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Wellington students to protest education cuts

Published: 8:54AM Friday June 08, 2012 Source: ONE News

Students from Massey and Victoria Universities are to converge on Victoria University this afternoon to demonstrate against proposed cuts to education.

Student group, We Are The University, will begin assembling at 1pm. The group says the protest is to show its solidarity with Auckland university students who protested last week.

"As long as he continues to pursue failed 1980s policy, students will be gathering to protest and create solutions to a Government that is failing educators and students," said student Amanda Thomas.

Students hold a 'silent' demonstration

The student rally group which brought central Auckland streets to a standstill last week held a "silent demo" at Auckland University's library last night.

Around 50 students participated in a silent study-in protest called, "Don't turn out the lights on education!" which was organised by the student group Blockade the Budget.

The students remained in the library early today.

Blockade the Budget organisers hope similar protests will gain momentum.

"This movement is not a one-off demonstration - it is a sustained campaign against an ideological attack on education," the group said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the group is encouraged by the Government's back down yesterday on cuts to class sizes and teacher funding.

"We are getting organised, and over the coming weeks are building up for a mass demonstration on July 21st. We want to see the Government reverse all education cuts," said student Alan Baroo.

Blockade the Budget

Last Friday, students staged a sit-in on Symonds Street protesting changes to student loans and allowances announced in Bill English's Budget on May 24.

Around 200 protesters made their way through central Auckland, blocking Queen Street as they walked toward the Auckland central police station.

The group then returned to Queen St before dispersing.

Police arrested 43 people, four of whom were charged with disturbing the peace. The rest were let off with formal warnings.

The protesters fear the changes will discourage students from low income families from doing long degrees or post-graduate study, therefore restricting occupations in law, medicine or engineering to a privileged few.