Solidarity with the Students Demonstrating Today #demo2012

Today thousands of students will demonstrate in London, protesting against not only the trebling of tuition fees but also the unemployment crisis and lack of opportunities for young people. They will demand investment in and commitment to education, employment and opportunities. This demonstration has been called by NUS and is entitled ‘Demo2012’, with the slogan ‘Educate, Employ, Empower.’

We would like to express our solidarity with this demonstration and its aims. We stand with students in criticising the government’s trebling of tuition fees, their attempt to create a marketised Higher Education which does not nurture the minds of students, their cuts to essential funds such as EMA and their lack of investment in jobs and opportunities.

Defend Students Protesting 75% Tuition Fee Hike in Quebec

In Quebec, Canada, students have been refusing to attend classes or do assignments for the past month to stop a planned 75% tuition fee increase (for more information, see  http://1625wontpass.ca/). They also held a demonstration in Montreal which drew at least 200,000 people.

Many of the issues they are dealing with, in terms of defending accessible education and opposing marketisation, are very similar to what students, staff and education activists have been dealing with here in the UK. Tuition fees in Quebec are currently lower than in other regions of Canada (where fees are set regionally rather than nationally) – a result of a long and vibrant history of student activism and a legacy that needs to be defended.

At one of the universities (Concordia University in Montreal), management is threatening to fine students participating in the protest for non-completion of assignments. There is a joint staff-student letter opposing this, and they are looking for support from the international academic community. Members are asked to sign the letter (see link below) and forward it on to others.

http://theconcordiasituation.wordpress.com/