Student protests over the British government’s plans for massive university tuition hikes and budget cuts reached new heights last Wednesday, as activists in two dozen cities staged simultaneous demonstrations. Police in London trapped demonstrators inside a cordon for hours in a widely-condemned tactic known as “kettling,” while students staged occupations at a long and growing list of universities. (This essay from the London Review of Books remains the best introduction I’ve yet seen to the current crisis in British higher education.)
And while most American students took the long weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving, protests in the UK rolled on. Here’s the latest:
BBC News put out a major new story out on the protests yesterday, reporting that occupations are ongoing at a dozen universities as the government plans a parliamentary vote on tuition increases by Christmas. Not a lot of breaking news here, but a pretty good introduction to the topic.
One of the more startling developments of the weekend was the reversal of course on direct action by Aaron Porter, president of Britain’s National Union of Students, which I discuss in this post. The Guardian leads its comprehensive morning roundup on the protests with the Porter story, but goes on to discuss plans for a flashmob today and another national day of action tomorrow, while providing a roundup of the current status of the various university occupations.
I’m still collecting links and info from student media, and I’ll have more of that soon. For now, here’s a list of university occupations from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.