Monday, 17 January 2011

Birmingham University Students in Occupation!!

Birmingham students have occupied the maths-physics bridge to protest against threatened redundancies and department cuts. We have turned this shared space into an open forum for a wider education debate.

We warmly invite you to come along and join in the occupation!

Why are we in occupation?

We are in occupation because the university are placing many jobs under threat, causing unnecessary stress to staff and causing long lasting damage to the development of the university Birmingham.

Staff Job losses are already affecting the student experience, job losses at sociology essentially reduced students degrees to what they could gather out of the library, theology cuts reduced the number of staff departmentally to 20.

Right now research fellows in the School of Education have been formally placed at risk of redundancy after a review that as unfair, inaccurate and rushed, find out more about this case on our blog see

We demand that the university makes a pledge to not make any unnecessary cuts, to run all reviews, with an external advisor, take into account staff/student criticism, give staff fair opportunities for input and take all decisions to democratic bodies like the senate.

For the education staff we believe this entire process must be restarted, this time done fairly and the staff in the education department given an apology, for the needless stress caused them by the manner of the review.

We demand the university does everything in it is power to keep fees down and pledges to make sure that education remains a resource that all can access. We demand that plans to cut scholarship budgets in College of Engineering and Physical Sciences are reversed.

We demand that the university is open with it cuts to Geography, biosciences, environmental sciences, the medical school, European Languages, Ancient and Medieval Studies, Theology and Religion and African Studies International Development Department that it has outlined in the sustainable excellence plan

We demand that the university criticizes the Browne review as a socially regressive plan and that David Eastwood apologises for his role in encouraging cuts and fees.


  1. Congratulations on your occupation! Keep up the good work and hopefully we will be joining you in some more direct action soon. Bristol Uni Ressistance.

  2. check out these resources:

  3. The officers and members of the University of Birmingham 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 offer our solidarity to the students once again 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. Despite the parliamentary vote to raise tuition fees we must continue to oppose cuts to education, as well as attempts to undermine job security in higher education, and the ongoing commercialisation of the student experience. Your action is an inspiration to staff and students seeking to oppose these vicious attacks.

    We are also requesting that the University permits access to toilets and water, and to and from the building.

  4. To take part in a large-scale action planned for next Wednesday (26 Jan 2011) against the banks, please send out the following tweet:

    ************************* **
    Hit back at the banks: BANK RUN on Revenge Wednesday, 26 Jan 2011. Info at: PLEASE FORWARD THIS
    ************************* **

    ...and circulate the following info by any means possible...

    ========================= ============
    On Wednesday 26 January 2011, thousands of people in the UK will try to cause a bank run by withdrawing money from their bank accounts, in person, at high street bank branches.

    The hope is that the movement will snowball.

    Everyone is welcome. Just print out the form below, fill in your details, and take it to your bank, preferably around lunchtime, e.g. about 1pm. Even better, print out multiple copies and hand them round. Use email, Twitter, Facebook too.

    When the first bank branch says it won't pay out people's money, let everyone know, using every means possible. Take photos. Use mobile phones, send tweets, get the journalists in on the picture. This movement is decentralised. It is what you and we make it.

    Note that this idea was tried last December, after being suggested by Eric Cantona. Unfortunately it didn't go very far, mainly because the organisers asked people to "sign up" online. We're not asking you to sign up to anything. In particular, you do NOT have to give any personal details to anyone. The form below is just for giving to your BANK.

    If you can only afford to withdraw 10 pounds, please do it. If you can afford to withdraw thousands of pounds, do that too. EVERY LITTLE HELPS. Banks cannot withstand everyone withdrawing even a tenth of what they've got in the bank. LET'S SEND THESE PARASITES A MESSAGE THEY'LL NEVER FORGET. It's an open secret that they're holding the country to ransom. Let's kick 'em where it hurts.

    This is the financial system's MAJOR WEAK SPOT. That's why the Dutch government is considering making it illegal to call for a bank run. Because they're SCARED. In 2009 there was a bank run against a Dutch bank. This was considered to be a particularly unpleasant bank, which had been encouraging millions od Dutch people to get into debt who couldn't afford it. People did a run against it, and it went bankrupt. How sad.

    In Britain, you'd be hard pushed to name a bank which DIDN'T try to get people into massive debt they can't really afford.

    Here's the bottom line: THE BANKS HAVE GOT IT COMING TO THEM.

    So please take part. Spread the news. Distribute this leaflet. Print your own. Just do a little bit to help, and we'll be strong and we'll blast the damn banks like they've never been blasted before.

    Please print the following, complete the details, and hand it to your bank around 1pm on 26 Jan 2011.

    ************************* *********
    NAME: _________________________ _
    ADDRESS:_________________ ____________
    _________________________ _______
    ACCOUNT NUMBER: ___________________
    SORT CODE:____________________ __
    NAME OF BANK:____________________ _
    To: the Branch Manager
    Dear Sir,
    I wish to withdraw ____________ pounds from my account in cash, immediately.
    Yours sincerely,
    __________________ (signed)
    ************************* *********