Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Messages of Support

We're glad to see this blog become a forum for debate and support - keep your messages coming. Here are some of the comments we've received by email and on our Facebook page (that can be accessed on the right):

- Good luck & best wishes for the occupation!

- Solidarity from the outside. Should be back in tomorrow when the essay is done ;)

- Solidarity! So sorry i had to leave, was too ill to do anything useful though. You have my complete support, if there's anything i can do just let me know.

- Greetings from the Netherlands. Fight the power.

- Hi, I am a PhD student in sociology. Just wanted to say well done and keep up the good work. I'm was working today so only made a tiny bit of the sit in, I came along on my lunch break.

I spoke to a couple of fifteen year old school kids at work today (I work in a gadget shop) who told me how they had walked out of school during their lunch break. They face being barred from going to their prom but left anyway (apparently their teachers thought the protest didn't concern them) . It's them who the rise in fees will hurt, I told them they should be proud of themselves.

Best of luck.

If you're in the area it's not too late to join us - just come to the Fine Arts building and ask to be let in. Otherwise, keep the messages of support coming in, they mean a lot to all of us.


  1. Greetings from Scotland! We may be blessed, but are 100% behind your peaceful protests. I'd be there in a second sitting with you had it not been for work.

    Fight the Lib Dem Liars!

  2. They are having a national student strike against education cuts in the Philipines. Didn't manage to give the dude this link, but he sends his solidarity from the philipines!

  3. Solidarity from Montreal! I am writhing in frustration over here..
    See you in January!

  4. Complete support and admiration for all in occupation.

  5. I've had a text message from someone who occupied Northumbria University in 1989 for a week - he says he remembers it fondly as a time of political education and action and wishes us every success.

  6. Solidarity also from Marburg (Germany).

    The struggle against cuts and fees is global.
    Yesterday (Nov.24) students also occupied the president's office at the University of Ottawa (Canada):
    + this banner:

    On the same day students across Italy took to the streets, the airport in Pisa was blocked and railway stations occupied: (mostly in Italian, but with many videos and pictures)

    Today (Nov.25) students across the Philippines will go on strike at the University of the Philippines (UP):

    People around the world protested on Nov.17:

    We are all in this together!

    ~ one world - one struggle ~

  7. Solidarity from Cambridge! We only managed to occupy the front lawn, but more protests are planned. We had around 1000 people out yesterday; students, kids, workers; I know they'd all wish you the best :)

  8. Well done and best of luck.. Infinite kudos to all of you.

    Had a very inspiring rally here today with Tony Benn speaking amongst others, and lots of stuff planned for the week to come. Sounds like your occupation is going well, the mood here is optimistic.
    STAY STRONG, (and look after my sister!)

  10. Dear Occupiers - my wholehearted solidarity and support for your efforts.

    The Neo-liberalisation of education has been underway throughout my life time. When I was 12 and 14 we boycotted SATs exams (the founding of league tables that introduced the market logic of competition, inequality and perpetual comparison into our schools), and we petitioned against the introduction of university fees around GCSEs ('it's the thin end of the wedge!' we cried.... how I wish we'd been proven wrong).

    The Neo-liberalisation of education is about university fees and the exacerbation of social inequality that they respresent. But it is also about the ever more radical creation and intensification of market-style competition throughout public life... the production of a kind of delirium of applications, competitions, and examiniations that sucks energies of critique and creativity into itself, away from art and politics - exhausting efforts that should be directed at building solidarity, developing critical thought and imagining the world otherwise.

    The Neo-liberalisation of education is about privatisation and fees, but it is also about fixed-term contracts and competitive funding awards that drive educators, artists and social researchers into perpetual application production treadmills, constantly reapplying for their jobs, buildings and resources; it's about the mantra repeated ad infinitum to students of all ages 'your education is your route to a job and earning potential' (and the silent threat of being thrown to the bottom of the heap of inequality should you not suceed enough); it's about the enourmous pressure that is placed upon everyone to be ever more competitive, to perform - ever better - in individualised, quantifiable measures.

    Doubtless the neo-liberalisation of education has left us all more professional and hard-working. But it has also left us exhausted and atomised and gasping for air... These occupations are an opportunity to reclaim that air, to take charge of creative and critical energies, to make the space to breath, and think, and do education as a solidaristic work towards the opening up of the world. Whether or not your demands are met, you are making, defending and reinventing public education. Keep occupying.

    Claire Blencowe
    Social Theory Lecturer
    Geography, Politics and Sociology
    Newcastle University

  11. Dear Occupiers,

    You have shown that your generation has integrity and guts. Respect. Stick with it as long as you can, believe in yourselves no matter how challenging it gets and remember you are in solidarity with great company from history. Resistance is not futile and you can change the world.

    Tina Gharavi
    Lecturer in English (Film/Digital Media)
    School of English Literature Language & Linguistics
    Newcastle University

  12. Access to higher education shouldn't be based on the agenda of exploitation, elitism and expediency the coalition is trying to force upon us. Thank you for making a stand for everyone that values a fair education system.

    In solidarity,
    Adam Jones (PhD film studies, Newcastle University)

  13. I've just emailed Noam Chomsky and he replied thus;

    'Below is a statement I sent to students occupying buildings in Cambidge and several other universities. By now it’s probably posted somewhere. You can send it on to Newcastle if you like.


    Pleased to learn about what you are doing. The savage cuts, hardly concealed class warfare, are likely to harm Britain for a long time to come. By coincidence, they were announced when I was giving talks in Mexico’s national university, UNAM, which presents a dramatic contrast – in a poor country, not one of the richest ones. Ten years ago the government proposed tuition. There was a student strike that was so successful that the government backed down, and tuition remains free in a university with quite impressive standards, and hundreds of thousands of students. There surely are alternatives.

    Best of luck in your important efforts.

    Noam Chomsky'

  14. Dear All,
    You have shown much greater integrity and appreciation of the value of education than those in government. Your spirit and commitment are truly commendable, and the organisation and ethos of the occupation are admirable. It's good to see students thinking critically and creatively, and acting ethically and politically.
    All the best,
    Dr David Walker
    Newcastle University (Politics)

  15. Dear all,

    Pleased to hear that people still have the spirit and guts to appose whatever this thing is called Government. Keep going - your actions breath life back into Democracy.

    I am truly warmed with hope by your efforts, fight on and change will come. It has happened in the past and you will make it happen again here.

    Stay strong,

    David Lowery
    PhD Student
    School of the Built and Natural Environment
    Northumbria University