York raises volume at 4 demands demo

Amongst the crowd of thousands, York People’s Assembly were represented by a full coach – and a mobile sound system. Along with friends in Scarborough and Thirsk, we headed to London for the Health, Homes, Jobs and Education march. Estimates on total numbers vary wildly from 50 to 150 thousand. Whilst the rally took place in 18Trafalgar Square, hundreds of protesters made their way to Downing Street. Continue reading

400 Academies postcards handed in

11114359_479549528878106_1452853207163305406_o400 postcards signed by parents and supporters calling for a ballot on Academy Status were handed in to the council today. The impressive delivery was made possible by hours of hard work from parents campaigning to keep Millthorpe, Scarcroft and Knavesmire public and accountable. Whilst a ballot doesn’t automatically mean a ‘No’ vote, it would be a massive opportunity to show that the case simply hasn’t been made.

Big Week for Anti-Academies Campaign

academiesThe campaign to keep Scarcroft, Knavesmire and Millthorpe schools local and accountable steps up a gear this week. Parents and staff from the 3 schools are being given flashy presentations on the so-called benefits of removing the schools from the LEA’s funding safety net. Meanwhile, York People’s Assembly are promoting a petition to Stop Academies in York and encouraging members of the community to get along and support them 2 events.

First up, they’ll be handing in postcards calling on the Council to hold a binding ballot of parents at West Offices just after 5.20pm on Tuesday (19th). Next up is a Community Picnic on Scarcroft Green, from 3.30pm on Friday (22nd). The idea is to gather people from across the community for a fun afternoon with a serious message about the schools’ futures, and members of the public have been invited to bring support.

Students launch the fightback

Around 60 students took part in a today’s march from campus to town, followed by a short rally. As the march entered town, members of the public joined in and the volume rose. Taking part were several disabled students with fears about welfare cutbacks. In other news, tonight’s York People’s Assembly meeting has had to be moved to a bigger venue, and we’re about to book a second coach for the June 20th “No More Austerity” march in London – get tickets here.

Union members threatened by Vice Chancellor

UCU union members at the University of York are being threatened with 100% pay reduction for a national marking boycott. In the past, similar actions have been met with small reduction in pay as staff continue the rest of their duties. This escalation is a clear sign that Vice Chancellors want to break the unions on their campuses, making it easier to bully and pressurise staff into working longer hours for less pay. Fellow UCU members in Leeds have launched a public letter and online petition calling for an end to such a vindictive tactic by management in York. Anyone can sign, and York People’s Assembly is urging people to do so.

Victory for Castlegate protest!

IMG_20141031_164329Around 40 people assembled to protest outside West Offices last night, ahead of a crucial council committee vote on the fate of the Castlegate Centre. The protest was covered by York Press, appearing as the main story on the home page. The decision will now go back to the council’s Cabinet, who must decide how to change course. It’s rare to hold a protest and get a victory so soon afterwards, and everyone involved deserves to celebrate. Let’s hope its the first of many! Continue reading