Union Statement on National Demonstration
Due to the misrepresentation of our previous statement in the press, the Students’ Union has decided to release a new statement confirming its position.
Yesterday was a day when students stood up and marched in tens of thousands against the cuts and tuition fees. Around 500 Sussex students joined the 52,000 strong protest. This should not be misunderstood simply as a battle against tuition fee rises, but championed as a day when students, staff and other workers joined together to oppose the privatisation of education, the liquidation of public services and an attack on all citizens of the United Kingdom.
The protest at Millbank was not a minority of radical students, but a group of 5,000 students and workers who feel disempowered, disenfranchised and oppressed by a minority Conservative government that holds a weak, power-hungry Liberal Democrat party in its palms, a party many students now regret voting for. Though the Students’ Union cannot condone physical harm to others, Wednesday clearly showed the overwhelming feeling of students who, as a demographic, find it especially difficult to make themselves heard.
The coalition government’s plans of a 100% cut to Arts and Humanities teaching and an 80% cut to all Higher Education teaching, will tremendously damage the education system and other public services.
The most important message that we should all be focusing on, is uniting all students, potential students, faculty, and indeed anyone affected by the public sector cuts, to come together, rather than being divided by the press.
We should stand in solidarity with students across the country and never forget that the real vandals occupied the offices of 30 Millbank Tower long before the 10th November.