Minutes of today’s 5pm meeting

Notes: Names have been edited out to protect identities.

ANTI-CUTS EMERGENCY MEETING,

Thursday 2nd December, 5:00pm

Roscoe Occupation

The date of the fees vote has been announced as Thursday 9th December. Do we want to send people down to London? Do we want to do something else?

 

Feedback

Person: (Campaign Officer):

–          Lobbying and direction action meeting already today

Lobbying group going door-knocking in Cheadle, Mark Hunter’s constituency. Tomorrow, we will drop off the petition at his surgery. Volunteers wanted for this. We’ll give out template emails for him and Andrew Stunall, who is a Lib Dem who also want to vote for the rise.

The Direct Action group met. On Monday there will be non-violent direct action training, where affinity groups (groups of people who stick together at the demo) will form.

NUS have asked for local actions on Wednesday and for people to lobby parliament on Thursday. We need to decide if this is what we want to do.

One of the issues is that we have no money for transport down to London. We will have a discussion in the Exec to see if we can get the money, but we might need to fundraise.

If we are doing stuff in Manchester we need to see who we want to work with – schools, colleges, unions and other universities.

Speaker from UCU:

Our support to you has been from the first day and it does not change now. We had a message today from the Gen. Sec. of our trade union saying they have had already meetings with the students unions and there are coordinated activities leading to the voting day. We congratulate you on what you have been doing. We are 100% behind you, well done.

(applause)

Person:

I was hoping with my MPs offices and hold carol services with altered lyrics. If anybody can sing, or can change lyrics, then speak to me because I can do neither of these things.

Person:

To involved colleges and schools we can do a poster-making session where we can work together with them.

Person:

I have emailed a thousand schools today, if you want to speak to me (Person) about it afterwards.

Person:

It’s not great at all that universities are being issued with conjunctions, but we should discuss how we mobilise for the night.

We should be organising transport to London. The Exec are right, they’re over budget, but there are reserves of money. If emergency money is not spent on this demonstration, where is that money going to be used? We should approach regional branches to get money to ship us down to London.

Person:

I’d like to back Person up, it’s important that we focus on the 9th. It is our last day to try and change that and it’s important we get people down there.

In regards to colleges and schools, I’m going in to Xaverian tomorrow to do talks to the students. They’re setting up a big group there so, if they can do it, so can other colleges.

UCU Rep:

It will impact colleges and schools more than you, so you should get their support.

Person:

I want to echo the idea of going down to London as imperative, but not everyone can make it down. Some can’t afford it, some college students can’t make it down. We should look to doing something in Manchester as well so people can get involved in something locally.

Person:

We can never get as many down to London as we can in Manchester. If we do something the day before, we can do something impacting nationally. This feeds in to college students and people who work, it’s very important – especially if we think of more than just the several hundred we took down to London.

Person:

On Wednesday, the council try to put through the budget locally. The Shop Stewards Network have called for an early and late picket of the city council and it would be great, if we’re going to ask Unions for support, to show them that a student body will support them. It’s important that they can come together, but it’s important we come together with them.

If people can get prepared, we can do skill share workshops and stuff like that to help people be prepared for the 9th.

Person:

I can’t get to London, so we need to go a Manchester thing for all the people in similar circumstances. We can still make a point, we can still stand together.

Person:

We in the politics department thought that during the debate we can’t do much to influence it, but we want to live stream the debate here and have people from the politics department doing a commentary on it. There were another couple of events that we had thought of.

A film night [details missed], a band night and which slots are free for guest lectures.

Person:

I just wanted to mention about the protest in Manchester, a lot of people I know work but have voiced a lot of support. They have put forward doing a protest on a weekend, it broadens the scope.

While the debate is going on Parliament is an obvious point. Some have mentioned that making a statement is going to the banks, the financial district.

Person:

Our main point is to get people down to London, but there are people who can’t go. We should have a local day of action.

We have to go all-out to get as many people as possible, the Tory government have put this vote in a week for a reason. We need to use this space, we have to be constantly thinking about the 9th.

The UCU/NUS transport to London on the 9th would be great, last time we had lots of lecturers and we need to push this unity.

The 9th is key. If we don’t stop it on that day, that’s not the end of the struggle.

Person:

I’m a UCU exec member. The focus for me has to be the demonstration on the 9th. We’ve been waiting for this for weeks and our focus should be getting as many people as possible down there. The number of messages of support has been amazing over the last few days. The Law department is not the most radical, and yet 36 members of staff have supported this occupation.

This occupation will be absolutely untouchable if lecturers and students supporting this occupation, we have trade union banners here. Over the next few days students need to be visiting lecturers, getting them down to London, speaking to Trade Unionists and getting funds to get down. That absolutely needs to be the focus – I think we need to win on this fight against tuition fees. The response across the country has been incredible, but the focus absolutely has to be the 9th.

Person:

I agree with that 100%. Just as an idea, if you can’t make it down to London, the NUS are talking about having a vigil if it does go through parliament.

Person:

There are things happening this weekend.

It would be a good idea to join the Town Hall demonstration on Wednesday and see how many students as possible we can get down on Thursday. I agree with what Jamie said, we need to be pooling our resources. I’ve been going in to the finance office and begging for finances. But definitely having something here for people who have to stay behind.

About the vigil – I’m going to be a bit more angry than that.

Person:

It’s important we show solidarity, but it’s important we have this meeting.

There have been some concrete proposals, we should start voting. First of all, I think we should send a message of solidarity to UCL.

It’s clear how important the 9th is. There’s a risk that there are events that have been suggested so far, perhaps we should set up a committee in the occupation so we at least have a set of people who can look at details in organising the demo, whether coaches have deposits. We don’t have long so we need to step our organisational game up ten notches.

Person:

Who is in favour of sending a solidarity statement to UCL? Everyone.

Person:

Can somebody vote to write that up? Person, awesome.

Person:

There are various proposals for something in Manchester on Wednesday. Perhaps if the plan is to do something in Manchester on Wednesday…

Person:

I think we should go to the national shop stewards demonstration on Wednesday.

Person:

Doing that on Wednesday, going to London and Thursday and still having something in Manchester on Thursday.

Person:

I think it’s important you give people the option on Thursday. The first demo was so based on the 10th, but subsequent action was across the country. It’s important that you give people who can’t make it on Thursday the option to demonstrate here. Why not make this the focus of the demonstration, to raise the profile here again?

Person:

Who is in favour of doing a march in Manchester on the Thursday?

Person:

Can you not combine the two, where you have a mass rally and then invite everyone in to the occupation?

Person:

If we do a demonstration or march on the Wednesday, shall we do something different on the Thursday?

Person:

Everyone agrees with doing something here on the Wednesday and going to London on the Thursday. But what do we want to do on the Wednesday?

Person:

The two rallies don’t have to be in the same place. We can do one in town, then another in Cheadle at Mark Hunter’s office.

Person:

Who is about doing a day of action in Manchester on Wednesday? That’s an overall majority.

Person:

I think it’s something the Union will want to put its name to.

Person:

So everyone says the main focus is for London, but what do we have as the main focus?

Person:

A friend of mine has just called me, he said that his mate at a TV station wants you to speak on television to George Galloway.

Person:

The likelihood of us getting exposure by doing a demonstration here is very low because of the focus on London.

Person:

We’re talking about education in the long-term, it’s important that people understand what it’s about, that we’re engaging with politics and we should be offering something. It’s important for us to link ourselves with the politics department, they are a real attribute.

Person:

I don’t think anybody’s making any fresh suggestions that haven’t been mentioned.

Person:

I am not sure I can make it to London on the Thursday. I think we all know which way the vote will go, I think the people who stay in Manchester should cause as much disruption as possible. We should be blocking roads or trying to storm the town hall. We need to step up the game basically.

Person:

A vote in favour of the politics department doing something in the morning, it’s not to say that’s the whole day.

Person:

We should get something sorted soon, get a committee of people who will organise something in Manchester.

Person:

I have heard through channels that the vote is likely to be later in the evening. It might not be until as late as about 10pm.

Person:

There should be something about lecturers to get involved in this.

Person:

All those in favour of organising transport down to London, then we can start to get some money… Okay, shall we get money tomorrow. Can we get money from UCU?

Person:

We were talking about getting our members to donate money.

Person:

I’m Person, I’m from Unison. We had a rep meeting today, a student from here came down. You are having a big effect in workplaces, especially help. We see the cuts coming. To see the students being so lively really has made a difference. If we were to do something about it… when Person spoke to us, he got a great reception. We got £53.96 from just 14 of us. We can do these collections around workplaces, we have our own kids who can’t go to University. But Trade Unions have money in bank accounts and, it would be easier for us to make official donations, not just collections of workers. We have money in bank accounts, it’s for things like this. You needs some sort of bank account we can send that to. There was certainly a willingness to do that, I had ten email addresses of people who want this information so they can go back to their branches. I can show you how to send of requests for money and the solidarity of the Trade Union movements extend to students.

If the vote is late in the evening, you should consider evening protests. Workers can come then. I think there are people who are looking at what they can do. I would love to go out in solidarity with you, but it would be good in the evenings to come after work and support you.

Person:

You seem to have different ideas about Thursday so maybe it’s worth getting people together. There are questions about when and where the votes at.

Person:

We will look for an organising committee for the demo on Wednesday, one for coaches to London on Thursday and one for a local demo on Thursday. But we have some points first.

Person:

Why are we having two protests on Wednesday and Thursday in Manchester?

Person:

To build momentum for Thursday.

Person:

I am glad everyone is so militant about Thursday, but there is still a week in here. We need to get people in from the University, there is concern about political affiliation. Let’s put political affiliation aside, let’s do simple things for the week that we’ve got left in this building. Let’s do a poster session, decorate this room. Let’s not lose sight that we’ve got this space.

Person:

A lot of people had their photos and names taken by police. Can the Union…

Person:

I think there was a bit of confusion, we need a committee, not some working groups. We need a committee that gives stability to people in here. There have been new faces in here, but people can feel excluded because there is a lot on and it is happening really quickly. What’s happening in the next few days? Etc.

I think splitting the group up to three working groups is losing focus a little. Can we go to a vote on whether we have a committee on this? Also, can we vote on whether or not to have a band in on Monday and do their film showings?

Person:

You could have a committee for the occupation, but I think we should leave the process open so people can feed in to it. I kind of feel that if people get in to some sort of working groups, then bring it back to the group and people can vote on it.

Person:

We have the issue of doors closing at six o’clock. The last few days we’ve been sitting in the doorway to prevent the security guards from closing them.

So there is a proposal to form three working groups, or one committee for the occupation. I think those are the two different proposals.

Person:

I appreciate the concerns Person, but I think having an elected committee is a democratic way. I think the working groups can feed back in to each other but, not to sound like a broken record, can we go for a vote on a committee.

Person:

We discussed having an open-place committee. It doesn’t have a centralised power.

Person:

Would it be good to have different people on the committee on positions? If we can agree a committee in principle but give them different responsibilities.

Person:

There are two issues here. Do we want two demos? Can we have a show of hands if people want to do a demo in Manchester on Thursday? All those in favour of doing an outdoor action on Thursday in Manchester? We have decided by majority to do that then.

Shall we have one unified committee, or three different working groups? All those in favour of having one unifying group? All those in favour of having three working groups?

Person:

I think that is saying we have a unified group. Can we take nominations? If you would like to take part in the organisation of Wednesday’s demo, getting people to London on Thursday and doing a demo in Manchester on Thursday, can you put your hands up?

Person:

Want to encourage people who have been involved in the occupation, I think we should keep your…

Person:

Can I propose that we have two committees? So we have one of occupiers and one not occupying.

All those in favour of the gig on Monday? Passed. The film … passed. Do we want the live screening of the debate in here on Thursday? Passed. You can go an organise that.

Proposal – nominations for the committees for Demo – hands up – any people opposed to it.

Person:

UMSU officers shouldn’t be on the committee

Person: We should have two separate committees

Person: A lot of our members can’t get to the demos. We can help out with resources

Person: We already have the number of committees set – the Union exec have clear roles set so can’t be involved in illegal stuff

Person: Surely exec can just walk out if they have a problem

Person: Proposal – do we have an open committee to organise a demo

Person: we have to have a committee for the occupation.

Person: I don’t understand what’s going on in the occupation – we need to get more people into this and through proper organisation and strategy,. If we want to achieve something we have to come up with an effective plan which involves all the students.

Person: Proposal – point of contact for people being involved in various areas of the occupation. Team of people doing stuff

Person: Whatever happens it won’t be democratic even if we appoint a committee, it’s a good point if we should vote on having a committee or not. Are people up for organising stuff –we’re forgetting everything which we’ve talked about before.

How is what you talked about going to help what we talked about.

Person: Calling the vote on

12 committee places  passed

Person: What are the positions?

Person: People are supervisors not commanders, all big decisions go through the big group, no need to feel it’s undemocratic

Person: We are doing colleges loads, so it’s covered!

Person: Proposal: sort out committee now, vote on it and let them decide their decision.

Passed

Person: Who wants to be on the committee?  Put it on paper at the front.

Person: Sort out job roles on paper at the end, and the committee can sort it out.

Person: Need people organising strikes, if there is no committee there is no responsibility.  List of jobs from this person

Person: Sorting it out at the end of the meeting was just voted on.

UCU rep: Need it to be representative of the occupiers and organisers of the occupation.  Not UCU or UMSU

Persons: Put suggested roles to the volunteers.  There are staff and SU people that can do jobs that won’t be on the committee?

Person: Need to vote on support UCL statement: see attachment

Alterations from Person:

Person: Direct action training in MR4 on Monday

Person: Can the meeting become more action based and less discussion based, can committee make it better for facilitation?

CLOSED MEETING

 

 

 

 

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