Friday, 5 December 2014

Bath Universities - #FreeEducation Blockade

#FreeEducation blockade at University of Bath
On Wednesday December 3rd, the entrances to both University of Bath and Bath Spa University were blockaded at 8.30am in support of free education by demonstrators from Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts. David Cameron somehow put in an appearance at both universities at the same time, holding a toll sign offering entry for £9000 (the current cost of tuition fees). The students successfully prevented vehicle access to the universities for up to an hour.

David Cameron at
University of Bath
A group of ten demonstrators initially completely blockaded, and later partially blockaded, the main entrance to Bath University's Claverton Down site for over an hour. Despite the inconvenience caused, students and staff alike were mostly supportive. Plenty of beeps, waves, smiles, and kind words kept the demonstrators going safe in the knowledge that education as a right, and not a privilege, was set within the minds of all.

Meanwhile, at Bath Spa, a similar-sized group was able to blockade the main driveway. Despite support from other outraged students, an aggressive van driver attempted to drive into the blockade after around 20 minutes, breaking up the blockade. Demonstrators then began a static demonstration on the campus.

Immediately prior to the demonstration, students from both universities issued the following statement:
Education is a right, not a privilege. It is a public good that benefits society. Education pays for itself. We also can tax the big businesses that benefit from education, reduce military expenditure and/or clamp down on tax avoidance. The disruption we're causing is a small price to pay in comparison to the destruction of the education system. If we don't do something about it now then privatisation of education is only going to continue. We want universities and politicians to start taking this issue seriously.”
#FreeEducation blockade at
Bath Spa University

Other universities throughout the country took part in direct actions, including occupations and other demonstrations. At the University of Warwick, police used CS spray and excessive force on peaceful demonstrators  in an horrific display of violence against people who are only trying to make a better future for themselves and others.

Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts are organising a #FreeEducation march on Saturday 6th December at 12:30pm, outside Bath Abbey, and invite all individuals and groups that support their cause to attend.

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