Massive student protests are alive and well, just not here

In Berkley, in Puerto Rico, and now in the UK, students are putting on massive demonstrations – in the last month, even.

In the UK:

Around 52,000 students marched through London in protest at plans to increase tuition fees while cutting state funding for university teaching.

• Around 200 people from the march occupied 30 Millbank – the building that houses the Conservative party’s campaign headquarters – and a stand-off with police ensued.

• Police in riot gear clashed with protesters, who had smashed windows and mounted the roof of the building. Fourteen people – police and activists – were injured and police arrested 35 demonstrators.

In California yesterday:

As of 6:30am this morning, students at UC Berkeley have begun blocking the entrances to the California Hall, the main administrative building on campus. All entrances are surrounded.

In Puerto Rico (Google Translation): (Also see this)

The Board of Trustees will choose a new president amid threats of strikes and demonstrations in various sectors of the university community if this body appoints Guadalupe.

On Tuesday, Humanities students will take their power with an event that constitutes a “clear expression” of rejecting the new fee of $ 800 that takes effect next January, said Adriana Mulero Claudio, a spokeswoman for the Action Committee Humanities coordinating the one-day stoppage.

“To implement the quota in January, more than 10,000 students would be out of the UPR, while encouraging the dismissal of more non-teaching staff,” says the Action Committee for the Humanities in a press release.

On Thursday, students in education and social sciences also paralyze the work in their schools to protest the special assessment, which according to estimates student deprive 10.000 university to continue studying at UPR.

The days of massive student protests aren’t over. That tactic just hasn’t hit Brandeis.
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Great News!

Dear everyone pining after dramatic unifying campus protests: It’s happening, just not here. The students in the University system of Puerto Rico endured police sieges, food and water shortages, and fights for months in a struggle against huge budget shortfalls. And they just won!


The university’s board of trustees approved a settlement agreement a little before 10 pm last night.

The agreement reportedly extends tuition waivers, cancels a major new fee, and abandons a list of university privatization initiatives.

Not sure what they’ve won yet – but some sort of easing of fee and tuition hikes (and the planned privatization of the University System) will likely be part of it.

The students probably had good organization, but they also had a compelling cause they were willing to put their academics and bodies on the line for. For those who want similar mass movements on this and other campuses, for those who want a new Ford Hall occupation – is your cause strong enough? Are you organized?