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Fund Our Future

November 26, 2010

A momentary break has appeared in my workload (and I mean momentary, I really should start the next essay like NOW) so I thought I’d write about the Demolition: Fund Our Future march I attended a couple of weeks ago. I’m a proper student now y’see, I go on protests n that. The proposals outlined in the Browne review may not affect me directly but they will hugely effect the future of higher education in this country, so it really is an issue I’m interested in. My first newspaper article was on this very topic. I could have attended the march as a research assistant for my department but this wouldn’t have involved any actual marching (and I would have had to, like, talk to people). The student union arranged coaches and tshirts for anyone who wanted to attend so I jumped on that bandwagon instead.

It was a very long cold day, we had to be on campus for 7.30 to assemble and get on the coaches ready to leave for London at 8. Which meant leaving my house at 7am. Fun. We were one of the first university parties to arrive and hopefully made quite an impact in our bright orange tshirts ( I’m not entirely sure why they were orange, our union colours are red and blue). There was a lot of standing around to begin with but the atmosphere was really  upbeat and it was fun reading all the banners and placards. One group brought a brass band. That’s commitment. I made a sign on the bus: ‘Down with this sort of thing’. Niche reference for you (although I saw someone else who’d had the same idea)

There were some speeches from NUS and UCU leaders but I couldn’t really hear them. Sure they were highly motivational and stuff. Then the actual march started. It was fun for a while, I did surprisingly well in the crowds. However I think it must have taken some commitment to stay for the whole thing, it was absolutely freezing and there was a lot of standing. What I’m trying to say is…I bailed early. Now in my defence I had dragged my poorly housemate with me and standing around in the cold wasn’t helping anyone. So instead I took him on a tour of a the Embankment/Covent Garden area. We got coffee, walked through the embankment gardens, found a little secondhand bookshop and had a thorough rummage. Then we went to pizza hut. In short, it  was a lovely day 🙂 It then took a hell of a long time to get home, but the rest of the day definitely made up for that.

Because of the slight diversion we only heard about the violence when we walked past a pub showing Sky news. It’s a real shame that people chose to disrupt what could have been a peaceful protest. I’m not so naive as to think that protests like this can really achieve anything but the cause is always going to be damaged when the media can grab on to a negative aspect, especially where students are involved, so it would have been nice to at least hold a respectable demonstration of our views. Ho hum.

So that’s a brief summary of My First Protest. I will hopefully get a chance to update again in the week, I’m going to see Paul Smith on Wednesday and catching up with a couple of my best friends. Eeeep. Will leave you with some photos from the day…









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