10,000 demonstrators kick start student fightback

10,000 students from across the country demonstrated in London today on the national demonstration against cuts to education and public services organised by the NCAFC.

Despite a much smaller level of  support from the National Union of Students, student unions, student anticuts groups and trade unionists wanting to see a serious fightback against the Tories’ education policies mobilised an impressive demonstration around free education slogans.

This despite serious intimidation and threats from the police – including a threat to use rubber bulletins and intimidatory letters delivered directly to activists and also handed out at stations near the start of the demo. On the demo itself, the police were out in force, including (blatantly obvious) plain clothes officers infiltrating the crowd to cause disruption and in a number of cases violence.

There was a good deal of student-worker unity on the day, ahead of an autumn that will see the biggest strikes since 1926. In addition to many UCU and Unison activists from HE and FE who took part, the demo rallied in support of electrician union activists kettled by the police when they tried to join us. “Students and workers unite” was a widely used chant – along with “you can stick your rubber bullets up your arse.”

Please send reports, pictures and videos of today to [email protected]

The demo was a real success, but needs to to be the start of a renewed campaign of student action:

1. The NCAFC has called a national student Day of Action on 23 November (see here and our Facebook event here). Organise a protest, walk out or occcupation on the day.

2. The 30 November strike against the government’s attacks on public sector pensions, which is likely to see more than two and a half million workers out, is the next major step forward in the fight against cuts. It is vital that the student movement organises a major mobilisation in support of the strikers. More information and materials on this site soon.

3. The NCAFC conference will take place in Birmingham on 10 December. Please bring a delegation from your union or campaigning group, get involved in our democratic processes and make the campaign yours. More details soon.

Congratulations to everybody who made today a success. We should celebrate, but then got on with organising the next steps in the fightback.

Please get in touch to let us know your plans, or for help and advise: [email protected], or ring 07775 763 750 or 07840 136 728.

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  1. Yesterday i was on the March which was a great response from Students to this blatant attack on our democratic rights. The OU ACTIVISTS were out with their Banner and Like other Students face the same attack on Fees and course closures. What is noticeably different was the Role of the Police yesterday, their reaction to provoke violence and use undercover police to provoke us is the changed situation , that we dared to march through the City of London caused them to react in a very extreme fashion , they wanted a fight yesterday but we were not provoked and we stood firm , they Kettled us at Holborn Circus and refused to let usa march to St Pauls where they have started arresting occuypers. The Right to Democratic Protest is our right and we should continue to protest well done to NCFAC for organising a huge group of Students and prove that we do care about Education “The fees protest is not over and we will continue fightinh until we have won.”

  2. Rob Carter says:

    “It is vital that the student movement organises a major mobilisation in support of the strikers. More information and materials on this site soon”

    This is exactly it. See Chile, if the students and workers can unite, we can get rid of fees save our NHS and stop wars. What is the alternative, we must not back down now.

  3. Rubber bulletins? How do they look? Never seen a rubber bulletin before!

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