Model motion: support arrested student protesters!

The student movement needs to do more to defend and support activists victimised by the police, defending the right to protest and take direct action is vital to taking on the government and university managements in the fight for free education and other progressive battles. Here is a model motion to get your SU to support arrested protesters:

Support Arrested Student Protesters

The Students’ Union believes:

  • When students attend demonstrations, there is a risk of being arrested.  Whether or not the individual student has broken the law is irrelevant; the policing of demonstrations is often heavy-handed and indiscriminate.
  • If you are arrested, not knowing what to do adds stress to an already stressful situation.
  • Being arrested is costly: arrestees are usually released in the middle of the night or early the next morning, meaning they miss their coach home.
  • The SU has a duty of care towards its members.  This extends to demonstrations which have been organised by the SU, and those which the SU has given its support by organising transport to the demonstration.

 

The Students’ Union resolves:

  • To provide “bust cards,” with information on what to do if arrested, for all students of the SU attending an SU-supported demonstration
  • To provide legal advice in safety briefings
  • To liaise with demonstration organisers for details of legal firms willing to offer legal support, to be distributed in advance
  • To provide financial support to arrestees, including but not necessarily limited to covering the cost of return travel to [insert city here].
  • Never to hand over the names of any arrestees, whether to the press, the University, or the public at large.

There is a bigger threat to NUS than disaffiliation campaigns

12212196_10153315383958865_1836261850_nThe last few days has seen multiple stories in press outlets about the potential of students running disaffiliation campaigns from the NUS, following the election of Malia Bouattia. These disaffiliation campaigns and the media’s narrative surrounding them should be battled against. Although flawed, the NUS is the largest and most powerful political body representing students and we are all stronger inside of it – and even if you disagree with its current leadership and structures you should work to change them rather than leave; and a significant number of these campaigns seem to oppose an NUS that is more left-wing than when centrist Presidents were in control. However, there is also a much greater threat facing the NUS and student unions just around the corner.

The Higher Education White Paper could be released in less than a month. In a somewhat bizarre gaffe, photos of a document through a clear plastic wallet on the way to Parliament showed that its announcement would come around the time of the queen’s opening of the next session of Parliament on 18th May. It will build on and finalise the proposals laid out in the Green Paper, released last November. Contained in it were plans to further the marketise the HE sector. The entry of for-profit providers will be made easier, fees could be increased without a vote in parliament, universities would be allowed to fail and close, and businesses would have a far greater say over what we learn.

All of this spells disaster for a publicly-funded, accessible education system for the benefit of society as opposed to the private sector. And what is also terrifying is that there are hints that the rights of students to fight against changes such as these will also be curtailed, with the protection afforded to student unions and the NUS as representative bodies destroyed. Whilst the proposals in the Green Paper on this area are incredibly vague, they could include plans such as an opt-in membership of NUS and the removal of the stipulation that universities must have adequately supported student unions attached to them. This would decimate the NUS’ membership far more than individual disaffiliation campaigns on campuses, and would also hugely affect local student unions.

When the White Paper is released, we should have a much better idea. But if we are to defeat it, we cannot sit back and wait. By mid-May, universities are already winding down. Some students will have finished their exams by then, and most will have returned home by some point in June. The NUS, student unions and activist groups need to start preparing now for the release of the White Paper – ready to call emergency meetings, demonstrations, to go into occupation, gather support for the NSS boycott and to mount a united campaign incorporating as much of our mass membership as possible, keeping people engaged over the summer break.

A strong and successful campaign against the White Paper will also give the opportunity for the NUS and student unions to demonstrate their worth to the student body. Although students have found it difficult to engage with the content of the Green Paper due to its deliberate complexity and confusing contradictions, the HE reforms will have a tangible, detrimental impact to students and we should all be making our case for why they are bad and how important it is that we oppose them. It is only through a powerful national campaign that we will beat the White Paper and for the first time in a long time we have an NUS President who believes in the mass grassroots action that could seriously take on the government.
So yes, we must counter disaffiliation campaigns on our campuses, but we should not lose sight of the even greater threat of the White Paper and the desperate need to start organising against it if we are to truly protect student unionism in this country.

By NCAFC NC member Hattie Craig.

Statement of Solidarity with Malia Bouattia

Congratulations to Malia Bouattia, who got elected this week to replace Megan Dunn and become the first BAME woman and Muslim President in NUS’s history. Bouattia ran on a leftwing platform, emphasising liberation, support for free education, opposition to the PREVENT agenda, and commitment to democracy and accountability. Bouattia’s victory has been met with a vicious backlash, including from the national media.

While concerns and questions raised about antisemitism must be taken seriously (and debated separately), a lot of the attacks she is facing are purely racist and Islamophobic, and the often repeated claim that she refused to condemn ISIS is simply untrue. We stand in solidarity with Bouattia against bigotry and abuse, and we look forward to working with her and the other officers elected to turn the policies NUS conference passed into reality, including a serious, militant strategy to stop the government’s attacks on education and students.

You can watch her election speech below:

Open letter: Over 200 support the call to sabotage the NSS to defend education!

 

sabotage the nssWe, the undersigned, support the call for a sabotage of the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS) and the subsequent Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, as part of a strategy to stop the higher education reforms. We will be voting for amendment 201b at NUS National Conference 2016 and we encourage other delegates to do the same.

The government’s higher education reforms, as laid out in the Green Paper, represent a fundamental attack against the idea of education as a public service and against the interests of students and education workers. They will mean a market with increased and variable fees; staff and institutions forced to compete in metrics based on the government’s right-wing understanding of education; and public universities pushed to collapse while private businesses are given help to take their place.  To force the government to back down, we need leverage.

The flagship Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will be a damaging, core part of the reforms. The TEF will force teachers and universities to compete for the chance to increase fees on the basis of the jobs their graduates get—something unrelated to good teaching, and out of teachers’ control—and other inadequate metrics. And the TEF will in future rely on data from the NSS and DLHE. Even before this, the NSS and DLHE already form important parts of the government’s management and marketization of education. Sabotaging these surveys will help to make introducing the TEF unworkable. Doing that would help to disrupt the implementation of the reforms as a whole.

We are voting for amendment 201b because NUS should call mass action against the NSS and DLHE: organising students to either boycott them or give artificial maximum or minimum scores, until the reforms are cancelled.

This would be a powerful tool – a key part of a serious strategy to defeat the HE reforms. It is a strategy which requires mass participation: that’s why we need the full weight of the NUS behind us.

We believe we can win. If you do too, you can join the Thunderclap here and sign the letter here.

 

Signed:

 

Ana Oppenheim, SUARTS Campaigns Officer & NUS Delegate

Hope Worsdale, Warwick SU Education Officer Elect & NUS Delegate

Josh Berlyne, NUS Delegate, Sheffield Students’ Union

Maddy Kirkman, NUS Disabled Students’ Officer

Yinbo Yu, UEA SU Activities and Opportunities Officer & NUS Delegate

Hansika Jethnani, SUARTS Education Officer Elect & NUS Delegate

Daniel Nikolla, President of City and Islington Students’ Union

Sahaya James, NUS NEC and candidate for NUS VP Union Development

Deej Lashley-Johnson, BME Officer and University of Manchester Delegate

Michael Spence, Education Officer, University of Manchester Students’ Union

Jaffrina Jahan, Birmingham Guild of Students Delegate

Sarah Boyle, NUS Delegate, Sheffield Students’ Union

Ali Day, Education Officer Elect Sheffield Students’ Union

Myriam Kane, Lesoco Student Union President

Lina Nass, Aberdeen University Students’ Association Delegate

Shelly Asquith, NUS NEC

Michael Kind, Development Officer Elect, Sheffield Students’ Union

Zoe Brunswick, NUS Delegate, Manchester Students’ Union

Lizzy Kelly, NUS Delegate, Sheffield Students’ Union

Karol Stefanowicz, Delegate from SUARTS and artist

Fez Endalaust, University of Plymouth

Harriet Pugh, Community Officer, UMSU

Katie Smith NUS Delegate, York Students’ Union

Hazel Salt, Aberdeen University Students Association, VP Welfare

Krum Tashev CCSU Union President

Maisie Sanders, NCAFC Women and Non-Binary Co-Rep

Joseph Clough, Postgrad Students’ Rep, Manchester Students’ Union

Aysha Al-Fekaiki LSESU Community and Welfare Officer

Deborah Hermanns, International Students Campaign 2nd NEC elect

James Elliott, NUS NEC and NUS Disabled Students Officer-elect

Sayed Alkadiri, Vice President, Middlesex SU

Maryam Jameela, York Uni Students’ Union

Kelechi Chioba Disabled Rep BSC NUS

Hannah McCarthy, Campaigns and Citizenship Officer, University of Manchester Students’ Union

Scarlett Langdon, SUARTS Welfare Officer/NUS Delegate

Rachel O’Brien, NUS Disabled Students’ Campaign NEC Place Elect

Megan McCulloch, School Officer for School of Social Sciences University of Stirling

Alex Robb, SRUCSA President

Beth Redmond, NUS NEC

Olly Brown, Petroc SU environment Officer & NUS Delegate

Stefan Brett, Student, University of Bath

Stuart McMillan, Sheffield Students’ Union

Luke Renwick, Education Officer Elect, Sheffield Hallam Students Union

Hannah Webb, NUS NEC

Leah Lapautre, University of Warwick

Ollie Sanderson-Nichols, University of Warwick

Lily Arnold, Durham University

Katie Dubarry, Campus Officer for SRUCSA (Oatridge Campus)

Lara Papadimitriou, University of Essex

Jenny Killin, AUSA Welfare Officer Elect

Natasa Christofidou, DVP sustainability, Exeter Univeristy Students’ Guild

Tyrone Falls, Bristol SU

Luke Pilot, Welfare & Campaigns Officer, Warwick SU

Finlay Archibald, School of Natural and Computing Sciences Convener, Aberdeen University Students’ Association

Davide Bertelli, VP International and Outreach, UPSU

Safrina Ahmed, University of Warwick

Minesh Parekh, Education Officer, University of Sheffield Students’ Union

Charlie Hindhaugh, Education Officer & Deputy President, Warwick SU

Mostafa Haydar, Barnsley College

Andrew Perry, Edinburgh Napier University

Melanie Erspamer, NUS Delegate, University of Edinburgh

Chris Jarvis, Union of UEA Students Campaigns & Democracy Officer  & NUS Delegate

Ben Hunt, KCLSU President elect

Hannah Roques, Edinburgh University SA Trustee & NUS Delegate

Aaron Parr, Queen Mary Young Greens & NUS Delegate

Raquel Palmeira NCAFC LGBTQ co-Rep

Mark Crawford, Postgraduate Students’ Officer-Elect at UCLU

Ben Towse, NUS Postgraduate Committee

Lewis Macleod, Aberdeen Uni SA Communities Officer-elect & NUS Delegate

Raj Jeyaraj, Vice President Diversity, Strathclyde Students’ Association

Shula Kombe, University of Manchester

Callum Cant, NCAFC NC, University of Sussex

Jamie Sims, NCAFC NC, University of Warwick

Travis Alabanza, KCLSU LGBT+ rep

Sahara Choudhury, Vice President Wellbeing of Heriot-Watt University Student Union

Sam French, NUS Delegate, Essex Students’ Union

Dave Keenan, Stirling Students’ Union President-elect

Vijay Jackson, NUS delegation leader for Edinburgh University Students’ Association

Tanju Cakar, NCAFC Disabled Rep, Sheffield Students’ Union

Monty Shield, NUS Delegate, Queen Mary

Rohi Malik, Vice Chair (Events and Communications) Elect, Labour Students

Marie Chapleau, Aberdeen University Students’ Union

Craig Gillen, Welfare Executive Member,  Heriot-Watt University Student Union

Joe Jenner, University of Warwick

Hattie Craig, NCAFC NC

Ashling Doyle, University of Warwick

Ben Parsons, University of Warwick

Michael Muir, Labour Students National Committee 2016/17

Jess Lishak, Women’s Officer, University of Manchester

Bethan Hunt UG Education Officer Sussex Students’ Union

Akwasi Akoto, 3rd Year student, University of Warwick

Sophie Godwin. Students with disabilities forum chair, UPSU

Natalia Renwick, Student, University of Birmingham

Christopher Waller, UWE

Emma Marie, Women’s Officer-elect, Warwick Students’ Union

Max O’Donnell Savage, Sussex University

Dan Brown, University of Warwick

Maev McDaid, NUS Delegate, Sheffield Students’ Union

Joe MacMahon, University of Sheffield

Rowan Hedley, University of Bristol

Sophie Worrall, International Students’ Officer (EU), Warwick University & NUS Delegate

Amanda Shaylor, Momentum Youth & Students/NCAFC NC

Fi Halfacre, Students with Disabilities Officer, Sussex

Alex Marton, University of Sheffield

Stephen Le Fanu, Student Living Officer 2016-17, University of Bristol Students Union

James McMahon, University of Sheffield

Ruby Lee, University of Sheffield

Sophie Clark, University of Sheffield

Laura Lunn-Bates , NUS Delegate, Sheffield Hallam Students Union

Rose Taylor, NUS delegate, Sussex Students’ Union

Zoe Salanitro, NCAFC Women’s Rep

Annie Pickering, NUS Delegate and Sussex President-elect

Isabel Rivas, NUS Delegate, Ethics and Environmental Officer, Essex University Students Union

Rosie Simsek, ArtsFems President, SUARTS

Chris Townsend, Sheffield SU councillor

Demaine Boocock, Sheffield SU councillor

Luke Elliott, NCAFC NC, University of York Students’ Union

Alex Rossetti, NCAFC NC

Halimah Manan, University of Warwick

Luke Neal, University of Manchester Unite branch and Manchester Labour Students committee

Dalia Gebrial, University of Oxford

Nathan Rogers, Socialist Resistance

Sally Williamson, former Officer and current student, Bath SU

Jessica Patterson, Postgrad Research Rep, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

Jack Chadwick, York University

Luke Dukinfield, University of Warwick

Jamie Fozard, Aberdeen Labour Students Secretary-elect

Viviana Annunziata, NCAFC

Jacob Smith, Nursing & Midwifery Rep, KCLSU

Andy Warren, KCL Labour

Rahul Singh, Heriot-Watt University SU BSO, NUS UK DSC, NUS UK ISC, NUS Scotland BSC

Will Armston-Sheret SOAS Labour Society Co-Chair

Harry Cross, NUS Delegate, Durham University

Omar Raii, UCLU NUS Delegate

Richard Shield, Liverpool Philosophy PGR Student Rep

Nat Panda, Postgraduate Sabbatical Officer, Warwick SU

Rida Vaquas, Young Labour West Midlands Rep

Arianna Tassinari, PhD student and UCU activist, University of Warwick

Andrew Voysey, Aberdeen University

Rebecca Gregg, Co-chair KCL Labour

Sophie Nazemi, Co-Chair, KCL Labour

Connor Woodman, University of Warwick

Clare Hymer, Postgraduate Student

Oliver Douglas, KCL Labour Social Media Officer

Marie Dams, University of Warwick

Michael Haddad, University of Warwick

Molly Russell, University of Warwick

Clementine Boucher, Bath Uni

Kirsty Haigh

Imogen Woods, Women’s Officer,  Brighton

Olivia McLaughlin, University of Warwick

Simon Youel, University of Manchester

John McFarlane, Manchester Met

Scarlet Quilloy, University of Manchester

Alicia Shearsby, University of Warwick

Fred Craig, University of Manchester

Zac Muddle, NCAFC South-West Rep, University of Bristol

Katie Crosson, Warwick University

George Innes, SRUC

Anna Grinevich, Research Postgrad, University of Warwick

Anabel Bennett, UCL

Naomi Mabita, University of Manchester Students’ Union

Tom Scriven, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Manchester

Toby Mckenzie-Barnes, University of Sheffield

Chris Saltmarsh, University of Sheffield

Rosie Wright, University of Sheffield

Charlotte O’Neill, student, University of Sheffield

Georgina Baker, University of Warwick

Molly Rosenberg, President of Northumbria Feminist society

Izzy Burnett, Bristol Reclaim Education member, University of Bristol

Rachel Russell, University of Bristol

Isaac Stovell, University of Sheffield

Arabella Champignon le Bois, University of Bristol Students’ Union

Katie Leach, UAL

George Walker, Durham Students’ Union

Rebecca Muir, Features Editor of bathimpact

Anna Rivers, Graduate Student

Ellie Clarke

Polly Martin

Callum Townsend, NCAFC LGBTQ Co-Rep, Belfast Met

David McNerlin

Alison Reed, Northern Regional College

Dionne Clarke, Northern Regional College

Owen Crawford, Member of Youth Parliament for North Down, student at St Columbanus High School

Elliott Lyness, VP Campaigns & Communications, Ulster University

Con Mcgurk, Queen’s University Belfast

Jasmine Simms, Durham University

Rosie Cohen, Durham University

Rosie Worsdale, Essex PhD Student

Tom Barker, Durham University

Laura Murray Durham University

Eliza Colin Hodges, Student.

Lewis Williams, Science and Engineering Rep, Queen Mary Student’s Union

Thulani Maseko, Durham University

Faisal Yousif, Liverpool Uni

Angus O’Brien UCL Union Halls Accommodation Representative

Theo Dye, Durham Students’ Union

Cameron Mason, Warwick

Olly McDowell, Liverpool

Guy Forsyth, Durham University

Stefan Bertram-lee, Essex

Renée Reitsma, PhD Student, University of Essex

Alex Burnett

George Briley, Goldsmiths, University of London

Jordan Smith, Vice President Queen Mary Young Greens, Queen Mary University of London

Anna Mullaney, Welfare Officer Elect, Sheffield Students’ Union

Laura Cristea, President for Environment and Ethics & NUS Delegate Alyssa Erspamer, UCL

Julius Jokikokko, SUARTS LGBTQ Officer -elect

Duncan Kennedy, University of Birmingham

Ollie Hill, outgoing Chair LSESU Labour, LSE Students’ Union

Meg Murphy

Nicholas Cooke, University of Birmingham

Daniel Cain-Reed, NUS Delegate and Trustee, Durham Students’ Union

Marianne Murray, SUARTS

Megan Borrman

Eran Cohen, University of York

Ben Leonard, General Rep, Leeds Beckett Student’s Union

Sarah Gillborn, VP Welfare and NUS Delegate, Leeds Beckett SU

Dan Sweeney, University of York

Ben Stanley, SOAS

Mallory Lord-Kear

NCAFC Candidates for NUS Block of 15 Announced!

Every year NUS Conference elects fifteen students to the National Executive Committee in what is known as the “Block of 15” elections. Their role of hold the elected officers to account, ensure that policy at conference is followed, and act as the democratic decision making body in the period between conferences.

NCAFC is running three candidates for this election. They were chosen by a vote of the National Committee after submitting applications. We believe that they are the best people to put forward the politics of the organisation and hold the elected officers to account. If elected they will write regular reports of their activity on NEC so they are accountable to the movement as well. They are:

ana for blockAna Oppenheim is currently Campaigns Officer at SUARTS and was heavily involved in the UAL occupation of Central Saint Martins last summer.

“I’m a Polish migrant, a socialist feminist and a member of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts – fighting for a free, accessible, democratic and liberated education for all. I’m standing for election because I’ve seen and experienced the impact that austerity and the marketisation agenda has had on education. We need an NUS that supports grassroots activism, builds coalitions with trade unions and is unafraid to take action against the government.”


Manifesto: http://tinyurl.com/Ana-manifesto  
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ana4Block


omar for blockOmar Raii was previously UCLU’s External Campaigns Officer. He has been involved in campaigns for workers’ rights and international solidarity, such as the Tres Cosas Campaign and the “Stop Turkey’s War on Kurds” demonstration

“Hi, I’m Omar and I’m a member of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, an activist with UCL Free Education as well as a supporter of the ideas of Workers’ Liberty. I want to fight for a student movement that is internationalist and supports solidarity with students and workers across borders, that orientates towards the labour movement and working-class struggle and that is firmly open and democratic. I was us to recapture a spirit of open debate, freedom of organisation, speech and action in order to effectively fight for the political change we want to see.

Manifesto: http://tinyurl.com/Omar-manifesto 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/omar4nec


sahaya for blockSahaya James was the President of South Gloucester and Stroud College and is currently a member of NUS NEC. She was one of the central organisers of last November’s #GrantsNotDebt demo.

“As an unpaid FE college President, I fought for my union to exist, let alone get it resourced – while my college tried to expel me. As an activist, I’ve organised national demos for free education. And as a member of the NEC, I’ve held our full-time officers to account.

I’ve done all of this without a penny from NUS, and with almost no central support. That’s because NUS has the wrong priorities: we have an NUS that is obsessed with brands and networking. What we need is an NUS that engages its membership, and gets the basics right.”

Manifesto: http://tinyurl.com/Sahaya-manifesto

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SahayaForUD

 

Information and manifestos for all candidates can be viewed here: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/articles/candidates-for-block-of-15

Statement in solidarity with the occupation of Charles Stewart House

We the undersigned stand in absolute solidarity with People and Planet Edinburgh and the students of Edinburgh University, who for the second year running have occupied their finance building; Charles Stewart House, as part of their divestment campaign, which aims to get the university to withdraw all investments from companies which derive more than 5% of their profits from either fossil fuels or the arms industry.

We express both our sympathy with this noble aim, as well as unconditional support of the decision to occupy. It is only through fully utilising every tool at our disposal that we will succeed in enacting the changes we seek to make. We too want to see the university divest from these unethical ventures, and furthermore, to put the freed capital to use at the service of society – whether that be in sustainable energy generation, transmission and storage; or in retraining and employment opportunities for workers in transitioning industries such as the recently laid off coal miners of Kellingley Colliery; or even invested back into the cutting-edge research at the university itself. We resolutely believe in a society with fair and democratic management of not only its own collective resources but the social and economic systems behind them – and as such, we are glad to see students taking the policies of their educational institution into their own hands. Edinburgh Uni should aim to serve not only the wishes and best interests of students themselves but also humanity as a whole, and if they continue holding investments which are not conducive to the public good, then they are failing in their duties to the student body as well as the citizens who provide the public funding.

The university has no excuses in this regard – it is putting profit before people and therefore prioritising not only greater exploitation, which is broadly symptomatic of the increasing marketization in the education sector, but it is also a fatal flaw in reasoning – falsely placing a short term monetary incentive above a longer term responsibility to our shared environment and everyone living in it, whether that be those in the North of England whose homes are repeatedly flooded, the residents of Beijing suffering through smog daily, or the inhabitants of remote island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising sea levels. A higher quarterly return on paper will mean nothing if we have destroyed our planet in practice. More than anything else, it will be a missed opportunity. Change course now – and divest the rest!

This statement is co-signed by:

Edinburgh Student Left

National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

Scottish Young Labour

Scottish Labour Young Socialists

Aberdeen Defend Education Campaign

Alliance for Workers’ Liberty

Another Europe is Possible – Edinburgh

Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh

Bollocks to Poverty Edinburgh (ActionAid)

Edinburgh Revolutionary Communist Group – FRFI

Edinburgh University Anarchist Society

Edinburgh University Amnesty International

Edinburgh University Feminist Society

Edinburgh University Marxist Society

Edinburgh University Scottish Nationalist Association

Edinburgh University Society for Economic Pluralism

Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine

Edinburgh Young Greens

Fossil Free Hastings

Fossil Free Strathclyde

Fossil Free Sussex

Fossil Free UCL

Fossil Free UEA

Frack-Free Hartlepool

Frack-Free York

Glasgow University Climate Action

 

Hartlepool Green Party

Hastings Anticuts

JJFD Photography

Momentum Edinburgh

Momentum Fife and Clackmannanshire

Momentum Hastings

National Health Action Party – North East

No Underground Coal Gasification North East (NUNE)

People and Planet Brighton

Real Democracy Now Edinburgh [GR]

The Norwich Radical

 

Activists occupy GLL gym as start of wider direct action to save Lambeth libraries

gllBy Omar Raii, NCAFC activist

Campaigners from the student organisation National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and Save Lambeth Libraries joined forces today to occupy the GLL gym/leisure centre on Marshall Street near Oxford Circus.

We took over the lobby of the building for half an hour, shouted chants including “GLL, hear us say, Lambeth libraries here to stay” and “No ifs, no buts, no Lambeth library cuts”, talked to customers and GLL workers – who we obviously have no quarrel with – and generally caused disruption, before rallying outside the building.

The campaign to stop the closure of libraries in Lambeth, so that GLL can profit from the destruction of people’s public services, is gaining momentum, with more and more activists beyond Lambeth starting to pay attention, express solidarity and be drawn in. Certainly many students are both angry at what GLL is doing and inspired by the Lambeth campaign, and particularly the occupation of the Carnegie library.

Today was just the start of the actions we will organise against GLL if they don’t get their hands off our services.

Callout: #BursaryOrBust – Join the Walkout and Die In!

bursary or bust profileAs part of their ongoing fight against the scrapping of NHS bursaries, NHS funded students all over the UK will walk out of their placements for two hours on Wednesday 6th April at 10am. This follows a successful walkout in February as part of a nationwide week of action and will be done in coordination with the latest action called by the Junior Doctors, a 48 hour strike which begins that day. Nurses are calling for non-NHS students to meet them in the lobby of two London hospitals, St. Thomas’ and Whitechapel at 10am, and walk out with them in solidarity. At 12pm, they will then head to the Department of Health for a die in.

The die in will highlight the number of NHS students that will be lost due to the cuts to NHS bursaries, as well as the way the government’s programme of cuts, marketisation and privatisation is killing the NHS. Most NHS funded students are from non-traditional backgrounds: a large proportion are mature students or students who have already completed a first degree, and they are disproportionately women, working class, BME or students with caring responsibilities. We know that these are the groups that are hardest hit by debt, and many could not have even contemplated the course without the bursary: following the 2011 hike in tuition fees, there was a massive drop in applications to higher education from mature students. The NHS bursary is vital for a fully funded and well-staffed NHS, and scrapping it will mean that NHS funded students will be forced into debt in order to work for the NHS. According to the Royal College of Midwives, midwifery students will graduate with a debt of £65,000 after a three year course, despite the fact that NHS students work alongside their degrees, often doing unsociable hours which make part-time work impossible. In effect, the removal of the bursary would force prospective nurses and allied health professionals to pay to work.

The campaign to save NHS bursaries is the fight to save the NHS from further cuts, marketisation and privatisation, but also for free, liberated and accessible education and universal living grants, funded by taxing the rich and big business. Fighting alongside NHS students should also be a priority for feminists in the student movement – cuts to NHS bursaries are a feminist issue which must be placed in the context of the imposition of the junior doctors’ contract. If imposed, the new contract is likely to widen the gender pay gap in medicine, and is essentially a penalty for care work, as women tend to spend more years in training than men in order to balance caring responsibilities and their job.

Non NHS students need to fight alongside prospective nurses, midwives and other health professionals – here are some things you can do:

  • Join NHS students in the lobbies of St. Thomas’ or Whitechapel hospital in London at 10am on Wednesday as they walk out of their placements.
  • Join them at the Die In outside the Department of Health at 12pm.
  • Join junior doctors and NHS students on your nearest picket line on Wednesday.
  • Link your free education group with NHS students on your campus and walk out with them!
  • If you’re a delegate at NUS Women’s Conference, vote for motion 307 #BursaryOrBust and Amendments 1 and 2.

NCAFC Northern Ireland Holds Regional Conference

North of Ireland Regional Conference

This is a callout for NCAFC NI’s regional conference on 23rd April. Join the facebook event here

Come along to our NCAFC Northern Ireland Student Conference on Saturday 23rd April. We will also be having our regional meet-up and hope to elect our new NI rep.
The event is aimed to get young people involved with NI Politics and NCAFC

The day will be packed with debates, discussions, games, and guest speakers (politicians) to put your questions too. There will be free pizza for lunch

The event is open to all however the Election/Democratic sesson is only open to NCAFC NI members. Voting Cards will be provided and membership checked

Join today for £1: http://anticuts.com/membership/

The event is free, however if you need help with travel costs please contact us and we will do our best to help!

AGENDA:
9.30am: Breakfast & Registration

10am: Welcome & introduction to NCAFC

10.30am: Debate – ‘Is Free Education Possible?’ with Elliott Lyness Ulster University VP Campaigns

11.15am: Engaging Young People in Left Wing Politics & Socialism

12pm: Lunch

12.45pm: EU Referendum discussion (with special speaker Monty Shield, NCAFC London Rep)

1.30pm: What can NUS-USI do for us (We hope to have someone from NUS-USI Speaking)

2.00pm: Student Hustings Session

2.15pm: What can NUS-USI do for us (We hope to have someone from NUS-USI Speaking)

3pm: Northern Ireland Regional Meeting- Election of NI rep, Organising the Region etc; don’t forget to register to vote on the day if you haven’t already (forms will be available)

*If you wish to stand for the NI Rep on the NCAFC NC Please email [email protected]om with the subject title ‘Northern Ireland Rep’ no later than Saturday 20th April

Liberation Caucus will also be held. These include LGBT+, Women & Non Binary, Black, Disabled, Schools/FE & Universities

Carnegie Library OCCUPIED

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BY KELLY ROGERS

Members of the local community in Lambeth borough, South London, have occupied the historic Carnegie Library in a bid to save it from closure. It’s first night saw around 80 people sleep over, ranging from young children to elderly people.

In October last year, Lambeth Council announced plans to decommission half of Lambeth’s libraries. It was proposed that Minet, Carnegie and Tate South Lambeth libraries would be turned into gyms, presided over by leisure centre contractor Greenwich Leisure Limited. Upper Norwood is planned to lose all of it’s librarians and support staff, and Waterloo earmarked for sale.

The occupation is the latest action by the “Defend the Ten” campaign, which has organised stunts and demonstrations and lobbied a number of council meetings, alongside official and unofficial strikes by library workers. As a result of their efforts, the council have committed to saving South Tate Lambeth and Durning libraries, but Carnegie, Minet, Waterloo and Upper Norwood remain under threat of closure.

Lambeth Council’s proposals pose a huge threat to the local communities served by these libraries. In closing them, Lambeth Council would be robbing us of our books, our reading groups, our after-school clubs, and all the other activities that go on there. These libraries are some of the few remaining public spaces where people of all ages and all backgrounds can congregate, for free, to read, learn, and socialise. As such, there has been huge outcry from Lambeth residents, who overwhelmingly voted to reject these plans in the council’s “Culture 2020” consultation.

These proposals follow huge cuts to Lambeth Council’s budget by the Conservative government, and mirror similar cuts to libraries and other vital community services all over the country. But these plans also reflect the Labour-run Council’s capitulation to austerity and vicious cuts budgets. Library staff and members of the community submitted their own proposal to Lambeth Council, as an alternative to the “Culture 2020” plans, which matched savings in the short-term, and offered greater savings in the long-term. These cuts are not necessary, in short, but a political choice by our councillors.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is regularly at the forefront of campaigns against cuts, fee hikes and privatisation at our universities and colleges, but the cuts to libraries that are taking place all over the country as a result of Conservative cuts and weak-willed and politicallly erroneous local councillors, are also threatening our education. For many, libraries are the only means to an education available to them. The residents occupying Carnegie, and the workers who have walked out on strike a number of the times over past months, are fighting a crucial battle, and they need our support!

Support the occupation and the campaign to save Lambeth libraries:
• Head down and join them!
188 Herne Hill Road, London, SE24 0AG
• Email messages of support to [email protected]
www.fb.com/lambethmanifestoforlibraries/
• @defendtheten”