The Senate Occupation nominated for Kent Union Campaign of the year

More than four months on from its conclusion, the Student Occupation of the Senate building has been shortlisted for campaign of the year in the Kent Union student awards,

The link to the full list is available here

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Facebook censorship: clamp down on political views as over fifty groups and pages are closed

While the country grinds to a stand still for the Royal Wedding, Anti-Cuts groups up and down the country are in turmoil as their pages are being systematically shut down by Facebook. At the last estimation over fifty different groups had been closed; from York Anarchists to Save the NHS, all information and presence has been removed from the social networking site.

Although scepticism has always existed towards Facebook from activist groups, its potential to mobilise on a grand scale has led to its popularity for student occupations, Uncut actions and other forms of protest. Whilst these groups have been the target of police surveilance and intelligence gathering in the past (UKC Anti-Cuts has itself been subject to this when planning and executing peaceful actions) this is a much more overt affront to the freedom of expression.

“A scandalous abuse of power by Facebook to arbitrarily destroy online communities built up over many months and years” UCL Occupation

Although some pages, groups and profiles remain at this minute – the University of Kent Occupation page is online at the time of publishing – we are unsure of how long they shall be exempt from this purge.

“It may well be that these groups are technically in violation of Facebook’s terms of agreement, but the timing – on the royal wedding and May day weekend – is deeply suspicious” UCL Occupation

Indeed the raids in Brighton and London yesterday of squats as well as the numerous preemptive arrests committed over the past few days spell a warning to activists of all types.

Naturally this overt censorship will not lead to the end of our actions.

If you wish to follow us and our actions please use our blog our twitter feed .

Contact us with ukcanticuts@gmail.com

Alex Stevenson

Sites closed so far

Open Birkbeck
UWE Occupation
Chesterfield Stopthecuts
Camberwell AntiCuts
IVA Womensrevolution
Tower Hamlets Greens
No Cuts
ArtsAgainst Cuts
London Student Assembly
Beat’n Streets
Roscoe ‘Manchester’ Occupation
Bristol Bookfair
Newcastle Occupation
Socialist Unity
Whospeaks Forus
Ourland FreeLand
Bristol Ukuncut
Teampalestina Shaf
Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut
No Quarter Cutthewar
Bootle Labour
Claimants Fightback
Ecosocialists Unite
Comrade George Orwell
Jason Derrick
Anarchista Rebellionist
BigSociety Leeds
Slade Occupation
Anti-Cuts Across Wigan
Firstof Mayband
Don’t Break Britain United
Cockneyreject
SWP Cork
Westiminster Trades Council
York Anarchists
Rock War
Sheffield Occupation
Central London SWP
North London Solidarity
Southwark Sos
Save NHS
Rochdale Law Centre
Goldsmiths Fights Back
Occupy Monaco
Anticutsspace London
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UKC Anti-Cuts – tuition fee statement

Last friday the University of Kent announced that, like most Universities to date, it would be charging the maximum of £9,000 for tuition fees in 2012/13.

The increase to tuition fees spells out a harrowing future for the next generation of students, who will have to make a choice between forfeiting a University education, or taking on upwards of £30,000 of debt.

Whilst we are against tuition fees, we understand the need for Universities to charge more money in order to make up for the lack of government funding. Our issue is with the cuts. We want to make clear that the tuition fee increase must be seen in the wider context of austerity measures – not just of higher education. The repercussions of these drastic and ideological cuts will be felt by every section of society, hurting the poorest and most vulnerable the most.

It is important to note that the maximum threshold has been justified at UKC as being for bursaries and widening participation. This institution will need to charge around £8,000 in order to break even at this point. The case put by senior management is that further fees are part of providing the necessary support for students from low income backgrounds. Consequently we believe that transparency from the university is essential.

We wish to see our senior management alongside us in the campaign against cuts. We have seen in the NHS how senior opposition can result in a backing down over measures.

We believe that the cuts and subsequent fee increase are fundamentally unjust. This crisis is the result of a financial meltdown and subsequent bailouts and recession. The public should not be expected to pay for a crisis caused by the financial sector which continues to reward itself with multi-million pound bonuses from public money. It is important that we all understand that through a progressive corporation tax and better systems in place for combatting tax avoidance there is an alternative to these savage cuts.

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Bail In – Natwest 26th February

Last week an event was held as part of UK Uncut’s day of action against Barclay’s in the Canterbury high street branch by students and residents collectively. Coverage was featured for this event in both Canterbury Times and through KMFM and Kentish Gazette. Once again we are extending an invitation to everybody who wishes to get involved for an event against Natwest this Saturday the 26th February. Peaceful activists will meet at 10.30 outside Cafe Rouge and approach the store at 10.40 and in tradition of the UK Uncut events will highlight the public sector cuts in the face of an economic crisis caused largely by the irresponsility of banks. It was greed and the recklessness of the banks that caused the economic crisis. Yet the government are making ordinary people pay the price. The theme for this event is the NHS so be creative.

Twitter @UKCanticuts

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2011/february/19/barclays_protest.aspx

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Bail In

Today, Saturday 19th December, activists across the country participated in UK Uncut’s call to peaceful direct action against what it sees as corporate irresponsibility, in this occasion in the form of Barclays bank.

UKC Anti Cuts, along with students from other universities in Canterbury, local residents including a mother with her two children, occupied a space in Barclays Canterbury branch and turned it into a library.

Our action was simple, direct and peaceful and we received cooperation from the employees and police officers as we remained for an hour and a half in an attempt to highlight tax avoidance and the lack of a tough taxation structure to deal with banks.

We received positive feedback for our actions from those passing by as well as from some of the people in the bank for transactions.

Our action (the librarytisation of their space) is to emphasise the fact that while so much money is going in the wrong direction with corporations, the public sector is being destroyed by cuts. With news last night that Barclay’s had managed to pay only 113 million (1% of profits) in corporation tax in 2009 when it had paid out 3.5 billion in bonuses the protest was extremely relevant.

Watch this space for further action

Alex Stephenson

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Save Chaucer Fields – http://www.savechaucerfields.com/

The plans, which include a 4-star Holiday Inn, townhouses and a 200-space car park, will necessitate the destruction of a sizeable portion of the University’s green space

Comment by Alex Stephenson https://ukcanticuts.wordpress.com/comment/

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21st January Update

The new term has begun and already UKC AntiCuts has been very busy. I’ll attempt to cover all that has occurred so far.

  • On Wednesday 19th a meeting was held which was attended by around fifty students, staff and supporters. There is a presentation which opened this meeting which can be found on the documents page
  • According to a letter by Professor Keith Mander (Pro Vice-Chancellor) the judge has directed that names were added to the court papers as defendants, so they picked three names they apparently knew through the media: Alan, Alex and Jules are now defendants alongside Persons Unknown. The University has the right to charge Alan, Alex and Jules with £23000 at any point over the next 12 months. We were able to talk to Keith Mander about this, however, and he has promised to put in writing the assurance that the University will not do this
  • Yesterday a motion was formed for Union Council which called for supporting the London and Manchester demonstrations on the 29th January as well as the National Student Assembly on the 30th.
  • Work is being done with the Student Union to ensure that the education assembly on the 30th January is a success and that UKC students know about it as well as the march on the day before (Transport details are being compiled and we are looking into the logistics of putting some coaches on)

Further to this we have managed to get a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and some other members of the administration along with some members of the student union on the 24th January. This will hopefully be the start of coordinating with the university to fight the education reforms

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