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Occupy London gets set for student demo on 9th November

 
  • Education march to come to Occupy London as fight is taken to the City, bringing together students, electricians, unions, anti cuts campaigners and others
  • Expect lively teach out from Occupy London; Rise Against, Tom Morello and others marching with Occupy London; Plus Billy Bragg, Chumbawamba and more to perform at St Paul’s
  • Attendees invited to bring warm clothes, sleeping bags and tents if wanting to join Occupy London’s camps

In solidarity with students, education workers and all resisting the various attacks on education, Wednesday 9th November sees Occupy London – part of the global movement for real democracy which aims to challenge social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond – join the national student demonstration against fees, cuts and privatisation. Students will be joined on the day by thousands of striking electricians who are marching in protest at a 35% national pay cut, as well as many others.

“Students inspired people when they took the government to task last year over austerity cuts intended to slice up the UK’s education system for the benefit of the priviliged few,” said Occupy London supporter Laura Taylor. “We must challenge those who have caused the iniquities of the financial crisis. The nation’s students and others should not be the ones paying for the gambling of the financial sector and the lack of regulation.”

With tens of thousands expected to attend, the day of action is supported by National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, NUS, UCU and a host of trade unions. Occupy London will be supporting in a numbers of ways.

Occupy London’s Tent City University’s ‘Teach-Out’
Tent City University – Occupy London’s education arm – is holding one of its ‘teach-outs’ at 10.30am at Russell Square, just around the corner from the march start point. It promises a lively discussion looking at the attacks on FE and HE education, the issues of social justice, commodification and radical alternatives. Speakers include George Monbiot, Polly Toynbee, Richard Hall and Dave Hill (of the Social Science Centre), Alex Callinicos (King’s College London), Guy Mitchell (the Really Open University, anti-cuts activist) with lots of space for discussion. Facebook event.

March to the City past Occupy London Stock Exchange
Starting from Malet Street at 12 noon, the march will travel through Trafalgar Square, up the Strand, before passing the Occupy London Stock Exchange site, just by St Paul’s Cathedral. The demonstration will finish at Moorgate Junction, symbolically next to London Metropolitan University, which will be one of the hardest hit institutions.

Occupy London supporters Rise Against and Tom Morello will be joining the march. Expect other guest appearances. Do bring warm clothes, food and water, and camping equipment if you are planning to stay at the Occupy London camps, which are currently at St Paul’s Cathedral and Finsbury Square.

Protest songs for Occupy London
From 3-5pm at Occupy London Stock Exchange by St Paul’s there will be a very special gathering of political, folk and acoustic singers, supporting Occupy London and the student demonstration. Facebook event.

Chumbawamba, Peggy Seeger, Billy Bragg, Roy Bailey, Steve Knightley, Leon Rosselson and Tony Benn will all be there, so bring your loudest singing voice and be ready to join in:

  • Half-sister of Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger is an icon of the folk revival both in the US and the UK. She was the subject of the song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, written for her by her husband, Ewan MacColl. She has written many political and feminist songs, perhaps the best known being I’m Gonna Be An Engineer. She participated in the Greenham Common protest and wrote the song Carrying Greenham Home. It was Peggy finding out about her brother Pete’s singing in New York in support of Occupy Wall Street that inspired the folk sing-song for Occupy London.
  • Billy Bragg is probably the UK’s best-known singer of political song. His recording career began in the 1980s, with many of his songs a direct response to Thatcherism. Billy has in recent years become one of the left’s most high-profile spokespeople, leading the recent rout of the BNP in his home town of Barking.
  • For 50+ years, Roy Bailey has been one of the UK Folk & Acoustic scene’s most admired performers. He has a vast repertoire of songs of dissent and hope, which he has performed on stage, TV and radio all over the world. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Folk Music – an Award he later returned in protest at the Government’s Foreign Policy.
  • Tony Benn is one of the most popular politicians in Britain, and a virtual national treasure. He presents the show “The Writing on the Wall” with Roy Bailey, which explores the UK’s proud history of dissent in words and music.
  • Leon Rosselson is one of the UK’s formost writers of political songs. His song The World Turned Upside Down has been recorded and popularised by, amongst others, Dick Gaughan and Billy Bragg (who took it into the pop charts in 1985) and has been sung on numerous demonstrations in Britain and the USA. A couplet from the song currently adorns the fencing around the Occupy London site! His Ballad of a Spycatcher, ridiculing the ban on Peter Wright’s book, went into the Indie Singles charts in 1987 in a version backed by Billy Bragg and the Oyster Band.
  • Steve Knightley is one half of massively popular folk rock duo Show of Hands. The band has always delivered music with a political message, sometimes focusing on the issues facing their home county of Devon and other rural communities. They performed their song Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed (about the banking crisis) on stage at the Anti-Cuts rally in Hyde Park in March.
  • Chumbawamba are anarcho-socialist collective of musicians who have always kept politics at the heart of their music. They famously tipped a bucket of ice over John Prescott at the 1998 BRIT awards. Though more acoustically-oriented these days, they still deliver music with a strong message, and Jude Abbot is one of the organisers of Folk Against Fascism.

Things to know

  • Facebook page for OccupyLSX https://www.facebook.com/occupylondon. Overall Occupy London twitter Occupy London hastag is #occupylondon. OccupyLSX Twitter is https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLSX ; hashtag #occupylsx. Twitter for the Finsbury Square site is https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLS; hastag #occupylfs.
  • Nearest tubes for the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) site are St. Pauls, Mansion House and Canon Street; buses 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242; do check Transport For London website for delays and closures at http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en. Occupy London’s new site at Finsbury Square (OccupyFS) is near Moorgate; buses 141, 153, 205, 21, 214, 43
 
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