More protests and demonstrations are planned for later this month, which is great.
You may be involved in the planning of something along those lines. Perhaps you’ve even seen this facebook event, that recommends students to ‘walk out of your school, college or university’ in protest to education cuts. Earlier this week, about 40 Manchester students occupied a university building, demanding to see evidence of accounts that would hopefully detail how cuts would affect them.
Interesting approaches, but before you decide to storm out of your lecture half way through, ask yourself- are the people you’re protesting against really the enemy ?
I hate to paraphrase Cameron, but we really are ‘all in this together’. Students, lecturers, university staff- all of us will be hit badly by HE cuts. Walking out of a lecture will only disrupt a lesson and annoy both your lecturers and university, neither of whom have any control over higher fees or impending cuts. Manchester students, you probably could have aquired those documents by just asking nicely rather than causing a ruckus. I’d bet any money that Manchester’s finance office don’t want those cuts any more than Manchester’s students do. What’s the point of splitting the cause and targeting people who don’t deserve to be pinpointed? If we’re campaigning for the right to education, what’s the point of walking out of it?
Usually, an employee strike is effective because employees find themselves at a deadlock with an employer who makes unfair demands. The employer is the enemy. We could strike and walk out of our lectures and lessons, but our lecturers, teachers and universities aren’t the enemy here. They’re facing cuts and difficulties too. Unfortunately, we all are. With these well-intentioned but ultimately blind walkout plans, we’re at risk of losing the message all together.
There’s other ways to handle the 24th. Keep campaigning. Think creatively.
Apologies if No Comment is quickly turning into a HE blog. This is something I feel pretty passionate about. Sooner or later, I’ll resume normal service 🙂