Fresh Student Protests to Rock Britain


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A British academic has warned that London could be struck by a fresh round of university protests, occupations and sit-ins as students start the new term.

Goldsmiths university lecturer Des Freedman said students will keep fighting against any future cuts to departments and courses with more mass protests, the daily Standard reported.

Students stormed the Conservatives party’s headquarters in London in November last year and barricaded themselves into university buildings to protest against the tripling of university tuition fees.

Freedman, a reader in communications and cultural studies, sparked outrage by praising the demonstration that ended in students smashing up Millbank Tower as “magnificent”.

He has now edited a book called The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance, which encourages students to keep up the pressure on the government. It says “attack is often the best form of defence”.

“People have learned from last year and the student movement is more sophisticated. The book is about giving people a broader perspective on why it’s worth challenging the cuts and the way the government wants to change universities”, said Freedman.

He said industrial action, rallies, marches, occupations and teach-ins may be needed to bring the issues back into the news.

He said academics have a duty to speak to their students about protests and added: “I hope the future generation will be thinking creatively.”

A spokesman for Pluto Press, which published Freedman’s manifesto, said: “This book will be at the heart of debates around the future of higher education in the UK and beyond, inspiring both new and seasoned activists in the fight for the soul of our universities.”

Freedman said the student movement was “reawakening” after a long summer holiday and added: “If it means more sit-ins and marches to make sure this issue is back on the front pages then that has to be done.”

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