Socialist Worker

Students occupy Edinburgh university

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2269

Students are occupying Edinburgh university against tuition fees.

Term hasn’t even started but college bosses already facing a fight over their plan to charge non-Scottish students £9,000-a-year to study.

Adam Eagleton, a third year electrical engineering student is part of the occupation. He told Socialist Worker, 'Management announced the fees over the summer, thinking they could get away with it without any resistance. But we decided there was no way we could let it go by.'

Adam says that students involved in anti-cuts campaigning met last week and decided to occupy. 'We wanted to set the tone for the new term,” he said.

“This is a small battle against the attacks the coalition government is waging on the entire public sector. It’s important to see it in the wider scale.'

Students from all over Scotland have joined the Edinburgh univserity occupiers, including from Strathclyde and Napier universities.

Support and solidarity has also poured in from local trade unionists and campaigners.

Local anti-cuts activist, Pat Smith, told Socialist Worker, 'We went to the kitchen at the nearby mosque and told them about the occupation. They sent a huge trolley of food for the students last night.

“We emailed trade unionists, MSPs and activists. They sent messages of support and some came to speak at a rally at the occupation this morning.

'This is going to be a hot term at Edinburgh, and at universities across the country.'

Adam agrees, 'We will continue to occupy against the attacks on education and hold flash occupations. Our message to management is 'expect us',' he said.

The students plan to end their occupation soon but then continue to build the resistance at the university when term begins.

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Article information

Sat 17 Sep 2011, 19:13 BST
Issue No. 2269
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