Student Christians praise nonviolent tuition fees and cuts protests

By staff writers
7 Dec 2010

The Student Christian Movement has praised the actions of students across the country engaged in nonviolent occupations and protests, ahead of the 9 December 2010 parliamentary vote on Higher Education funding.

Tim Stacey, an SCM member and student at the university of York, said: “The proposed changes to education funding are incompatible with Jesus’ radical message of inclusivity and justice, and will deter students from poorer backgrounds from applying to university and benefiting from the opportunities that higher education brings.”

It comes as Police warn that this week's anti-fees protests could be hijacked by "violent youths" and warnings are also given by both politicians and protestors, about the use of violence by the police.

The general media has continued to focus disproportionately on the violence of a very small minority in some of the demonstrations.

Thousands of students and lecturers are expected to take to the streets on Wednesday and Thursday to demonstrate against the Government's plans to treble university tuition fees.
But the Metropolitan Police raised concerns that "troublemakers" could use the protests as an "excuse" for violence. Meanwhile concerns have also been raised that the police may also respond to the protests with violence.

Students have been occupying university campuses up and down the country, with many students being trained in nonviolent strategies similar to those used by Otpor students who were instrumental in overthrowing Slobodan Miloševic in Serbia.

Hilary Topp, National Coordinator of the Student Christian Movement added: “The proposed increases in tuition fees will have a catastrophic impact on future generations of students and today’s students should be applauded for their selfless actions.”

Backers point out that students in Scotland who are not subject to the changes at the moment have been campaigning on behalf of others in different parts of Britain who will be impacted.

Student groups have also been forming alliances with other vulnerable groups in society to oppose the government's attempt to get the poorest in society to pay for a crisis created by the speculation of the wealthiest.

The Student Christian Movement says it believes that the government should be striving to make universities more accessible to every person who aspires to higher education, regardless of income or background.

SCM is an ecumenical student-led Christian movement passionate about faith and justice. It "brings students together to explore how to live out the Christian faith in today’s world."

More information: www.movement.org.uk

[Ekk/3]

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