Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bristol Protest Against Education Cuts

Yesterday, thousands of students in Bristol staged a protest against higher tuition fees and university cuts proposed by the government.  Around the country, similar protests were also reported in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Warwick, Leeds, Sheffield, Durham and elsewhere.

Peaceful protest in Bristol...
Photo credit: Matt Carey

Of course, me being hopelessly afflicted by Blogger's Syndrome, couldn't miss it for the world! LOL!  A friend cautioned me from going, fearing that it would be a breach of my akujanji and what not.  But I thought, why not?  I was not participating in an illegal political rally against the British government or most importantly, my country's government.  I was merely a curious bystander, but inspired all the same by those concerned Bristolians who were courageous enough to voice out their displeasure.  Bravo!

It was difficult not to get distracted by the event as my school was just seconds away from one of the gathering places - The Wills Memorial.  From our study room, we could hear chants and noises as people staged a walkout.  So, in the end I decided to check things out @ nyebok with some friends :P! 

From downtown...

... towards Wills Memorial

The mob...
... the cops

I would say the protest was pretty peaceful.  Not like the one in London.  Didn't witness any violence but my jaw did drop when I saw a familiar figure block a police van from moving.  Wow Becks!  Was that really you?!!  Could have captured those moments if I had my Nikon with me... Dang!!  So I had to contend with my Triple B.  However, the photos turned out grainy and hazy (see above :P) as I had accidentally meddled with the setting, in my excitement... Huhuhu!  Luckily Alex Sheppard and Matt Carey allowed me to upload their fab pics on my blog.  Thanks a million guys! :D

The mounties
Photo courtesy of  Matt Carey

The barricade
Photo credit:  Matt Carey

The banner... the price of  university education?
Photo credit: Matt Carey

English lessons revisited :)


alliteration :P

Pottermania, naturally :)... some muggles are getting pretty muddled alright :D!
Pix courtesy of Matt Carey

Nice one Alex!  I LIKE!!! :D

As an international student sponsored by the Malaysian government, I might not be directly affected. But with the current development, I'm quite sure that the Ministry will be looking elsewhere when it comes to sending Malaysian students overseas. As it is now, international students are paying triple the tuition fee paid by their local counterparts. With the hike, just imagine how much it's going to cost the Ministry ... Might as well send students across the causeway to the National University of Singapore (NUS) which is ranked 34th in the world! :).  Australia and New Zealand are beckoning, too :)

As for the gathering, I heard that it went on until about 5.30 pm.  No unpleasant incidents were reported apart from 4 arrests by the police. 

Wow!  What a day!  Lurkin' Lauren :P reporting from Bristol ...


jacquie said...

thanks for the post and the pics!

my daughter is an american in her 3rd and last year or her bachelor's degree, and yes, we pay about $32K usd for her to attend University of Bristol.

we admire the european systems that provide much more equal opportunity to their citizens than those here. we are very sad to see that the UK seem to be moving towards the sort of system we have here. in the long-run, the country as a whole will suffer.

10 were arrested in total, i'm told, during the march on the Wills. i can only imagine how it affected traffic due to the central, commercial location of the Wills

Koonch said...

Hi Jacquie, didn't know that european education system is better than the US. My husband who graduated from U of M, Ann Arbor has only praises for the education system there :).

About the protests, there was a second one yesterday but it went just as peaceful as the first.