Friday, 26 November 2010

On the student protest: a statement from Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition

The Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition is proud to have worked alongside local students in organising the demonstration through town on the 24th November. The huge turnout, the most we have seen for decades, showed the anger that thousands of young people feel and highlighted their resolve to push the government back.

Despite the government effectively slamming the educational door for so many of them and saddling the rest with mortgage sized debt as they raise tuition fees, the demo was lively but good natured and got a very positive response from the public.

The students showed that the government will be resisted as they try to use a recession caused by the unfettered free market to introduce even more of the free market into our education system and make future generations pick up the bill.

The Stop the Cuts Coalition has concerns about how, later on in the day, the police took a heavy handed approach towards the students which was not warranted and put young people at risk. Chants of "we are peaceful why aren't you?" summed up the message of the overwhelming majority of the students.

The Stop the Cuts Coalition has worked productively with the police force in the past and we hope we can do so again, particularly as the police themselves are facing large cuts from this government.

It is clear that if Cameron and Clegg were nearly as interested in collecting the tax we are owed from the rich and controlling the banks as they are in charging for education and reducing services then the young people demonstrating today would be a little more inclined to believe that we really are "all in it together" as we are so often told.

The Stop the Cuts Coalition will continue to work to bring as many people as possible into the movement against all cuts to services, benefits and jobs.

We also hope to see a large turnout on the 16th December outside Kings House, Hove, where parents, children and workers from the Bright Start nursery will be marching to the town hall to support a council motion to stop its closure.

Join the coalition Facebook group here.