Protest continues

    October 26th 2010, 8:13am - Posted by Administrator

  • Violent sights of last week protest by students against the planned hike in fees are still alive in our freshest memory but students have not given up. They are focused, united and willing to risk their academic careers to bring the government down on its knees.

    This time instead of going out on the roads, they decided to demonstrate sit-ins at sites within their universities. At Oxford, a part of Bodleian libary, a lecture theatre at Manchester have been occupied by students. Appleton Tower at Edinburgh is another site taken over by the protesters. A number of activities have been planned by students to highlight the issue of fee increase and cut in education funding. Art exhibitions, debates and local people visiting the sites to discuss the issue and possible consequences are a few of them. These activities will take place at major universities like Brighton, Briston, Cambridge, Cardiff, Plymouth and London. Students at Edinburgh were supported by outside crowd to stage snowball fights in solidarity. Oxford’s Facebook page shows feverous support by students and general public.

    During the regular working days, more people are expected to join sit-in participants to maintain the high profile of movement. Occupying groups also sent their representatives to National Planning Meeting in London University today to discuss the future course of action in the campaign. These actions clearly explain protesters strategy to actively communicate with the outside word rather than sitting in side and reiterate their demands from them. Facebook, 3G and WAP connectivity besides the TV and Radio journalists have provided supporters all tools to engage with the outsiders and make themselves heard effectively and loud and clear.

    Universities management responses to protest and protesters have not been ferocious as one could expect at the start of these sit-ins. The management turned away food supplies and switched off heating systems of the sites. However, so far, protesters seem to be unperturbed by these actions as they went in well prepared for weather and hunger.

    School students have added strength to the protest who will also get the burnt of cut in education budget due to a government plan to end £30 a week educational maintenance allowance for 9-16 year olds from low income families. On the other hand, students in Italy are lock horned with government on the similar cuts in budget and Leaning Tower of Pisa and Colosseum have been swarmed by students as part of their nationwide protest.

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