Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
The higher education activist group Defend Education Birmingham have launched a petition demanding that the University of Birmingham lift the year-long suspensions of Kelly Rodgers and Simon Furse and the six month suspended sentence handed out to the former Birmingham Guild of Students Vice President of Education, Hattie Craig. The students were charged for their involvement in an occupation at the University last November.
The petition already has over 350 signatures and once again shines an unwanted spotlight on the University of Birmingham, which has over the last year faced stringent criticism for its attitude towards protest and its treatment of student protestors. Following the arrest of 13 and the suspension of 5 students last January a number of respected academics, activists and artists signed an open letter in which they described the University’s treatment of its students as “at odds with free speech”.
The University of Birmingham further compounded its autocratic reputation on July 30 when it violently evicted a student occupation held in support of the suspended students. According to Defend Education Birmingham, over 25 bailiffs and as many police were called in to break up the occupation and acted with “no regard for the safety of any occupiers involved”.
In a rare act of support for student protestors the National Union of Students has voted to support the campaign to overturn the suspensions and pledged to use money from its legal fund to contribute towards their court costs.
Click here to sign the petition.
For updates from Defend Education Birmingham follow @
Connor Devine writes that whilst Brexit might be a car crash, we can't just side with an institution responsible for enforcing austerity.
Michael Coates reviews a new film revealing the shocking state of housing inequality in the UK.
The vicious media campaign against trans people is part bigotry, part strategy, writes Roz Kaveney
Jon Trickett MP reports on 'Dickensian' levels of poverty and hardship felt across the UK.
Natasha King busts some myths around the No Borders debate
He was once a radical icon, but now he's a mouthpiece for racism and nationalism. Time to get off stage, writes Michael Calderbank
Consensus seems to have shifted, but austerity is far from over. The chancellor has committed us to yet more years of misery while the rich get richer, writes Richard Seymour.
Frustrated at the idea of another royal wedding? You're not alone. Joana Ramiro argues we should stop idealising a fundamentally undemocratic institution.
Liberal elites are using Russian interference to minimise their own political failures, writes Matt Turner
Nick Dearden from Global Justice Now argues that after years of colonial domination and dodgy trade deals, the UK must make amends and support Zimbabwe in this uncertain time.
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny