I thought I’d pop into the library at Goldsmiths College this afternoon. It’s being occupied by students protesting against the coalition’s plans to hike tuition fees. If you’re around New Cross tonight, feel free to pop in and say hello; they’re a friendly crowd, and there’s things planned for tonight. I’m tempted by the creative writing workshop planned for 10.30pm…
The place is a hive of activity – students plotting, planning, working. They’re no mugs – happy for me to wander around taking photos; keen to get the word out about what they’re up to; desperate for people to see things through their eyes, and not the eyes of politicians who benefited from free education before pulling the ladder up. There’s not much time for anyone who’s keen to take advantage of what they’re doing – politicians, the NUS, the usual left-wing groups.
When I arrived, they were fretting about getting a decent camera to capture a stunt they had planned. I wonder if they managed to pull it off?
I can’t even pretend to sit on the fence on this one – it’s an issue I feel very strongly about, because I know tuition fees would have scuppered my chances of studying. I’m painfully aware how lucky I was. I’m just delighted to see students finally standing up for themselves – my generation never did, and sadly bred NUS leaders who went on to endorse tuition fees as Labour MPs. (Lorna Fitzsimons and Jim Murphy, should you be interested.)
The Goldsmiths students are deciding tonight how long they’re staying on in the library for – whether the occupation goes on up to tomorrow’s vote on tuition fees, or beyond. Whatever they decide, I really wish them all the best.