Aaron Porter issues support for occupations

This morning at 11am, NUS President Aaron Porter visited UCL Occupation to apologise for his “dithering” over support for autonomous student action, and agreed to advocate occupations as a legitimate form of protest against fees and cuts, as well as pledging political, legal and financial aid for all existant and future student occupations.

Occupiers issued the following list of demands to Porter, all of which were agreed to unconditionally:

  • to publicly support all student occupations- on the frontpage of the NUS website and all available media.
  • to call immediately for a new wave of occupations as a legitimate form of protest against fees and cuts.
  • to organise financial, legal & political aid for all current and future occupations.
  • to call a national day of action on the day of the parliamentary vote on tuition fees.
  • to officially support any staff taking further industrial action on cuts in the education sector.

The occupation of the Jeremy Bentham Room in UCL began on Wednesday at 12:15pm as part of NCAFC’s national day of action. Occupiers held the President, who has become a widely controversial figure in the student movement in recent weeks, to account.

He also criticised the NUS for being “spineless” over recent years by refusing to support student protests.

The UCL Occupation intends to continue indefinitely until its demands of the university management, including the issuing of a public statement against fee rises and HE budget cuts, are met. You can support those demands here.

A number of NCAFC activists are involved in the UCL Occupation. The liberated Jeremy Bentham Room is in fact the location of NCAFC’s founding convention.

Tweet your solidarity with the UCL occupiers: http://twitter.com/ucloccupation

Aaron Porter talks at UCL Occupation


  1. What a slimy opportunistic twat!
    He’s just worried students are escaping the control of the NUS, and it’s lost its influence – well good riddance I say!
    Good blog post on the subject here: http://libcom.org/blog/aaron-porters-apology-fits-his-agenda-28112010

  2. Students, please watch this character, Aaron Porter, like a hawk!!!! NUS leaders can not be trusted to represent the interests of the membership. I say this mainly because there are already indications that Mr. Porter will let you vent your anger but ultimately sell you out.

    What I write now is the absolute truth. The present shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, is the same Jim Murphy who ran the National Union of Students in the early 90s. I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing him in Manchester telling NUS members that it was “unrealistic” to expect the continuation of grants. His meetings were stage managed, so that only his cronies in the audience got to ask “safe” questions. He then had the nerve to march at a Campaign for Free Education rally in Leeds. I was there, too. He was nearly lynched when students recognized him. At the time we couldn’t understand why he was acting so contradictory. However, a rumour soon spread that Murphy had been promised a chance to run for New Labour in Scotland. We thought it was just that, a rumour. Within two years Murphy received his thirty pieces of silver from the Labour party for deceiving the people he was meant to represent. He became an MP in Scotland. This man lived in South Africa for years, still received a student grant, and I don’t think he even graduated. I wasn’t the only former Labour supporter who was enlightened by this experience. From this experience many of us realized what had become of the party and our union leadership. Now, while the TUC and New Labour sit on their hands, the people they are meant to represent are taking to the streets. Miliband twiddles his thumbs, looking around for some kind of gimmick to fool those the party left behind long ago into voting for New Labour. The party has become a rotten corpse, and the stench is noted by everyone except those still wanting power by any means. Sadly, New Labour will win some people back, simply because those people despise New Labour slightly less than they hate the policies of the Tory/Lib partnership. As for you and your “dithering” Aaron Porter, the students are embarrassing you into making the right noises. Shame for you that they embarrass you into changing tack, while they continue their fight regardless of your ineffective “leadership.” Students, I wish you the best of luck. Linking up with all the other protest organizations in Britain and Europe will strengthen your hand a lot more than waiting for Aaron Porter’s knees to stop knocking.

  3. With regards to all the recent protests on fees-I think that if students spend their time protesting, instead of studing, they don’t deserve a university place.

    My retirement income is considerably lower than £21,000 where they start to pay for their education. Out of my income I have to pay a large amount of tax helps to pay for their education.

    So I object to their childish behaviour and suggest that they start to think about others and not just

  4. Everyone in college need to know about scholarships for women in order to NOT have debt when you get out of college!

  5. Britton,

    “I object to their childish behaviour and suggest that they start to think about others and not just

    Could you do the same? I’m not a student, but I admire the way a so-called apathetic generation is setting an example to everyone by fighting a system that bails out banks, and puts our service members in harm’s way in illegal wars costing billions of pounds. Yet, this same system thinks we should lie down and take it when cuts in education and health care take place.

  6. What a great resource!

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