Solidarity with students at the University of Manchester
November 14, 2020
Northern England Labour Left wish to express solidarity and support for the students protesting and striking at the University of Manchester. Not only have university students across the country this year ended up paying the full cost despite being unable to access the full experience, but management at the University of Manchester have responded to their students’ frustrations and attempts to negotiate changes with utter contempt and authoritarianism. The heavy-handed security and police presence, filming students in order to intimidate them and cutting off Wi-Fi in particular are malicious acts which demonstrate an utter lack of concern for the students’ welfare, mental health and access to learning.
As Laura Pidcock said at a livestreamed event: “People will say that your demands can’t be won, and that what you’re asking for isn’t realistic.” But we say stay focused and don’t listen to those who want the system to remain the same because it benefits them. It is perfectly understandable and reasonable to request a rent reduction and better support in halls during this time.
We urge the university to apologise, change its approach, meet the students’ demands and take immediate action to repair both relationships with its students and its national reputation.