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The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Tremough Campus occupation, Falmouth

Tremough Campus occupation report (university of exeter)

30 of us are currently in the busy lower stannary building occupying and sitting in against the education cuts. We are refusing by direct action to pay for the crisis of the bankers and greedy politicians who are ruthlessly putting profits before people. Students in the occupation understand that this action must be followed by a wider workers movement against education cuts and the public sector massacre in general. Falmouth is already one of the poorest cities in the European Union, and this university is at the heart of its local economy and culture, brutal cut backs now will throw back all the progress made in the area back into a bleak era of thatcherism.

Lewisham council lobby

On the 29th November, Lewisham held its full council meeting to agree its first tranche of cuts, involving over 400 job losses, cuts to services and the closure of a children's centre. Not yet agreed were proposals to close five libraries.

What students should realise

According to the Independent, Aaron Porter, NUS president is reported  to have said "Despite repeated dismissals by Nick Clegg that these are uninformed protesters, students are intelligent, articulate people who are not being listened to by those in whom they placed their hope for a different politics."

But we say...

What the students... should learn is that if they really want a new politics, they need to look further than voting Lib Dem, a party which, unsurprisingly, has demonstrated that it is, when all is said and done, just more of the same old.

The need to look to a truly new politics: not the capitalist joke of a 'democratic' system we live under now.

Protest Outside Camden Town Hall

Residents of Camden protested outside the Town Hall against the Labour-run council proposed, and voted through, cuts of £100 million to local services. People are angry at the threat of 1000 lost jobs, closure of libraries, sports facilities and increased rents.

A wide cross-section of the local population were present, with students and workers of all ages assembling together. The resulting changes to be enacted include; cuts to free nursery and after school provision and special needs education, rents to be increased by 7%, an increased to marry, the Talacre sports centre to be farmed out to an outside contractor, Mornington Crescent sports centre will close, all non-essential building works cancelled, street cleaning scaled back and even hours of street lighting reduced.

The extent of Cuts in Northampton

£68 million in cuts this year, £25 million next year, £136 million over 4 years.

Plans to cut 50,000 jobs are being discussed. Not only will this mean 50,000 people with no jobs, it will also most certainly hit front line services: the council says that only 4% of it's budget goes on back office services.

"When the county council faced its last major round of cuts and changes to services in 2006, hundreds of people took to the streets of Northampton to oppose the changes and the chief executive said he would not rule out such scenes being repeated when this year’s budget is announced next month."

The budget will be announced on 14th December.

Info from this Chronicle and Echo article.

Student protests: Solfed member reports

Initial reports and images from Liverpool London, Brighton and elsewhere on today's events, where Solidarity Federation has a presence for the student anti-fees protests:

Liverpool

Initial estimates suggested a turnout of thousands who brought Lime Street to a standstill, with a fast moving march featuring an attempted sit-down in Castle Street.

While most commenters are agreeing that the protest has been peaceful, police brought out dogs and horses and there have been complaints of "intimidating behaviour." The march was largely halted as of 1pm but quickly got moving again and reached the town hall at around 1.30pm. Hundreds of people filled all levels of the Liverpool One shopping centre, and the protest broke up at around 2.30pm.

Don't Be Kettled!

Students walking out on 24th November should avoid being trapped outside the Lib Dem HQ, says one of the groups behind the Radical Workers and Students Bloc on the 10th November demonstration. Instead, according to South London's branch of the anarcho-syndicalist Solidarity Federation, those taking action on this day should hold roaming marches blockading general economic targets.

"Hardcore troublemaker" anarchist group laughs off Millbank blame game

Solidarity Federation, which helped organise the Radical Workers' and Students Bloc at the NUS/UCU education march derides "absurd and patronising" attempts to blame it for damage at Tory HQ - and calls for increasing direct action against cuts.

News reporters have been indulging in some imaginative speculation over the last few days suggesting that the temporary occupation of the Conservative Party headquarters on November 10 was down to an internet conspiracy consisting of, among other groups, the Solidarity Federation. This is sensationalist nonsense.

Guides for getting organised

The Stuff Your Boss doesn't want you to know Knowing about the main workplace rights is the first step to getting organised. Find out about your righs at work from here.
The Stuff Your Sexist Boss doesn't want you to know Sexism is present in most workplaces - find out how we can organise to fight back against it!
SF workplace training The Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training programme is designed to give workers the tools and confidence to organise in their workplaces. You may find the direct action based approach we adopt offers a fresh perspective.

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