Well over 2000 students and staff marched against cuts at Glasgow University yesterday (Thursday). The demonstration set off from the occupied Hetherington Research Club (HRC), which students have held for over two weeks now, and ended outside a meeting of University Court.
The protest was timed to coincide with a court meeting due to decide on a program of cuts that would see nursing, modern languages and adult education courses hit hardest.
There was a vibrant atmosphere on the march. Many students had made their own banners and t-shirts for the day and others brought steel drums, whistles and horns. One chant favoured by protesters was 'Muscatelli [principal] lose your smile, let's do this Egyptian style.'
Students at Glasgow University have grown in confidence dramatically over the past few weeks.
The successful occupation of the HRC—retaining it as a base for organisation as well as a 350-strong Anti-Cuts Action Network (ACAN) organising meeting last week—has created a culture of activism and resistance on campus.
Staff and students are now preparing for the ballot and probable strike of UCU members.
Sean Coyle of ACAN said from the platform, 'Students are fully in support of staff strike action. Staff cuts harm students. Students are prepared to join picket lines with striking staff and shut down this campus!'
The confidence of students was evident on the demo. Students and staff are now organising for coordinated action around the UCU strike and looking to set-up joint ACAN and UCU action meetings.
There is a consensus on campus that this is only the beginning of the fight against management's cuts, and after yesterday's huge demo staff and students really feel like they can win.