Open Mic Competition at the UCL Occupation at 9PM tonight!

Join us at the UCL Occupation for a night of extraordinary talent! Come along and show us what you’re worth! Everyone is welcome and all kinds of performances (from music to poetry, dance or drama…) are encouraged.

Surprise prizes are to be awarded to the best performances!

See you all there!

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Why we care about tax avoidance

Some people have been asking why the UCL occupation have been taking part in the UK Uncut campaign against tax avoiders.

Here’s why:

· In the middle of savage spending cuts, this government is indulging the rich, allowing wealthy corporations and individuals to avoid £25bn of tax a year. If this tax was reclaimed, it could pay for all of the services the government is planning to cut.

· The £285 million that Sir Philip Green avoided in personal tax could pay for 32,000 students to go to university. That the estimated £6bn of tax Vodafone has just been let off by the exchequer could have covered all of the cuts to higher education many times over.

· Before the election, tackling tax avoidance was one of the Lib Dems’ four key manifesto pledges, along with opposing any hike in tuition fees. This is a chance to kill two birds with one stone, and fulfil both promises.

· Instead of tackling tax dodging, the government have let Vodafone off the hook and appointed Sir Philip to advise the government on spending cuts. At the same time, they plan 13,000 job cuts at HMRC, making the agency toothless in the face of corporate tax avoidance.

The cuts are not necessary, we are not ‘all in this together’ and there is an alternative.If the government don’t make the tax avoiders pay,we will.

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UK Uncut Demonstration on Oxford Street

At 11am on Saturday 4 December, dozens of eager protesters piled into Topshop on Oxford St. There was a strong UCLOccupation contingent. We were joining UKuncut who are calling on corporate tax dodgers to pay their taxes and save our public services. After a successful protest at Vodafone a few weeks ago, today the target was Phillip Green, head of the Arcadia group of high street shops.

We began by sitting in Topshop. The police and security were rattled. They forcibly removed a few individuals. It was chaotic and frightening; but when they realised the size of the protest and the commitment of the participants, they gave up. We sat and chanted for about 30minutes, before we were informed that the police were planning on forcibly removing all of us unless we chose to leave peacefully. We decided to leave but were met with a huge protest at the front doors. There were around 200 protesters.

UK Uncut Demonstration 04/12/10
Continue reading

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Flashmob, today 11am Topshop on Oxford Street!

…and Topshops round the country, in protest at tax avoidance. See UKUncut for more!

Here’s a video from the last UKUncut protest:

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Judge recognises students freedom of expression claim and adjourns courtcase


On Friday 3rd December two students on behalf of the UCL Occupations
attended a hearing to resist the university’s application for a
possession order. After almost an hour of legal debate, the judge
acknowledged the occupying students’ rights to freedom of expression
and freedom of assembly and concluded that no possession order could
be granted without a full hearing of all the legal arguments. The
hearing has been adjourned till Tuesday 7th December at 10:30am.

The solicitor for the defence, Kat Craig, from Christian Khan
Solicitors said “This result is a recognition of the importance of the
rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, and is a
testament to the students dedication and commitment to ensure access
to education for all by means of peaceful protest.”

The UCL Occupations see today’s result as a small victory in the
on-going fight to achieve their demands, and prevent education cuts
and tuition fee rises. The occupied space provides a safe place in
which students can exercise their democratic rights to freedom of
expression and protest. In just over a week the space has become one
of the most active hubs for student opposition to the cuts, as well as
a forum for intellectual inquiry. The UCL Occupations plan to use the
extra time to reopen negotiations with the UCL management, as well as
allowing the voices of students heard in a democratic and peaceful
manner, in the lead up to the crucial Commons vote next Thursday.

For further information:

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BREAKING NEWS – Court Hearing Adjourned!

Our court hearing has been adjourned until Tuesday. Look’s like we’re not gonna be leaving the Jeremy Bentham Room quite a soon as previously thought. SOLIDARITY.

(Read about it on the Guardian website)

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The day the teenagers turned on Topshop

From Laurie Penny‘s blog at the New Statesman.

Oxford Street at Christmastime is a special hell, and the last Monday in November is no exception. Grim-faced shoppers mummified in winter coats shove their way down freezing pavements to do their duty to the market, while a panopticon of corporate-sponsored festive lights glares down from slate skies. With no warning, a hundred young protesters pour across the road holding banners and whistles. The children of Britain are leading the consuming classes to mutiny.

These young activists are the same students and school pupils who were kettled in central London on 24 November after demonstrating to protect higher education. They have not gone away. They come from the buses and the Underground, pouring out of the backstreets in twos and threes, chanting: “No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!” The target is the flagship store of Topshop, the global byword for successful British commerce, owned by Philip Green, billionaire and business adviser to the Prime Minister.

Read More…

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Message of support from Paul Greengrass

The director of the Bourne Ultimatum says:

i just wanted to send a message of support.
it’s cold inside and out, in britain today.
anything we can do to change things for the better, is great..
keep at it!

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Student Protests in London: A Moment of Collective Joy

Philippe Marlière, a UCL lecturer, has written this article about the UCL Occupation and the current student movement going on in the United Kingdom for French website Rue 89. The article is in French but you can also view a translated version.

Depuis le 24 novembre, à Londres, quelques centaines d’étudiants occupent la salle Jeremy Bentham située à côté de la bibliothèque principale de UCL (university college London), l’université où j’enseigne. Cette fac est aujourd’hui rejointe par plus d’une trentaine de campus également occupés : à Londres (School of Oriental and African studies, King’s College, Goldsmith, London university of arts, university of East London, South Bank university) et en province (Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, etc.).

A UCL, les étudiants séjournent jour et nuit dans une vaste pièce d’ordinaire utilisée pour des réceptions, qui comprend deux petites pièces adjacentes ainsi qu’une cuisine.

Read More…

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Today’s Events






12 – 2pm The Geographies of Protest, Cuts and Social Change. Where? JBR

2pm Legal Briefing.Where? JBR

3pm Professor Jerome de Groot, From Manchester University,

A History of Radical Action in the UK”

Where? JBR

4pm Professor Andrew Leak, French Department, “Politics and Haiti”

Where? JBR

4:30pm Paul Cotterall creates debate on how to oppose cuts, and what’s next for the students.

Where? JBR

5pm Staff Meeting.

Where? Side room from JBR

Professor Eric Gordy.

Senior Lecturer in South East European Politics, SSEES;

A Brief History of Crowd Control.”

Where? JBR

After which follows,

Professor Alex Callinicos;

Kings College London;

The Importance of the Student Movement.”

Where? JBR

6pm General Meeting

Where? JBR

7pm Owen Hatherley.

Where? JBR

Architect / Critic, “Architecture as a Force for Social Change?”

10pm The Sheridans; band; celtic folk / rock.


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