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Why should we pay?’

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Issue 1684


‘Why should we pay?’

“FEES ARE wrong. Education should be a right. We shouldn’t have to pay all this money over to the government, the loans company and the banks.” That’s what Catherine, a first year student at Oxford University, said last Sunday as over 400 students marched through the city against tuition fees and for the restoration of grants. All Oxford University’s non-payers, bar one, have now paid their fees after being threatened with expulsion.

“But we want to show our opposition is continuing,” says second year student Saul. On the same day around 250 students marched through Cambridge as part of their campaign against massive rent rises.

  • STUDENTS AT University College London ended their occupation on Monday after college management got a high court injuction.
  • AROUND 50 students, mainly from Goldsmiths’ College in south east London, occupied the foyer of the Department for Education and Employment last Friday.
  • STUDENTS picketed the publishers of FHM and Loaded on Monday of this week in opposition to the sexist rubbish printed in these “new lad” magazines.

Jack gets the boot

By Christian Hogsbjerg

“JACK STRAW is not welcome here.” That was the banner hanging outside Leeds University student union last week as 600 students packed into a union meeting. Jack Straw was president of the union at Leeds in 1967-8. A motion blasted him as responsible for the Asylum and Immigration Bill, the attempted removal of trial by jury and legal aid in many cases, the anti-terrorism bill, the curfew on teenagers, mandatory drug testing for criminal suspects, and his attitude towards cannabis and tuition fees. Simon Rothstein, who proposed the motion, noted that the organisations that have condemned Straw included the Bar Council. He also pointed out that Mrs Thatcher had said, “I trust Jack Straw. He is a very fair man.” The motion revoked Jack Straw’s life membership of the union, banned him from the union building and called on the university to withdraw Straw’s honorary degree. When it came to the vote, almost everyone supported it and a cheer went up.

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