The national demonstration for free education is barely 3 weeks away. On November 19th, we will on Parliament, and we need to make it a success. We’ll be releasing lots more about how to do actions and mobilise in the coming days. In the meantime, here are some things you can do:
1. Don’t just build the demo, build the movement! If you have an education activist group on campus, build it. If you don’t, set one up. Get everyone interested in getting involved together and hold regular, well-advertised meetings for the group. Your local education activist group is a vital point of reference for organising, and will be a place where a broad range of students can go when the movement gets going. Keep in touch with other groups in your area, and link up with the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. For advice and support, just drop us a line.
2. Get involved in the weeks of action happening from now until the demo. Do teach-ins, stunts, banner drops, flash occupations and actions. Join the facebook group here, and get in touch if you want advice or support.
3. Make sure that your campus is mobilising. If your students’ union hasn’t booked transport already, push them to do this. If they won’t book transport, now is the time to make alternative arrangements. Make sure that people on your campus know how to get to the demo: make sure it’s on your SU’s website, that there is a facebook event for coaches, and that there are mass emails going out. If you’ve got coach tickets, sell them as soon as you can – you may be able to get more coaches if demand is high enough. For a general briefing on travel, click here.
4. Treat the demonstration as a mass campaign: don’t just leaflet, go into lectures and talk to people, and knock on doors in halls. Get an all-student email out now if you can. For guidance, see our materials page. Put posters everywhere. For the materials, click here. And why not organise a mass postering campaign, getting loads of activists in one city together with painting and stickers as well (this happened in London on Monday)?
5. If you’re from a political grouping or a local campus, mobilise people from where you’re from. A good way to do this is to form a bloc or to make a specific facebook event. For examples see here and here.
6. Invite all of your friends to the official Facebook event here.
7. Link up between universities and FE/schools. If you’re at a university, talk to students at the gates of your local school or FE college. If you’re at school or college, link up with your local university. We have produced special FE/school leaflets for the demo, and we’ll be hosting a mass FE meeting on November 1st at Elephant & Castle. Click here for the facebook event.
9. Tweet on the hashtag #freeeducation
10. If you haven’t already, contact your university or college trades union branches. There will usually be at least two trades union branches on campus, one for academic staff, and one for support staff. Examples include Unison, Unite, UCU, and EIS (Scotland). There will also be branches in your local area. These organisations may have some experience or networks that you can tap into, but most importantly they may have bigger campaigning budgets than your students’ union, and should be willing to use it to help you fight for education. It is also likely that staff will engage in strike or marking boycott action soon, so get involved with this: solidarity is a two-way street!