NUS Demo announced for November 21st – What the movement has to say

NUS has called a national demonstration for the autumn term on Wednesday, November 21The Education Activist Network (EAN) pledges its full support for the NUS national demonstration on Wednesday, November 21st. As a network of students and trade unionists in further and higher education we will ensure that our resources and energies build the biggest and broadest possible demonstration for that day.

 We asked a few of our EAN activists what they had to say about the announcement. We also would like to hear from you. Please comment in the blog, tweet to us, facebook or email us and we will post it up.

Nathan Bolton, Essex SU President and EAN supporter: 

“The NUS demonstration comes only four weeks after the massive TUC demonstration. We need to make sure that we use the TUC demonstration as a launch pad for student action in the run-up to November 21 and the day itself. One day is simply not going to be enough. We need to learn from our brothers and sisters in Quebec and Chile.”

Maev McDaid, President Liverpool Guild of Students and EAN supporter:

Students entering university in the upcoming year will face up to 9000 pounds in tuition fees. While estates, cleaning and other non-academic staff is being outsourced to private companies, lecturers face attacks on pay, pensions and working conditions. At many universities it is now the case that postgraduate teachers are being asked to work on zero-hour for next to nothing. At FE colleges the picture is even bleaker. That’s why we need to march!

Jim Wolfreys, lecturer, King’s College UCU and EAN supporter: 

“In the face of Universities Minister David Willetts’ attempt to turn our universities into supermarkets. Students and lecturers need to stand side by side and provide an alternative to his destructive plans. The demonstration on November 21 will help us to do so. Lecturers are not service-providers and students are not customers. That’s the message we will take to the government on November 21″

Jamie Woodcock, NUS NEC and EAN supporter:

Activists have the opportunity to turn this demonstration into a day of anger against the Coalition government and the wrecker of our Universities Minister David Willetts. Last time NUS called a national demonstration in November 2010 more than 50 000 students and lecturers took it to the streets. The weather forecasts have predicted a rainy summmer, we predict a hot autumn. And the hottest day will be November 21.

Sean Rillo Raczka, ULU President and EAN supporter:

“On November 21, we will mobilize the hundread thousands of school, FE and university students who opposed fees increases in 2010, the 20 000 people who have signed the ‘no confidence’ motion in David Willetts, to the Campaign for the Public University, to the UCU in support of defending our universities from these vultures.”

Fanny Malinen, Occupy London activist

‘Higher Education benefits the whole of society, not just students. It shouldn’t be seen as a privilege or a commodity. Privatisation only re-inforces class structure and elitism. Free education is possible with a different set of values, for example spending less on the military and clamping down on tax avoiders

Philosophy Professor Peter Hallward of Kingston University and EAN supporter:

“It’s in everyone’s interest to assert our public right to universal education, free and open to all at every level and funded by progressive taxation; if we act collectively and forcefully we can still oblige the government to back down, and abolish both tuition fees and for-profit provision altogether. November 21 is key if we are to win

Ruby Hirsch, NUS NEC (FE Place):

During the student revolt of 2010 FE students created a deep crisis inside of the government which it has not been able to recover from. Many of my friends and I occupied and walked-out of our classes. We need to make sure FE students are at the centre of the movement. Some of us believe the battle is lost. That is why we need to say: What parliament does, the streets can undo.”

Soren Goard, Education Officer Goldsmiths SU

At Goldsmiths we’re becoming increasingly vlunerable to the risk of course closures, departments folding and prtivatisation. We’ve got a strong political tradition of making ourselves heard by making government recognise our power. This autumn is only the start; if we want a future then we’re going to have to fight austerity.

Ryan Hickey, Anticapitalist activist

By coupling debt with higher education, what the government is effectively doing is sanctioning higher education for the upper classes. Only those who have the financial security to laden themselves with debt will fill the universities, completely undermining the university as a public, social good. Education must be free and this demo is part of the struggle to attain free education for all.

The Education Activist Network would like to hear what you have to say. Whether you are a lecturer, professor, student or non-academic staff working at a college or university. Please comment on this blogpost, tweet us or send us a facebook message.


University of Essex Students’ Union Press Release


About educationactivistnetwork
The education activist network provides national coordination for trade unionists, academics, university workers and student campaigners fighting to defend jobs and education in the UK.

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