Students occupied several universities in solidarity with the strike, and turned out in big numbers to support picket lines across Britain.
Around 50 occupied for a week at University of Sussex, before coming out to join picket lines. Lewis Nielsen explained to Socialist Worker that they occupied “to create an organising centre to build solidarity with the staff strike”.
“We organised a ‘Why Strike?’ meeting with a speaker from the UCU and a GMB member from the recent dispute around Brighton bin workers.”
Some 100 students and staff also held a pre-strike rally.
Another week-long occupation at Birmingham University was forcibly evicted by police and university security staff on Thursday of last week.
At Goldsmiths College in London around 100 students occupied Deptford Town Hall, which houses the management offices for the university, on the eve of the strike.
At Edinburgh University 40 students stormed the office of the director of finance, and hung their sign in the window.
Students asked him if he thought the pay cut was fair. He responded telling them about “trickle down” economics.
They later came out to join the pickets. Senior lecturer Tony Kinder was one of 50 pickets. He said, “The university is paying poverty wages. Who wants to live in a world where they can’t feed their children?”
More occupations took place on the same day at the universities of Exeter and Ulster.
Some 40 students joined the picket line at Kingston University in London.
UCU chair Andrew Higginbottom told Socialist Worker, “We’re trying to build a fighting alliance between all staff and students to defend education.”
Later in the day 50 students and staff protested outside the vice chancellor’s meeting.
The Socialist Worker Student Society at Glasgow University helped turn students away from crossing the library picket line.