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Fighting Back Against Education Cuts (Oxford)

The Ox-Fly | 19.11.2010 17:48 | Education | Public sector cuts | Oxford

The movement against Education Cuts is growing.

Article taken from Issue 1 of The Ox-Fly - Oxford's radical newsletter:

An independent group of students and education workers from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes – the "Oxford Education Campaign" – has been organizing huge meetings to plan action against the cuts.

These cuts, proposed by the recent Browne Review, will make universities increasingly elitist, with only the rich able to attend; tuition fees are set to triple. Students (who already find it difficult to find work after university) will be even more crippled with debt. The cuts are likely to result in education workers (from academics to cleaners) being sacked, and students being given less time with tutors and lecturers.

On 28th October, over 1000 students and workers from Oxford defied police and marched through the city centre. They were protesting Vince Cable's planned visit to Oxford and the massive education cuts his party are helping impose. Cable, apparently under the advice of the police, decided to cancel his visit, presumably fearing for his reputation and safety. This didn't stop huge numbers of people taking part.

The cops repeatedly blocked the students from getting to the High Street, sometimes violently. At first students weren't keen to walk through police lines even though they were effectively being imprisoned in the Rad Cam Square.

However, the prospect of static chanting and speeches failed to appeal to most, and after some more militant students showed how easy it is to get past the police the initial timidity faded away. As the crowd pushed through one police line after another, the feelings of empowerment were plain to see. People not on the march expressed their support; some even joined in!

This more confrontational approach inspired many and shows that students and education workers are not going to take these cuts lying down. This was taken further at the 10th Nov National Demo. Tory HQ was occupied by thousands of students from diverse backgrounds (not just a handful of anarchists as the corporate press pretend).

The property destruction may have had little material impact on the government but it has had a huge psychological impact on the country. A fighting spirit has emerged and the government is on the defensive; the illusion of consent has been smashed.

See to get involved.

The Ox-Fly