BREAKING – Cambridge University Students Occupy Senate House in Support of UCU StrikesMarch 12, 2018
**UPDATE 23:06 12/03/2018**
STATEMENT FROM THE MARXIST STUDENT FEDERATION MEMBERS INVOLVED IN THE ONGOING OCCUPATION OF SENATE HOUSE/OLD SCHOOLS
“It is clear to us that the deal presented by UUK is derisory and means a pension cut in reality. In our view if the HEC accepts this deal it will be a betrayal of a movement with huge student support. We hope that the occupation steels UCU strikers to refuse the deal and continue the fight!
The interests of students and workers are one and the same. Your working conditions are our learning conditions. Students and workers across the globe are all under the same attacks from capitalist austerity.
We support the open letter from UCU Cambridge members unequivocally!
STUDENTS AND WORKERS, UNITE AND FIGHT!”
In the last few hours, student activists have occupied Senate House and the Old Schools, the buildings that house the nucleus of Cambridge University’s administration, including the Vice Chancellor’s office. Among those students occupying the building are activists from the Marxist Student Federation.
It is imperative that students and workers from Cambridge unite, spreading, joining and defending this occupation. The Cambridge University Students’ Union must take the lead on this and issue a call for this occupation to become a mass movement of students in solidarity with staff.
The organisers have called for staff and students to join them at the Old Schools, where security are trying to remove them from the building.
The demands of the occupation are as follows:
– Demand that the Vice Chancellor void the university’s response to the USS consultation in September 2017, and actively lobby UUK to maintain the USS Defined Benefit Scheme in the long term, with Cambridge as a member.
– In line with Toope’s promises to being open and transparent, to hold an open meeting with students and staff to discuss the handling of the pension scheme, and further issues of institutional accountability and democracy. This should include transparency around the university’s investments, especially relating to staff pensions.
– Free access to the occupiers, and no disciplinary consequences for students or staff for participation in or support for the occupation.
The Marxist Student Federation calls upon the CUSU executive to call a CUSU Council meeting, in the occupied buildings if possible, without delay to discuss and vote on the following:
- To launch a student strike and turn the Senate House occupation into a mass occupation, for the following demands:
- Hands Off USS! No changes to be made to the USS pension; for defined benefit to be maintained.
- Free and accessible education now! We demand an immediate end to course fees for both national and international students; we demand full living grants to all students; we demand the cancellation of all student debt.
- To pay for this with the nationalisation of the 100 biggest banks and businesses in Britain, without compensation, to be run under the democratic control of their workforces.
- To campaign for the NUS to ballot all of its members for a student strike and a wave of mass occupations on the demands above (under Resolves 1).