Notes on Student Protest: Lancaster, Friday 20th November 2009

Notes on Student Protest: Lancaster, Friday 20th 2009

We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.

Port Huron Statement, 1962

To save myself from repetition, and to mark the event with a different blogging style,  the record of Friday’s protest is in pictorial form… I have no skill in this department, so it is a very amateur exhibition, but I hope you enjoy the photos anyway.

Yesterday was the second leg of the Lancaster student campaign for fairer fees and funding. The event took place on campus, guaranteeing, you might think, popular support and a large crowd. Unfortunately the weather being typically Lancastrian, and the neo-liberal consensus ubiquitous, attendance peaked at around 200 (about the same as in the city centre).

We assembled at one edge of Alexandra Square, sheltering under the Spine from the rain. There were a few faces there I was glad to recognise. The atmosphere was fairly jubilant, but everyone was waiting to see if the initially small crowd would swell. The gathering beginning to reach respectable numbers, LUSU blue-coats demanded everyone step out into the drizzle for a speech from HMV (Mr President). I have to admit that I stayed under the shelter with a small contingent of the less-enthusiastic. I heard enough to realise Michael was repeating much of the  speech given at the previous protest. “Is he chief of the theatre club too?” a friend asked. To give the man his due, the faithful lapped it up happily, and the occasion was marked. Onwards with the march.

The march proceeded down the spine, and out to the Lancaster House Hotel where the Vice-chancellor and his cronies were to hold a meeting. Most of them snuck in the back door of the hotel to avoid the student crowd. A few friendly members of the upper-echelon passed through our tunnel, acknowledging out cause. Michael Payne eventually went into the meeting. There was a rumour that for some time he was being kept out. But, once he was allowed inside he didn’t return. We stood there on the grass verge in the mud for perhaps two hours, or more. The chants kept going, the mood stayed cheerful. No-one can fault the spirit of those who were there. Eventually Danny Ovens (?) called everyone together for a show-of-strength march back up the Spine to Alex sq. It was a good move; numbers were depleting gradually, due to seminar commitments and bad weather. In the square there was a last huddle, and then a few vigilantes decided to storm Greg’s. All in all, a very Lancastrian demonstration.

Solidarity! ———–Wit

Very relevant article…

~ by Wit on November 21, 2009.

One Response to “Notes on Student Protest: Lancaster, Friday 20th November 2009”

  1. […] Lancaster: …with regret, the only entry here: Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts […]

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