"A barricade made of ideas," is how one student activist (English literature) described the silent, study-in last night at the University of Auckland library.
Instead of closing at 10pm as usual 45 students and one lecturer held a study-in until 12.01am on the top floor of library. holding the library open for the next day, and the next generation. A large banner hanging from the 6th Floor window reads 'EDUCATION FOR ALL' - don't turn the light out on education!
Some students took the opportunity to write essays, some to cram for exams and many to read radical and revolutionary books!
Student left peacefully at 12.01am and in a positive and peaceful mood. The protest has breathed renewed strength into students. At the end of the study-in protesters gathered together to share why they were there and what they had achieved.
'Some people say students should be studying instead of protesting, but tonight we did both!' said one student.
'This is my first protest and I was a bit scared at the start but this was awesome tonight!'
'I'm worried I won't have the option of post-graduate study and I don't understand why education is being attacked when it is so important,' said another student.
Some of the twitter messages show the effect of the action within the student movement.
- 'Positive stuff coming through #blockadethebudget lets keep it up!'
- 'Proud to be part of a movement where students value and care about education's future.'
- 'Succeeding In Keeping The Lights On For Our Education Im PROUD Of The Auckland Students Gives Me Something To Strive For'
- 'Proud of the students doing a study-in at Auckland University's library tonight, power to you guys. We need to see more'
- 'Thank you to all the students who protested tonight, there's a lot of us who appreciate what you are doing for us #blockadethebudget'
Auckland University Students' Association President and Keep Our Assets campaign leader Arena Williams joined the study-in, tweeting, 'I'm inspired by the students who studied in peaceful protest at the library tonight. Don't cut our tertiary education.'
- 'I was cynical at first, but those #blockadethebudget kids at the University of Auckland seem to be getting some traction...'
The struggle continues!