This Saturday 19th September we will be meeting at 12.30pm (venue TBC but will be SOAS or ULU, near Goodge Street station) to discuss why we should and can organise and campaign to defend and improve our education. Rebecca Galbraith will be speaking about the ongoing Tower Hamlets all-out lecturer’s strike against cuts and the lessons we can take from this and other related struggles. We will also be planning future LSSU activity such as benefit gigs, stalls and setting up a regular newssheet. Furthermore, we will be voting for a new member of the organisation committee as Kady has now gone to university. Anyone can stand. [Meeting postponed to next week, 26th September]
LSSU members will be heading down to the Vestas wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight shortly after this meeting. Vestas was occupied this summer by workers there in protest at the planned closure of the only such factory in the UK. The occupation has now ended but the fight continues, and they urgently need more people at the site to maintain a blockade to stop the management transporting the blades out of the factory. If you can spare some time this weekend call 07800921828 for transport details – accommodation (camping) will be provided and travel paid for.
Other news and upcoming events:
- Three weeks in and the Tower Hamlets College all-out lecturer’s strike is going strong. Lecturers are fighting against planned redundancies and cuts to courses by the management which have been proposed as part of a “streamlining” process, despite the college having £6 million in reserve funds. The management is trying to get the college to run like a business, at the expense of the students and lecturers.
Last week a ballot of the strikers, who are organised in the UCU union, went 162-2 in favour of continuing indefinite strike action! Lecturers have now started informal and unpaid lessons off-site so that students don’t fall too far behind.
On Saturday, LSSU members attended and spoke at a lively rally at Altab Ali Park to support the strike. Pickets are still going every day from 7.30am till 6pm – please go down and show support, more details here.
- The student anti-fees and anti-privatisation group Education Not for Sale will be having big planning and strategy meeting this Saturday in Hull. It would be great if a LSSU member could attend and report back. Transport can be heavily subsidised and overnight accommodation provided – please call 07800921828 if you can make it.
- Tomorrow (17th September) is the national day of action for the Vestas campaign, with events and protests all over the country. In London, there will be a lunchtime protest outside the Department for Energy and Climate Change at 12.30 and (for those of us who have to be in school or work) another at 5.30pm. The DECC is at 3 Whitehall place, off Whitehall near Charing Cross station. More info on other actions taking place.
- Vestas workers and supporters have now occupied cranes and a barge on the Southampton docks to stop the turbine blades being shipped off and to draw attention to the campaign to keep the factory open! More information here and here.
- Lambeth NUT has made a schools pack for teachers about the Vestas campaign, available to download here. Could also be useful for a meeting in school about the campaign.