Over 20 protesters have taken up occupation in the University of Lincoln’s Main Admin Building.
MB1019, on the first floor of the main building, is being used as the base of the occupation that started after Wednesday’s demonstration throughout the city against tuition fees.
The protesters include University of Lincoln students, members of Socialist Students Lincoln and union members. Many of them are sleeping in the room overnight.
The university has issued the following statement on the occupation: “The university supports students’ right to peaceful protest but will be endeavouring to ensure that timetables and teaching are not disrupted. Students are advised to check Blackboard for details of any timetable changes necessary”.
The occupiers have listed their full set of demands, which are as follows:
- We demand that the university does as much as it can to prevent disruption to students whilst there is an ongoing occupation, and that we will accommodate all lectures and any other student activity.
- We are against a rise in tuition fees and support free education as a right for all.
- We are against all cuts to public services and welfare. We believe that the government should readdress the issue of corporate tax avoidance, and senior bankers’ bonuses. We believe in investment, not cuts, in Higher Education and public services.
- We demand the right to recall all MPs, specifically Karl McCartney as our local MP, who act in their own interests as opposed to that of their constituents (for example: The Commons Racecourse).
- We are in solidarity with all workers and those affected by the cuts proposed. We especially support the members of the Lincoln & District Trades’ Council; UCU; PCS; Lincolnshire Police; Lincoln Stop the Cuts; and all university staff, and any industrial action they choose to take.
- We demand the immediate re-instatement of EMA, for all further education students.
- We demand the university publicise (through all available channels) the ways in which the cuts will affect staff and students.
- We demand that there is no victimisation of anybody involved in protesting against the cuts.
- We call upon the institutions of the University of Lincoln; Bishop Grosseteste University College; Lincoln College; all Lincoln schools, and their senior staff to defend education by actively and publicly opposing the cuts.
- We demand that the university ends the casualisation of its teaching staff. All workers to be offered full contracts and employee status.
- We demand that the universities make serious efforts to address stressed and over-worked staff.
Karl McCartney, Lincoln’s Tory MP, said: “I fully support the Coalition Government’s proposals for the future funding of Higher Education. I know the policy put forward by the Coalition Government is unpopular with some students in the City and I can understand why.
“However, to maintain or increase student numbers, deal with the financial mess that has been inherited from the Labour Government – who introduced these fees – and ensure universities like the one in our City remains first class, there is unfortunately little alternative. In today’s financial environment, the taxpayer is not an everlasting piggy bank.”
Reaction as the vote was announced
Occupiers enter the room
David Pike’s speech from the rally earlier in the day
Play back 28 hours of live updates in full here.