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I met Karen and Alice at the Heatherington Recreation Club student occupation at Glasgow University. They and numerous others are occupying and looking after a beautiful building, a former club for research students that had been left to waste by the university authorities.
Heatherington is now being used as an educational and cultural venue as well as a space from which to organise on issues in higher education and the wider anti-cuts agenda. Scotland’s academics took two days of strike action in March in response to changes to pensions whilst Glasgow university has announced cuts to language teaching which will impact other areas of study.
Academics have shown support by visiting to deliver talks and lectures. Another visitor was Billy Bragg, who gave a free concert. Importantly, Liz Lochead gave her first public poetry reading there as Scotland’s new Maker (poet laureate) on 15 March.
Unfortunately for everyone the beer pumps have been dismantled in the building’s two bars, but I did enjoy a lovely cup of tea.