hide. Ask yourself: which side are you on? because your bourgeois idyll will not last forever…
*Coaches are leaving from Queens’ Backs at 8.30am.