7 Dec 2010
'A temporary utopia' Report back from the student occupation Goldsmiths Library
I work in Goldsmiths on a tuesday afternoon and I was pleased to find that the library was occupied.
This is part of the on-going protests against the tuition fees.
The government want to make higher education a totally market based system.
100% of funding for arts, humanities and social sciences will be cut.
If it doesn't make money it isn't worth doing.
But as we have seen the 'market' has led to financial collapse and threatens our future ecologically.
What is extremely inspiring about this resistance is that it shows that individuals can cooperate and create without market mechanisms or state action. An occupation is the commons in action.
Education is under assault in the UK so really good to see creative and disciplined protest like this.
I saw students looking after the library and making sure books were reshelved, one demand is that library staff lose no pay. The library is very much open for study, excellent to see students borrowing books, doing research and in active protest.
Remember the Con-Dem government love the market, Nick Clegg belongs to a faction of market liberals the Orange book group who mounted an internal coup in the Liberal Democrats and ousted more social liberals such as leader Charles Kennedy.
Students should of course focus on the Liberal Democrats, they have brought into government a coalition which is rolling back all the modest gains in terms of education, welfare and services introduced in the 1940s and 50s. They are going to make Britain the new Ireland, pay will be pushed down, job insecurity will be rife, homelessness will rocket and the gap between rich and poor will grow large. This is even if their cuts 'work'.
The occupations are having an effect and occupation shows that there are other ways of organising society beyond the market and the state.
I was very pleased to see a film being shown on the indigenous resistance to the Honduran coup....its all part of the same process, privatise, reduce to the market and maintain a nice strong state to discipline those who object.
There is an excellent open letter appealing to staff to support the occupation, all staff in the humanities, social sciences are under threat from this government, we must support the struggles of the students.
Do visit the library to see resistance in action.
And keep up with the http://goldsmithsinoccupation.wordpress.com/.