A college student from Coventry has been attending the protests up at Warwick Uni, he’s a member of Red Youth and these are his reflections from the last week.
I’m a 17 year old French-Syrian student and my college is around the corner from the University of Warwick in Coventry. On Wednesday 3 December a group of students at Warwick University protested for free education – not only against tuition fees but also for a new system of education as a whole and the ensuing events have caused a real stir amongst students in Coventry.
The protest was organised by Warwick for Free Education (WFEE), which was founded only a few months ago by a group of students. Due to this and their relatively small size not many people will have heard of them, but they have attended several protests in London and Birmingham to protest against cuts to education.
I attended the big meetings last week which were held up at the University. I learnt that the Russell Group, of which Warwick is a member, supports raising fees to £16k a year. This doesn’t really surprise me, I already know how capitalism strives for maximum profit and that its current massive crisis of overproduction drives the commodification of every last aspect of society in a desperate search for a way out. I know this because I am a student of Marxism Leninism and a member of Red Youth since the summer.
Last Wednesday evening, when WFFE held a peaceful sit-in at the senate house near Warwick Arts Centre, police were called and together with the University’s own hired thugs proceeded to break up the gathering with completely disproportionate force.
A statement issued by WFFE describes the events: “Several police cars turned up and a police riot van as well as a police dog. We formed a human chain but they broke through using CS spray (active agent in tear gas) on many activists at close quarters, a taser gun was held up and threatened, it was also suspected to be used. Activists were punched, pushed onto the floor, dragged, rammed by their throat into the wall and kneed in the face. We were staging a peaceful protest and it was totally unprecedented; we were sitting in a circle talking in university space.” Read it here: (http://warwick4freeducation.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/police-brutality-on-warwick-campus/)
Obviously for the university a smooth operation of their business is what matters, not the safety of their students. We’ve seen what police brutality has done in the past years in the UK and what it is doing now in the country of the terrorists, the USA.
After speaking to students I learnt that when people saw blue lights and police cars parking at the university everyone was confused. Security initially said to a student that police were there for an unrelated incident. Of course, this wasn’t the case as soon it turned out:
The following days, WFFE organized demonstrations, protesting against the police brutality. The demos were big with what seemed to me like 1000 people attending. Speakers had the opportunity to read out letters written by the students who got arrested. They also encouraged students to get politically active and to join solidarity movements, to know about Palestine, Ferguson and other crimes done by the real terrorists. She also kept shouting that Police will be liquidated because of their crimes, i.e their crimes will cause them to be abolished and that revolution will come soon, the meetings were followed with chants: “HANDS OFF CAMPUS, NO JUSTICE NO PEACE”, and a song was even sung to mock the coward thugs.
Police say that their mission is to help people, are people getting any help from the police? Does even anyone feel safe when they see a police car? Because I seriously don’t, I feel paranoid, I get some sense of fear, how could anyone feel safe? I have a friend who got his door broken by West Midlands Police here at Coventry in Spon End, just because the police had “suspicions”. Once, me, him and couple other friends were walking back from a concert, whilst walking a police car just started following us and harassing us just because it was midnight and we were the only ones out. Eventually, these thugs left as we kept on shouting ‘ what are you doing? What do you want?’
From my own experiences I don’t trust the police and I can well imagine that the police enjoyed attacking students as they’re easy targets. I stand with the students who got attacked at Warwick University and I will continue to support their campaign and protests until they get some justice.
End all victimization of young people by the police!
Justice for the victims of police brutality!