Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Despite some difficulty from security guards preventing many of our students getting in more than 30 students are currently in occupation of the aston webb building. this is a copy of our written statement.

Students at the University of Birmingham have embarked on this occupation because we believe the Government’s cuts to be economically unnecessary, unfair and ideologically motivated. We stand in solidarity with unions and seek to be active members in a broader anti-cuts coalition. The government must understand that if they continue to destroy the livelihoods of the majority to benefit the rich and powerful minority, they will face increasingly widespread and radical action.

The government is however not the only catalyst for our action. This University currently adheres to a strategy which prioritises corporate profit above the value of education. To this end we have set out an alternative budget proposal that fairly shares the burden of government cuts. If the Government and University continue with their marketisation of people’s lives this will only be the beginning.      

We extend solidarity to those defending their futures from these regressive measures, which move to segregate our society by means of favouring the rich and powerful, who remain out of touch with the needs of the majority. However, we feel there exists an imperative for change within the University of Birmingham, as not only was the Aston Webb building the stage from which Nick Clegg fed the nation false promises, the financial surplus of the University of Birmingham will stand at £25million irrespective of cuts and a fee increase. The university still operating on a substantial surplus renders the increase in fees nothing more than an exercise of greed and social segregation. Furthermore, the fact that the Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham enjoys an annual salary of £342,000, whilst happily imposing cuts such as the 4.4% decrease to the wages of support staff paid £12,915 pa is an outrage.  
We will not stand for this disgraceful behaviour in our university.
Neither should the nation for the effect these cuts will have across our society.
We support the actions of Unison today in calling a mass rally, and call upon other parties and organisations to rise up and take a stand against the exploits of our apparently liberal affected Tory government. 
We demand
     

1.    No raise in tuition fees

2.    For the University to criticise the Browne Review as a socially regressive plan that will limit access to   
       education.

3.     A budget of the university’s financial plans, broken down by department for the next five years be made 
        public. 
4.       The “Sustainable Excellence” document, which lays out the university’s plans for cuts, to be made public for 
         the benefit of those affected and subsequent scrutiny.
5.        David Eastwood, the vice chancellor, to resign for his role in the Browne Review and his demonstrated    
         lack  of impartiality on the issue. 
6.       Pledge from the University to not make any preventable cuts to any courses or services. 
7.       For academic and support staff at the University of Birmingham to not have their wages cut by the 
        university.
8.       The university to send representatives to the occupation to engage in open negotiations with students, 
        providing a forum for the student body to represent their views.
9.       For the university to allow students to come in and out of the building, to use the space we have occupied 
        for 36 hours as a means for public debate and raising awareness, after which we will leave peacefully.
10.       For no recriminations for the students involved in the occupation.
We call for
1.       Liberal Democrat MPs to stand by their pledges made at the last election to vote against an increase in tuition fees.
2.       Students, staff and workers to stand united against government cuts, working towards an understanding of each other needs and positions in order to build a broad and effective movement.

8 comments:

  1. Hello to all Birmingham students, students around the UK and to all members of society!

    It's massively important that we work together to get the message to all parts of our society as this issue is fundamental to us all.

    As a someone who is not a student (though once was many years ago), I'm already thinking of the possible implications for the future for my children, as well as those of you who are studying now.

    Keep the faith....do not be disheartened by any perceived lack of support - it's out there; we just need to keep reaching out and making the message/argument relevant to all; because it is.

    Kevin Da Costa, Kings Heath

    ReplyDelete
  2. University of Birmingham UCU Committee24 November 2010 at 01:48

    The Officers and Committee Members of the UoB branch of UCU have agreed the following statement:

    On behalf of the University of Birmingham branch of the University and College Union, we would like to send our solidarity to the students taking non-violent action at the University of Birmingham. 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 government’s proposals, 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. Your action is an inspiration to staff and students seeking to oppose these vicious attacks.

    Birmingham UCU Committee

    ReplyDelete
  3. Students, please watch this character, Aaron Porter, like a hawk!!!! NUS leaders can not be trusted to represent the interests of the membership. I say this ainly because there are already indications that Mr. Porter will let you vent your anger but ultimately sell you out. What I write now is the absolute truth. The present shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, is the same Jim Murphy who ran the National Union of Students in the early 90s. I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing him in Manchester telling NUS members that it was "unrealistic" to expect the continuation of grants. His meetings were stage managed, so that only his cronies in the audience got to ask "safe" questions. He then had the nerve to march at a Campaign for Free Education rally in Leeds. I was there, too. He was nearly lynched when students recognized him. At the time we couldn't understand why he was acting so contradictory. However, a rumour soon spread that Murphy had been promised a chance to run for New Labour in Scotland. We thought it was just that, a rumour. Within two years Murphy received his thirty pieces of silver from the Labour party for deceiving the people he was meant to represent. He became an MP in Scotland. This man lived in South Africa for years, still received a student grant, and I don't think he even graduated. I wasn't the only former Labour supporter who was enlightened by this experience. From this experience many of us realized what had become of the party and our union leadership. Now, while the TUC and New Labour sit on their hands, the people they are meant to represent are taking to the streets. Miliband twiddles his thumbs, looking around for some kind of gimmick to fool those the party left behind long ago into voting for New Labour. The party has become a rotten corpse, and the stench is noted by everyone except those still wanting power by any means. Sadly, New Labour will win some people back, simply because those people despise New Labour slightly less than they hate the policies of the Tory/Lib partnership. As for you and your "dithering" Aaron Porter, the students are embarrassing you into making the right noises. Shame for you that they embarrass you into changing tack, while they continue their fight regardless of your ineffective "leadership." Students, I wish you the best of luck. Linking up with all the other protest organizations in Britain and Europe will strengthen your hand a lot more than waiting for Aaron Porter's knees to stop knocking.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Students, please watch this character, Aaron Porter, like a hawk!!!! NUS leaders can not be trusted to represent the interests of the membership. I say this ainly because there are already indications that Mr. Porter will let you vent your anger but ultimately sell you out. What I write now is the absolute truth. The present shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, is the same Jim Murphy who ran the National Union of Students in the early 90s. I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing him in Manchester telling NUS members that it was "unrealistic" to expect the continuation of grants. His meetings were stage managed, so that only his cronies in the audience got to ask "safe" questions. He then had the nerve to march at a Campaign for Free Education rally in Leeds. I was there, too. He was nearly lynched when students recognized him. At the time we couldn't understand why he was acting so contradictory. However, a rumour soon spread that Murphy had been promised a chance to run for New Labour in Scotland. We thought it was just that, a rumour. Within two years Murphy received his thirty pieces of silver from the Labour party for deceiving the people he was meant to represent. He became an MP in Scotland. This man lived in South Africa for years, still received a student grant, and I don't think he even graduated. I wasn't the only former Labour supporter who was enlightened by this experience. From this experience many of us realized what had become of the party and our union leadership. Now, while the TUC and New Labour sit on their hands, the people they are meant to represent are taking to the streets. Miliband twiddles his thumbs, looking around for some kind of gimmick to fool those the party left behind long ago into voting for New Labour. The party has become a rotten corpse, and the stench is noted by everyone except those still wanting power by any means. Sadly, New Labour will win some people back, simply because those people despise New Labour slightly less than they hate the policies of the Tory/Lib partnership. As for you and your "dithering" Aaron Porter, the students are embarrassing you into making the right noises. Shame for you that they embarrass you into changing tack, while they continue their fight regardless of your ineffective "leadership." Students, I wish you the best of luck. Linking up with all the other protest organizations in Britain and Europe will strengthen your hand a lot more than waiting for Aaron Porter's knees to stop knocking.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Students, please watch this character, Aaron Porter, like a hawk!!!! NUS leaders can not be trusted to represent the interests of the membership. I say this ainly because there are already indications that Mr. Porter will let you vent your anger but ultimately sell you out. What I write now is the absolute truth. The present shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, is the same Jim Murphy who ran the National Union of Students in the early 90s. I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing him in Manchester telling NUS members that it was "unrealistic" to expect the continuation of grants. His meetings were stage managed, so that only his cronies in the audience got to ask "safe" questions. He then had the nerve to march at a Campaign for Free Education rally in Leeds. I was there, too. He was nearly lynched when students recognized him. At the time we couldn't understand why he was acting so contradictory. However, a rumour soon spread that Murphy had been promised a chance to run for New Labour in Scotland. We thought it was just that, a rumour. Within two years Murphy received his thirty pieces of silver from the Labour party for deceiving the people he was meant to represent. He became an MP in Scotland. This man lived in South Africa for years, still received a student grant, and I don't think he even graduated. I wasn't the only former Labour supporter who was enlightened by this experience. From this experience many of us realized what had become of the party and our union leadership. Now, while the TUC and New Labour sit on their hands, the people they are meant to represent are taking to the streets. Miliband twiddles his thumbs, looking around for some kind of gimmick to fool those the party left behind long ago into voting for New Labour. The party has become a rotten corpse, and the stench is noted by everyone except those still wanting power by any means. Sadly, New Labour will win some people back, simply because those people despise New Labour slightly less than they hate the policies of the Tory/Lib partnership. As for you and your "dithering" Aaron Porter, the students are embarrassing you into making the right noises. Shame for you that they embarrass you into changing tack, while they continue their fight regardless of your ineffective "leadership." Students, I wish you the best of luck. Linking up with all the other protest organizations in Britain and Europe will strengthen your hand a lot more than waiting for Aaron Porter's knees to stop knocking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi everyone,

    There is a meeting headed by the VC tomorrow (WEDNESDAY 2ND FEBRUARY) at 9am at the Winterbourne Building, University of Birmingham to set fees for the first intake of students affected by the Coalition's decision to cut funding and raise tuition fees. As an established body, PLEASE ORGANISE A PROTEST AND ADVERTISE AROUND CAMPUS/ON TWITTER ETC!!!! I'll certainly try to get the message out there too...

    H.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for knowledge share, I will be waiting for more in future

    Regards
    Marcus White Lisdoonvarna

    ReplyDelete