This blog is brought to you by the students currently occupying the Roscoe Building of the University of Manchester. We’ve been in here since about 3pm and are planning an indefinite occupation. A statement we prepared will be read out on BBC News Nort West tonight, so spread the word and tune in. For those of you who can’t watch that, here is that statement:
University of Manchester Roscoe Building Occupation Statement
We the students and residents of Manchester are occupying the University of Manchester’s Roscoe building Lecture Theatre B as a peaceful protest against the proposed increases to the cost of attending University as proposed by the Coalition Government.
We are undertaking this action in solidarity with all those who will be affected by these fees, as well as others who are engaged in acts of protest. We believe that education should be accessible to all and recognise that increasing the cost of University courses will serve only to increase the marketisation of education, depriving the poorest of access and again making our universities into ivory towers for the rich.
Given the current economic situation and attendant unemployment, easier access to education, allowing the unemployed to retrain and reskill is critical to the economic survival of the most vulnerable people in this country.
We therefore call upon the management of the University of Manchester to release a statement condemning the proposed increase in fees and call upon our lecturers to sign the statement of support for the Millbank protestors.
We condemn the heavy-handed approach the Greater Manchester Police Force have taken in their handling of the entirely peaceful protest held on Oxford Road and at Whitworth Park. We call for there to be no repurcussions, either from the University or from the Police, for those who have engaged in protest actions against the fees. Naturally, we also call for more protest action, including strikes and occupations, nationally from students and non-students alike who oppose the increase in fees and invite those in Manchester to join us in our peaceful occupation and protests.