Leeds Action Against Cuts Training

Who are the targets? What are the pressure points? How can we support direct action? What does effective direct action even look like?

These were the sorts of questions that were addressed when So We Stand hosted a direct action training against the cuts in Leeds last Thursday.

27 people from Leeds with a huge range of experience took park in what was the first of many direct action trainings organised against the cuts.

This training was different to any other direct action training. The training took place in an ongoing occupation at Leeds University adding an edge to it straight away.

To begin with, those that took part were asked to look back on history and some classic examples of successful protests to consider what made them successful actions. Examples included the GM crops being pulled out of the fields by Greenpeace activists, the campaign against Heathrow’s 3rd runway and the early 90’s anti-roads protests.

The session was entirely participatory throughout with practical skills shared such as how to occupate offices, how to block off roads and how to remain calm in the face of violence. All skills which could come in handy over the next few months as the fight back against the cuts begins.

What was most exciting was the finding of common ground between different struggles. Yes, nearly everyone who attended was a student, however there was a clear understanding that the fight against the cuts goes way beyond the cuts to higher education. We need to keep on defending our right to education but we also need to be defending those who are going to be left homeless on the streets, those who will be queuing up all day in the dole queues. We need to be fighting for social justice, environmental justice, racial justice and then of course justice for education.

This is just the beginning!