Its quite clear that EAN this year has been the hub of anti-cuts activity on campus and when discussion comes up of how we move forward, its important to remind ourselves of that.
The EAN was crucial to mobilising the 300 students who attended the national demonstration from Essex on 10.11.10. This coupled with demonstrations on campus of over 150 students on the “Day X” walkouts in November show the power we have to mobilise students into activity. Essex students were one of the first groups of students to occupy their University, when students involved in EAN held a flash occupation of the finance office on October 31st. This move was swiftly replicated by students at Manchester University. This shows the ability of the Education Activist Network, to develop links with other University whether that be of tactics, of solidarity or to show the breadth of our movement.
The EAN works because it involves a broad layer of students who understand that to beat cuts and fees, we need to engage the largest numbers of students and staff possible. It is also important to make clear that whilst there have been times that EAN has worked alongside the SU (10th of November), Sabbatical Officers have also acted directly to prevent EAN from “going too far”.
This highlights our need for an anti-cuts group, which is both rooted within the Union where they are with us, but that can act independently from it where we must.
So, we propose:
- To hold an Essex EAN AGM on the 10th of May. We will look to have an outside speaker, to talk about “Where next for the movement?” before we break off to discuss our next steps at Essex for the summer and the new academic year.
- To elect a broad and large committee as a steering group for Essex EAN. Despite previous controversy around committees, our experience this year has shown the need for people to take direct responsibilities; calling meetings for example.