Message from the occupiers of Newcastle University to Ed Miliband MP:
We are occupying the fine art building of Newcastle University in protest against the savage cuts which the government is proposing to make against higher education, as well as the imposition of tuition fees of £9,000 per year which will cause soaring student debt. Furthermore, we are against the withdrawal of Education Maintenance Allowance, which will harm to poorest FE students the most.
These cuts have nothing to do with economic ‘good sense’ and everything to do with an ideological dismantling of the welfare state. Students, as well as other public service users, are being made to pay for an economic crisis not of our making. We will not take it lying down. The protests that have happened across the country in recent weeks are a flavour of things to come.
We call on you to do everything in your power as leader of the Labour Party to oppose these cuts and fee rises and to support the student movement, which has taken the lead in resisting them. These sentiments should be made public including a public statement of support for the days of action that are happening today and in coming days.
Furthermore, we urge you to recognise your own party’s role in introducing tuition fees in the first place, and to start a debate in your party about the future funding of universities, invoking the ideal that education is a right.
The students’ struggle to save our education is part of a wider struggle for public services and we call on you to support these struggles too and to completely reject the idea that cuts to public services are necessary.
The Occupiers of Newcastle University