November 30th 2011 - Public Sector Strike
Well, I've just got back from the public sector strike which took us from outside Old Mining Building, at the University of Leeds, to Woodhouse Moor (see above picture) and then into Leeds city centre. The title of my blog (for those of you old enough to remember) is taken from the Bow Wow Wow single C30 C60 C90 Go! (1980), which doesn't appear to be very revolutionary on a superficial viewing, but in the song the protagonist does challenge a copper for threatening to arrest her for taping a single! My title alludes to the June 30th 2011 strike and today's, obviously, plus any upcoming ones, which I'm sure there will be!
This is where we started our protest, outside our school at the university, on Woodhouse Lane (The School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies). This is Daniel looking very determined and sporting a couple of signs saying 'strike' in different languages.
Here is one of the revolutionary dogs we met during the protest. She was wearing a bandanna and a union badge. Her owner was part of the Socialist Revolutionary Organisation who were carrying the following banner.
Above is our union's banner, the UCU (The University and College Union). But mostly our group carried handmade banners, made by the PhD students/Teaching Assistant's in the school, in an attempt to add a creative flavour to our input to the protest.
There was also face-painting carried out by Sybil, and Gail provided a performance element to the proceedings by reading out notes of support from lecturers who were unable to attend.
I particularly like the following posters which were outside one of the university entrances.
According to the lunchtime news, there were more of us than anticipated. So, it took us a while to get into the city centre. Once we got there there was not enough room for us all to gather outside the Leeds City Gallery and we flooded onto the road and consequently blocked part of the Headrow.
Today's strike was extremely heartening in terms of support, not just from those attending but also from those passing by in their cars, vans and trucks. There was a great communal spirit and plenty of fervour to take us to the next step. Watch out Cameron!
To close my blog I'd like to add a few Situationist slogans that were used in the 1960s and are still relevant today:
No replastering, the structure is rotten!
We'll ask nothing; we'll take, occupy!
Action must not be a reaction, but a creation!
Reform my ass!
Public Sector Strikes - The Situation at the University
J30: The City is on Strike