This afternoon I went down to UCL for a protest to show support for 13 UCL students who have been threatened by UCL with tens of thousands of pounds of fines as costs for the occupation. I was asked to speak, here is roughly what I said.

What’s happening to 13 students here at UCL has a context. Last year, at Sussex, the University tried to kick students out for occupying. Only a month ago, the administration at Birmingham threatened to expel seven occupiers.

And at Sussex, students rallied round those at threat, and they stood up to the administration, and they won. At Birmingham, students organised, and they got national support, and the university backed down. And so it’s important that you’ve all come today, because if you stand together, you too will win.

And it’s also important to remember why university administrations seek to persecute occupiers. They are attempting to silence dissent because protest works, because what you’ve been doing is effective. Because you can win.

Because throughout history, protest has worked. The state pension in 1910, the NHS in the 1940s – these institutions weren’t just given by powerful rich men. They were fought for. They were won.

And so as we join the protests tomorrow and as we continue our protest across the country, don’t ever believe the lie that elites tell that protesting doesn’t work. Because ultimately, it does. Ultimately, it is the people who win.

Adam Ramsay

About Adam Ramsay

Adam is Co-Editor of Open Democracy UK and a green activist based in Edinburgh. He co-founded Bright Green in 2010.