FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/270548723014910/?ref=ts
London Meet up point 8AM WATERLOO STATION (There are also regular trains from VAUXHALL STATION)
SPEAKERS include OWEN JONES author or CHAVS, MARCIA RIGG from Sean RIgg Change & Justice Campaign; UK UNCUT, CWU, PCS, UCU, OCCUPY amongst others
“When police beat Alfie Meadows to an inch of his life during the demonstration of 9 December 2010, they attacked not just the students who are trying to defend what’s left of universal education but everyone who is determined to resist the government’s catastrophic neo-liberal programme. At Middlesex University, Alfie’s enthusiasm and clarity helped tip the balance at several key moments in the campaign to save his Philosophy department in the spring of 2010, and he participated fully in the subsequent campaign to save higher education as a whole. Alfie should be celebrated as a model of political principle and egalitarian commitment, and his attacker prosecuted for a near-lethal assault. Instead it’s Alfie who is on trial, while police violence is condoned. Please join us at Kingston Crown Court on Monday 26 March to protest this profoundly scandalous situation, and to help ensure that justice is done.” PETER HALLWARD, KINGSTON UNIVERSITY
With a few days to go until the trial of Alfie Meadows begins we are asking everyone to have a final push to build support for call for all charges are dropped and to organise supporters from work/college/ your campaign to the protest on Monday, 9am, Kingston Crown Court.
Last week up to 1000 students gathered during an education demonstration near the spot where Alfie was hit, and nearly killed, by the police chanting “we are all Aflie Meadows”. Hundreds of people have also organised “we are all Alfie Meadows photo stunts” with supporters including UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt and comedian Eddy Izzard! Over 3000 have signed the petition calling for charges against Alfie to be dropped and a growing number of union branches & campaigns are backing the campaign.
The UCU, NUS, CWU & PCS will be sending their national banners to Monday’s protest which is also supported by Occupy, UK Uncut amongst others. University Staff and students have organised local meet up points to go down to the protest together – can you do the same?
The criminalisation of student protesters like Alfie Meadows represents an attempt to punish students for kicking off the fight back against austerity. It is also being treated as as a testing ground by the government, police and law courts anticipating further resistance to cuts in the public sector.
Last week for example we saw the draconian suspension of Cambridge Uni student Owen Hollands for two and a half years for taking part in a protest against University minister David Willetts. A third group of UK Uncutters were also put on trial for “aggravated trespass” for occupying Fortnum & Mason to highlight the scandal of tax evasion.
We call on everyone to stand up to this blatant injustice of charging a student with violent disorder who was nearly killed by the police and to show no no amount of intimidation will deter our resistance. As Cambridge academic Priya Ghopal said writing in the New Statesman about Owen Holland’s suspension:
“Our shock at Holland’s treatment — and that of many other principled protesters like Alfie Meadows, who comes up for trial next week — should not obscure the issues they’ve been fighting to highlight: the deliberate transmutation of universities from spaces of debate which push the boundaries of knowledge into business-driven idea-free degree mills. As we metamorphose from citizens of a democracy into consumers in one large desolate supermarket, all of us are being disciplined. Resistance is not futile: it’s the only option.”
Materials available: http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/justice-for-alfie-meadows/
Sign the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-alife-meadows
What can you do?
1) Take the petition around your workplace/college and circulate electronically to all networks: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-alife-meadows
2) Organise a photo shoot of “we are all Alfie Meadows” with fellow students/colleages and send into email@example.com
3) If you are in london to organise a delegation and bring your union to show solidarity with Alfie Meadows and all students arrested and charged from last years student protests. We expect national coverage for the protest at which bloodied bandages will be available for supporters to wear to remind people of the real cause of “violent disorder” on the day – the police.
OTHER MEET UP POINTS
SOAS – Waterloo station, 8AM http://www.facebook.com/events/211611912280395/?ref=ts#!/events/233240840107663/
LSE – Waterloo station, 8AM http://www.facebook.com/events/211611912280395/?ref=ts#!/events/100317040101738/
UEL -Waterloo station 8AM http://www.facebook.com/events/211611912280395/?ref=ts#!/events/398576453486495/
Kings College – Waterloo station 8AM https://www.facebook.com/events/323028317753314/
Queen Mary University – East Gate, Queen Mary Campus, 7-7.20 AM to go to Waterloo https://www.facebook.com/events/232365886860938/
Goldsmiths College – Mini bus, meet 8AM main entrance https://www.facebook.com/events/327688363954532/
Sussex University – Brighton station, 6.30AM: http://www.facebook.com/events/211611912280395/?ref=ts