Also at the start of May, but without the media attention, students at Middlesex University, site of major occupations in 1992, started occupying again. In response to ever increasing cuts and staff and facilities, first the art site was taken, and when that ended another site was taken over. The Student Union was more upset and oppresive than management, talling everyone to leave immediately, while management were willing to negotiate and wait. Since the last wave of occupations, the SU have altered their rules to say that site occupations are unconstitutional without a secret ballot of the whole Student Union at the University. The occupiers said bollox to the ballot.
The National Union of Students has now gone so far to the right that they've kicked out one of their own executive simply for continuing to campaign for free education for all. They, and the local branches now have absolutely no fight left in them, but at least that makes things clear and allows people to organise their own fights without worrying about the "union" anymore.
Student numbers have been increasing rapidly, unlike staff and facilities, and students are now much more a mixed bag of young people who see no possibility of getting straight into the job market, older people who have been through various situations, struggles and problems, and others. Universities are more than ever a meeting point where ideas and struggles can come together, but at tvhe same time they're a place where nearly everyone believes that if they work hard they can sort out their own, individual future - like winning the lottery. ow can this contradiction be resolved by an autonomous proletarian student movement? Discuss in no less than 1,000 words or beer-mats, to be handed in by 20/8/96.
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