Padraig McCarrick reports on last weekend’s big FEE meeting
Saturday 5th February saw a National Meeting of Free Education for Everyone (FEE) at the Teachers’ Club. The meeting involved students involved with various FEE branches from a number of Universities and Secondary Schools, this meeting is the first of its kind in recent memory.
The morning session involved a discussion on FEE to date and reports from the various FEE branches in the South and also in the Six Counties.
A more structured national framework to co-ordinate and promote FEE activities was also discussed and agreed upon. This new structure should hopefully give more of a national scope to FEE and allow smaller and new branches to develop and grow into a nationwide student grassroots movement.
The final part of the morning session involved a discussion on future FEE campaigns. Keep an eye out for FEE during campus election debates in the next two weeks and a multi-university protest against Fine Gael’s proposed Graduate Tax in the coming future.
The afternoon session involved a more public forum with a discussion entitled “Where Next for the Campaign Against Fees?” as well as a talk on “Student Mobilization Against the Cutbacks”.
Guest Speakers included activist and historian Andrew Flood, who spoke on his experiences of the student movement in the 1980s, Shane Donnelly, the secondary school student who organised the Clondalkin school walkout, and Colin Coulter, Sociology lecturer at NUIM who spoke on the Hunt Report and its commercialization of education.
This was an interesting and productive day for the FEE movement and will no doubt be just the start of their activities this year.
For those interested in FEE and their work contact them:
Facebook.com, just search ‘The Student Observer’
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