What the hell are we doing? Defend Education Autumn 2015

We’ve planned loads of events for you, we know exactly what you wanted and we’ve delivered like never before. Below is a handy guide to your life for the next few weeks:

06/10/15: 17:00 – Jeremy Corbyn: What Next For The Left?

In this year’s first UCL Left Forum meeting, we will try to answer the questions: what does Corbyn’s victory mean and what happens now and how can we make sure that all the people who are excited about left politics stay mobilized and militant? Afterwards, we’ll decamp to the UCLU Labour social!

Where?: Institute of Education Bar S14

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/480458088800891/

07/10/15: 18:00 – Winning the Rent Cut – Open Meeting for the UCL, Cut the Rent Campaign

This meeting will focus on how a rent cut can be won – building on what has been learnt from the campaign last year and the successful action taken by the students protesting in Hawkridge House and Campbell House – and planning exactly the steps that will be taken in order to build an effective campaign from the residents in the halls upwards.

Where?: TBA

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/964826676907267/

08/10/15: 18:00 – Grant Cuts, Rising Fees and a Housing Crisis: UCL Defend Education Launch Meeting with Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

The new Tory government is planning brutal attacks on students and education. They want to take maintenance grants away from the poorest students, hike up repayments on loans we’ve already taken out, and marketise universities while slashing funding for colleges – not to mention dismantling the wider welfare state while a cost of living crisis enforces rip-off rents.
But if we fight back together, we can beat them! UCL Defend Education is part of a movement campaigning to stop these attacks, and to win free, democratic education for everyone. Come along to find out more about activism at UCL, and engage in the debate over education, the priorities of society and what we as students can do about all this.


Clive Bradley, Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners (as featured in the film Pride)
Raquel Palmeira, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts
Hannah Webb, National Union of Students Exec
Angus O’Brien, UCL Cut the Rent activist & UCLU Halls Officer
Tom Robinson, UCLU Welfare & International Officer

Where?: Kathleen Kenyon Room, Lewis’ Building

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/744561008982297/

09/10/15: 19:00 – Pints and Politics: UCL Lefty Welcome Drinks

If you’re interested in lefty political ideas, crazy things such as reducing inequality, saving the environment and fighting cuts to public services, or if you’re just a bit weirded out by what David Cameron did during his time at university, come for a relaxed evening and a chat about politics and campaigns on and off campus.
No background knowledge is required – we won’t be giving you a test or make you argue with someone over their interpretation of the twenty-fourth page of the Communist Manifesto. Probably best not to come if you’re a Tory, though.
Have a soft or not soft drink and talk about stuff – and don’t worry, we’re nice people.

Where?: Institute of Education Bar

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1472662343041562/

12/10/15: 17:00 – WTF IS GOING ON?: The Fight For Education

This meeting will explain “WTF is going on?”, with help from speakers involved in the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the National Union of Students, and discuss ideas about what we can do to get involved in the fight for education.

Where?: Institute of Education Bar S14

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/543748365790984/

04/11/15: 13:00 – NATIONAL DEMO: Free Education and Living Grants For All

From scrapping Maintenance Grants, planning to raise tuition fees, slashing support for disabled students and making brutal funding cuts to Adult & Further Education; to keeping thousands of people locked up in detention centres and deporting international students to their deaths: the Conservative Government is attacking us from all sides, and it’s time to fight back.

Where?: Assemble on Malet Place

Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/1449378505377525/


UCL Left Forum: Beyond Divestment? Climate Change and Class Struggle

On Monday 26 January UCL Defend Education will be hosting this term’s first Left Forum meeting.

Discussing how class struggle can help us save the environment will be GUIN CARTER (UCL Fossil Free) and STUART JORDAN (Workers’ Climate Action) – and there will be plenty of time for open debate.

system changeClimate change is the greatest single threat facing humanity. What can we do to tackle it?

The Fossil Free divestment campaign at UCL and in other institutions is gaining ground, but it is just the beginning – we know we’ll have to go much further to avert catastrophe. But what strategies and what forces within society are capable of forcing the immense changes we need? Are workers employed by environmentally destructive industries part of the problem, or are they actually the key to a solution? Can capitalism ever be made environmentally sustainable?

We will discuss the links between environmentalist, class struggle and anticapitalist politics, and ask whether we can build a global movement out of examples such as the Vestas wind turbine factory occupation in 2009 and the “green bans” enforced by Australian builders in the 1970s.

A photo from the Australian Green Bans trade union campaign in the 1970s.
A photo from the Australian Green Bans trade union campaign in the 1970s.

We will be meeting in Physics A1/3 and directions can be found here.

Picture from a Fossil Free UK protest in Oxford.
Picture from a Fossil Free UK protest in Oxford.