Some 80 students and teachers packed in to an exciting meeting at Islington Sixth Form College today (Thursday) to discuss how to win the battle to defend EMA and stop government plans to increase tuition fees.
The meeting heard inspiring speeches from two students, Ella and Jess, from the on-going occupation at King’s College London. Local Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and two students from the sixth form college itself, Sham and Jason, also spoke.
All highlighted the injustice of the cuts being imposed on students when it was the bankers, only a mile away from the college in the City, who were responsible for the economic mess we’re in.
Ella and Jess talked about the King’s occupation and invited Islington students to join it on Friday night.
One student, speaking eloquently from the floor, condemned the media frenzy about violence by protesters on recent demonstrations and pointed out that any reaction from students was in response to being kettled and manhandled for up to eight hours.
Sham argued that their struggle was not just about fees and EMA but stopping the corporate takeover of education.
One student proposed that there should be a mass picket of the college next Thursday, when the government plans to vote on the cuts.
Subsequent speakers gave this plan wholehearted approval.
Teachers who spoke said that they would not cross a student picket line and the NUT union group is to meet soon to discuss how best to give maximum support to the students on the day.
A number of us will be arguing that this means, one way or another, leaving the college together to go with our students on the march.