On 9th April the Save LAEC public meeting launched the broad community campaign to defend the college and support staff. The campaign website is www.geocities.com/savelaec

In an attempt to intimidate staff, Chris Minter emailed college workers and announced that he would be attending the meeting. He also made it clear in this email that he “does not approve or condone” staff involvement in the campaign. So, the IWW advised LAEC staff to go to the pub for the first half of the meeting so the public could grill Minter without fear of any later repercussions at work for our members; then once Minter had had been sent home, staff would turn up to the second half of the meeting.

Minter was quickly pointed out to those present by the chair of the meeting, who duly informed him that the IWW does not take kindly to his attempts to bully staff and that it was none of his business what staff do outside of work. Minter, meanwhile, behaved in a very slippery manner. The fact that one minute, he could tell us that he really didn’t need to consult anyone about a little thing like “a few room changes,” then the next minute inform us that the changes at LAEC had been a “really difficult decision to make” showed everyone present that Minter is seriously lacking in consistency. So which one is it Chris? And that was exactly the way he conducted his responses to students and the public through out the meeting. His “yes but… no but… yes but… no but…” approach, reminiscent of that Little Britain character, left people in no doubt as to what he was up to.

At half time, Minter was asked to leave. A couple of minutes later, in walked the staff to a round of applause.

The staff then continued the meeting by describing their side of the story. After hearing both sides, the public quickly realised this was a campaign that needed attention. Some discussion took place regarding campaign clarifications and what immediate action needed to be taken. A follow up meeting is on wed 23rd April at the YMCA, East Street, Leicester at 7pm – 9pm.

Watch this space for full details of how you can support this campaign.