Below is the original letter which was also signed by Caroline Lucas MP and John McDonnell MP, but for some reason their names were not added to the list printed.
Stop Kettling Our Kids! We are a collective of concerned parents, students and activists who have united in response to the provocative police ‘kettling’ tactics. We are disgusted that our children have been ‘kettled’ in the cold without access to food, water or toilets; effectively trapped for hours on end. Their rights having been violated.
Responding to yesterdays warning from Sir Hugh Orde, claiming that police may have to resort to even more extreme tactics at up-coming protests. We shall not allow our children to be intimidated from the streets by police tactics. They must be allowed to protest without fear of imprisonment or assault. We shall not tolerate police violence. We shall not tolerate ‘kettling’.
We support campaigns against the tuition fee’s cap increase and the axing of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). We condemn these regressive and potentially divisive changes as part of the governments wide spread attack on the education system. Concern is also mounting amid the changes to public funding of the Arts and Humanities and university research cuts.
With these changes the government will transform the education system into an exclusive, discriminatory and market driven structure. When the new tuition fees come into effect in 2012 people will only be able to continue education at university if they can afford to pay the university determined fees increase. Whilst also struggling with the increased maintenance costs and decreased public services. Not forgetting the detrimental affect this will have on the overall quality of education. The direction of this education system is edging closer and closer to becoming totally privatised.
Coupled with the ditching of EMA, an even wider class divide shall emerge as more people will be prevented from fair access to quality higher education. We do not want to see a hierarchy of knowledge which shall result if all of these cuts to education are implemented.
Education is a key stone of society. If the government is prepared to slash and burn the education system, what else does this signify a preparation to destroy? Education should be preserved and developed not damaged. This farcical economic ‘austerity’ program is symptomatic of what is to come unless we can act now. These protests will not stop.
We applaud the Early Day Motion 1257, lead by Katy Clark MP against ‘kettling’ and request that even more MPs sign it.
We urge parents, teachers and anyone working with young people to encourage them to exercise their democratic right to protest. We also encourage you to join the demonstrations. Many of us have already benefited from the education system and so we should be defending it for our children and the future generations.
We call for all who believe in an open, fair and state funded education system to join Saturday’s protests in London and Manchester. We deplore the use of ‘kettling’ as arbitrary imprisonment and encourage people to know and exercise your rights against police tactics in the midst of these cuts.