NCAFC Summer Training 2017: REGISTER NOW!

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After the surprising Labour success in the General Election, on the most left wing platform in a generation, we are closer than ever to winning free education. Labour won seats on a manifesto that promised to scrap tuition fees, build social housing, and create a free National Education Service. The Tory leadership is increasingly becoming increasingly weak (and wobbly), and it is looking likely that we will kick out the politicians who brought in £9Kfees 7 years ago.

But even with though the left has made gains on a national level, the fight is far from over. The HE Reforms are in full swing. In June, the Teaching Excellence Framework rankings were released and already sweeping cuts are hitting our campuses. Moreover, even with the prospect of abolishing fees and restoring the Educational Maintenance Allowance in sight, is that enough? Free Education has developed beyond fees and EMA to mean public education which is free, yes, but accessible, liberated and democratic too.

The only way to stop the government’s reforms and win free, accessible, liberated and democratic education is to form a militant grassroots movement!

Join NCAFC 9-10 September for our Summer Training 2017, hosted in Sheffield! Followed by our National Committee meeting on Monday 11th which is open to all members (although only NC members can vote).

Whether you’re a student officer wondering how to challenge management or an activist wondering how to fight cuts on your campus this *FREE* training will equip you with knowledge and practical advice which will be fundamental in an undoubtedly pivotal year for UK education. Not only this, but it will be an excellent opportunity to meet other student union officers and activists from across the country and build essential networks.

JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT HERE!

REGISTER YOUR FREE PLACE HERE!

Agenda for Summer Training 2016

13432338_1121513227908589_8940385680719613273_nNCAFC’s Summer Training for activists will be on 27-28 August at SUARTS, Holborn, London. We’ve planned a mixture of practical skill-sharing sessions (motion writing, public speaking, press), workshops and plenaries about the challenges facing our movement and how we should respond: from reforms taking place in Higher and Further Education, to the aftermath of the EU Referendum, and more. We’ll also be talking about organising on campus and giving you the tools to run effective campaigns. If you’re interested in making the NSS sabotage happen, working with campus trade unions, improving your Labour club, or want key advice on being a good leftwing union officer – this is the place to be. Whether you’re an experienced activist or just beginning to get involved, we’re sure you’ll have a chance to learn something new, and meet other inspiring activists and officers from around the country. Please register online here to attend (free) Attend the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Agenda

Social – Friday 26 August

  • 18:00 – Film & discussion: “If A Tree Falls”

Day 1 – Saturday 27 August

  • 10:15 – Registration
  • 11:00 – Plenary 1: How should the student movement respond to Brexit?
  • 12:00 – Break
  • 12:15 – Workshop slot 1:
    1. How to be a good lefty sabb
    2. Practical migrant solidarity
    3. Campus organising 101
  • 13:30 – Liberation caucus (LGBTQ)
  • 14:00 – Lunch
  • 14:30 – Plenary 2: The fight to save FE
  • 15:30 – Liberation caucus (Women & Non-binary)
  • 16:00 – Break
  • 16:15 – Workshop slot 2:
    1. Student-staff solidarity on campus
    2. FE and HE – linking up!
    3. What would a radical, democratic SU movement look like?
  • 17:30 – Break
  • 17:45 – Liberation caucus (Trans)
  • 18:15 – Plenary 3: Tackling the HE reforms
  • 19:15 – Close & social

Day 2 – Sunday 28 August

  • 10:00 – Breakfast
  • 10:30 – Plenary 4: Building the NSS sabotage on your campus!
  • 11:30 – Liberation caucus (Disabled)
  • 12:00 – Break
  • 12:15 – Workshop slot 3:
    1. Practical skills
    2. Dealing with burnout: welfare in activism
    3. Organising in Labour clubs
  • 13:30 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Workshop slot 4:
    1. Prevent and beyond
    2. Public speaking
    3. What should lefty students do when they graduate?
  • 15:15 – Liberation caucus (Black)
  • 15:45 – Break
  • 16:00 – Plenary 5: Being part of a global movement
  • 17:00 – Close

Register: NCAFC Women & Non-Binary Conference 2016

NCAFC Women and Non-Binary Caucus will be hosting our first conference on the 30/31st January!

Join at us at Warwick University in Coventry for a weekend of discussion, debate, skill-sharing, workshops and direct action planning.

We’ll be discussing issues such as…

How is the fight for free education gendered?
What does it mean to be left-wing and feminist?
Why should fighting the Green Paper be a priority for Liberation?
Why is the struggle of migrant women so central to women’s struggle as a whole?

This conference is open only to self-defining women (trans, intersex and cis), non-binary folk and those with marginalised or no gender identities who experience gender oppression.

Fill out the form below to register now!

The event is funded by your donations and if you cannot get your SU to fund your travel and are unable to do so yourself but still wish to attend then please get in touch ([email protected]) and we can talk about subsidies.

If you require childcare for any part of the weekend then please get in touch and we can arrange this.

There are prayer facilities on campus.

Full agenda coming soon

If the registration form is not displaying properly below, please click here.

Announcing…NCAFC Winter Conference 2015!

11921816_965268716866375_6593609279777932551_o4-6 December 2015
Sheffield

Register for free
Facebook event
Become a member of NCAFC
How our conference democracy works

Six months into the new Tory government and the attacks on students and education just keep coming, with the abolition of maintenance grants, hikes in loan repayments, and a whole array of nasty methods of pushing forward the marketisation of our education system.

The student fightback has already begun, with NCAFC organising the National Demo for Free Education in November and making plans for a national student strike in the next few months.

NCAFC National Conference is a chance to come together and plan where the student movement goes next. The weekend will include political discussion and debate, chances to learn about the student movement past and present, and make plans for the future.

With a mix of speaker sessions, workshops, liberation caucuses, and democratic sessions, the conference is your chance to meet student activists from across the country and have your say on what NCAFC does next.

This conference will include the election of the National Committee (NC) as well as hearing and voting on motions submitted by the membership. The deadline for motion submission is 23:59, Friday 20 November. (For more information on how motions work, see How our conference democracy works)

We will be providing accommodation. Please register online, and get in touch if you have any questions via [email protected].

#FUCKTHETORIES LIVEBLOG

18:54 – Protesters in Liverpool are blocking the road!

18:50 – In all the kerfuffle, forgot to mention that UKIP’s ONLY MP, Douglas Carswell got caught up in the march and had to be escorted away by police. Lol.

18:35 – After being split into two groups and herded around the City for a bit by the cops, both groups seem to have reformed in Parliament Square. There seems to be an overlap of the student demo and the People’s Assembly demo at Downing Street.

18:16 –

18:12 – While the London demo continues in full swing through Victoria station, protests in other cities are kicking off too.

18:01 – Chants of “Who killed Mark Duggan? You killed Mark Duggan” at the police down Victoria Street now. Sirens blaring, flares being thrown.

17:40 – The police just unsuccessfully attempted a kettle, protesters back marching down Whitehall past Downing Street. The conch shell is still going.

17:32 – The livestream showing cops being really violent toward one man. One policeman just pushed a woman trying to leave a kettle so hard and hit two other people in the face in the process.

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17:28 – Aaaaand we’re off! Aaaand someone is blowing through a conch shell. Absolutely massive turnout.

17:23 –

17:20 – Speeches have started. We’ve also found a livestream here which is kind of worth watching. We can sort of hear the speeches but we’re not sure who is actually making them. But the crowd seem to be enjoying them?

16:40 – Reports of a second arrest at Trafalgar Square, reportedly in connection with the Class War demo which happened earlier today.

16:37

16:27 – One arrest has been made already. Updates to follow.

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Photos via Jonathan Bigger on facebook.

16:16 – Looks like the PoPo are sweeping up protesters before the march has even started to “prevent potential breach of the peace” #ClassicPoPo. Apparently they’ve been following Class War around all day. Get in touch if you can do arrestee support.

16:07 – 

15:52 – Here’s a handy guide as to what the #QueensSpeech actually said, in case, like us, you couldn’t bear to hear an unelected lizard in a crown tell us how our lives are going to be ruined for the next five years.

15:01 – Protests due to start in 2 hours in London, Liverpool, Leeds and Coventry. Cops already deployed in London with vague news that 2 people have been detained from protests earlier today. If you are marching, stay safe and remember to look after each other. Write down the number of the Green and Black Cross on your arm (07946 541 511) to ring in case of your arrest, and read their advice for protesters here.

popoPhoto via Jonathan Bigger on Facebook.

Here’s an article from The Mirror with a bit more info about the two arrestees. They were apparently released at about 2PM. We also get a cheeky mention in here, but with a new acronym (NCFC). Cheers.

13:00 – Today thousands of people will be marching across London to protest the official opening of Parliament, where the Tories will form a government.

The new Government is going to try to: smash the welfare state by £12bn, privatise the NHS, raise tuition fees, decimate local services, make strike action illegal, scapegoat migrants, worsen the housing crisis and to crush all dissent that stands in their way.

The wave of resistance starts now.

Follow this live-blog throughout the day for updates on the demo in London, and if you’re there remember to tweet things to us @NCAFC_UK or using the hashtag #FuckTheTories. Happy demoing!

NCAFC National Conference will be on 13-14 December – save the date!

ncafcdemo

This autumn we may well see a major wave of action from students for free education, against fees cuts and debt. We need action now to save education – demos, walkouts, occupations and more.

But action can’t happen in isolation. It needs to be co-ordinated nationally and it needs to be democratically agreed. That is why NCAFC exists.

NCAFC’s National Conference is where we students from all over the country come together to discuss the progress of the struggles for free, just and democratic education, and to democratically plan action in the months to come. We also elect a National Committee to coordinate things for the coming year. There will be workshops, discussions, debates and votes as well as caucus meetings of our liberation campaigns.

The date has been set for the weekend of 13-14 December, so put it in your diaries! Attendance, as ever, will be free of charge. More details will be released as the venue is confirmed and other arrangements are made.

In order to attend NCAFC conference, you will need to be a member. Joining costs just £1, and can be done online or by post.

Updates from #copsoffcampus National Day of Action

Want to continue the fight for democracy, workers rights, free education and against police repression? Join activists from local campaigns across the country at this demo and conference in Birmingham on 29/1/2014.

  •  Breaking News: Aberdeen and Manchester Universities are in occupation – solidarity!
  • Protests in Leeds, London, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester…

Leeds University Protest

Who killed Mark Duggan?

Stay safe everyone:

Paul Mason (Channel 4 News) reporting from Malet Street, London today “This is the new face of student protest…This is not the generation of three years ago, this is freshers from Oxford, Birmingham, Sussex”

Leeds Student Resistance #copsoffcampus demo:
leeds

Photos from Sheffield protest today here.

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Quote from Manchester Anticapitalist students:

“a group of supporters stormed into the Social Responsibility office to occupy and make the point that any University which cuts courses, invites the police to attack their students, and refuses to support staff demands for decent pay, cannot honestly call itself socially responsible.”

Students and protesters assembling outside ULU.

Demos and solidarity protests in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Cardiff and Sheffield due to start in five minutes (2PM).

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Report from NCAFC Summer Training, Edinburgh, and plans for the Autumn Term

This year’s NCAFC Summer Training at Edinburgh College was attended by around 60 student activists from institutions across the country including Edinburgh University, Edinburgh College, Aberdeen University, Kent University, Birmingham University, Royal Holloway, UCL, Swansea University, Sheffield University, Queen Mary University Belfast, Middlesex University, and London Metropolitan University.

petequote

The weekend included a diverse range of workshops on a range of subjects including International Students activism, Campaigning around the NHS, Housing Campaigns, Working with Trade Uniosn and more.

In a plenary session on the Saturday, feedback from a range of workshops was brought together into a really exciting set of plans for the term, and year ahead, shaping NCAFC’s upcoming campaign priorities.

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign around Student Debt

  • Resolved to write to Nick Clegg, which can be seen here, demanding he reverse the plans to sell the student loan book, staged direct action on campuses around the country, and moving towards a national demo early in 2014.
  • This should include mobilising graduates as this affects them too.

National Mobilisation Around Campus Struggles

  • NCAFC resolved to back and campaign around struggles at the University of London, including the Tres Cosas campaign and the closure of ULU.
  • We also discussed mobilising around the cuts at the University of Liverpool, but since our training the campaign has won a victory on campus!
  • The attendees agreed that the unilateral closure of student unions by management is an attack that is likely to spread across the country if not stopped now.

Building Local Anti Cuts Groups

  • A number of activists from Birmingham University, UCL, ULU and Royal Holloway resolved to go away and write a hand book for ‘how to build a local anti cuts group’ for activists across the country.sidquote

Workers’ Rights/Workers’ Struggles

  • Campaigning around zero hours contracts was discussed and Mike Shaw (Edinburgh) and Liam McNulty (ULU/Unison) resolved to do further research into what can be done.
  • There was some discussion of the employability agenda being pushed in partnership between Universities and SUs, which may back up the marketisation of education. A task group resolved to go away and continue to discuss this.

General Election Strategy

  • There was a session on general election strategy over the weekend, but we’re keeping schtum on our plans until they’re more fully formed. If you’re an NCAFC member see contact details below to get involved.

NHS Campaigning

  • There was discussion around how to campaign around cuts and privatisation of the NHS, with further discussion at the NCAFC/Medsin event held at Goldsmith’s University the following week. For more information on how to get involved with this campaign, email Pete at [email protected], or check out studentsforthenhs.blogspot.com

Internal Structures/Sexism

  • There were some internal discussions over the weekend too, looking at the structures and democracy of NCAFC, and also the sexism within the student movement.
  • Some good action points came out of this. NCAFC Women are planning to hold Public Speaking Workshops just before NCAFC Conference in November, Facebook event here. We also agreed to continue discussion around sexist behaviours in student men, and how we can improve upon them and make our spaces more inclusive.
  • Our members organising web forum has now been launched, if you want to get in on the discussion, email [email protected] with your name and we’ll send you some login details (all current members should have been sent this already).

Campaigning In The Nations

  • Lots of the stuff we discussed was England-specific, which seemed a bit strange seeing as we were in Scotland! We discussed how we can apply our campaigning to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rob Henthorn from Aberdeen raised how the biggest issue in Scotland right now is the changes in Further Education, and we need to be campaigning around that! The room asked the NCAFC Scotland committee to let us know what and how we can do to campaign around this. We also discussed the devolved issues with the NHS and how it impacts differently on different nations.

 

Contact details for each of the upcoming campaigns – get in touch and we’ll add you to the discussion:

Student Debt: [email protected]

University of London campaign[email protected]/[email protected]

Building Local Anti Cuts Groups[email protected]bham.ac.uk (Hattie Craig)

General Election: [email protected]

NHS Campaigning[email protected] (Pete Campbell)

Zero Hours Contracts: [email protected]

Employability: [email protected] (Emma Brownbill)/[email protected]

NCAFC Women: [email protected]

FE in Scotland[email protected]

NCAFC Calls Mobilisation Over Debt: Organise in your area now!

demo

In June, the government announced plans to sell off student debt to private companies. Because there is so much student debt, it is unprofitable to own, so to sweeten the deal, the government is considering upping the repayment rates. This would be the equivalent of a huge and retroactive stealth hike in tuition fees, all in the name of an exclusive, market model of education.

In an open letter, we have explicitly targeted the LibDems and demanded that they rule it out: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/13/nick-clegg-universities-direct-action

NCAFC is calling for national and localised action against the sell-off of the student loan book. On top of direct action, NCAFC will seek to create a new coalition of social movements and trade unions to fight the sale of the student loan book by mobilising students, workers and graduates.

What can you do?
• Call an organising meeting on your campus around October 1st, the day when our deadline for assurances runs out. NCAFC London has already organised one here:http://www.facebook.com/events/168905169966158/
• Plan embarrassing stunts and disruptive direct against your local politicians – Lib Dems and others – if they fail to declare that they are against the debt sale and the Lobbying Bill
• Tell the companies who fund the Lib Dems to stop funding them
• Make sure that you and any organisation you are involved in joins the new coalition against the loan book sale. NCAFC will be calling a meeting in the coming weeks

The Facebook event for this mobilisation is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/212736578888544/

Whatever you get up to, please let us know so we can publicise it, by emailing the NCAFC national committee on [email protected], same goes for if you need help or resources!

PRESS RELEASE: NCAFC Launches Major Campaign Against The Debt Selloff

london-student-protest

For press inquiries call 07964791663, 07703114546 or 07540248868

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts has launched a major new campaign against moves to make every student since 1998 pay more for their student loans. In June, the government announced plans to sell off student debt to private companies. Because there is so much student debt, it is unprofitable to own, so to sweeten the deal, the government is considering upping the repayment rates. This would be the equivalent of a huge and retroactive stealth hike in tuition fees, all in the name of an exclusive, market model of education.

In an open letter to the Liberal Democrats published on the Guardian website on the eve of their Party conference, NCAFC is demanding that the party rule out the sale of the loan book and withdraw its support for the controversial ‘gagging bill’. We have set a deadline of October 1st to receive assurances, and if we do not hear back, we will support a campaign of embarrassment and disruption aimed at any company or political party complicit in the privatisation of student debt.

On top of direct action, NCAFC will seek to create a new coalition of social movements and trade unions to fight the sale of the student loan book by mobilising students, workers and graduates.

Dear Nick,

In 2010, you were the darling of the student vote: you seemed to many to represent a new politics. What a difference three years make. Tomorrow, the Liberal Democrats will begin their annual conference in Glasgow – and, having ignored and trampled on it for years, you will be asking your members to ditch their support for free higher education. If the Liberal Democrats do not now rule out attempts to raise the rate of repayment on student loans, we will mobilise against them.

The damage that the coalition has done to education since it came to power in 2010 is unparalleled. With an electoral mandate to do precisely the opposite, and in just three years, you have tripled home undergraduate fees, and made Britain’s worst-ever cut to public university funding. We are witnessing the transformation of a public service into a luxury: fees for postgraduate and international students are hitting £30,000 for some courses; and student accommodation regularly costs more than many students get in loans. And when protest threatened your position, you stood back while police beat students off the streets and threatened us with rubber bullets.

In spring 2012, and under pressure from student mobilisations, your government withdrew the higher education bill and then, with no parliamentary mandate or scrutiny, proceeded to implement the higher education white paper anyway. Across the country, your policies have resulted in cuts to bursaries, sweeping course cuts – especially in universities with a higher proportion of working class students – and relentless attacks on staff through privatisation and outsourcing. Last week, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) reported that half of universities are now using zero-hours contracts for lecturers.

 

Because of your actions, university education in Britain is becoming an even more volatile, multi-tiered sector. Being a student is a precarious, money-driven, and often simply inaccessible experience. In your relentless quest for power, you have pushed an ideologically driven agenda of marketisation at the expense not only of the ideal of accessible universal education, but at the practical expense of institutional stability, academic integrity and human dignity.

Just as it seemed that it couldn’t get any worse, Danny Alexander announced that the government will sell off the student loan book in 2015. Student debt is a very unattractive prospect for investors, as there is so much of it that it will never be repaid – so in order to make it profitable, the government may end up changing the conditions on already existing student loans. Not content with attacking current and future generations, you have decided to pursue a policy that would attack every student since 1998.

The Liberal Democrats have now backed the transparency of lobbying, non-Party campaigning, and trade union administration bill, which is being roundly denounced by almost every third sector body and trade union as a sinister attempt to gag independent organisations in campaigning around political parties in election periods. Disgracefully, you are hiding behind restrictive and authoritarian legislation in order to avoid being held accountable for your years of betrayal.

We have no interest in stroking your ego, playing party politics, or getting you votes. Every major political party is now complicit in fees and privatisation in universities, and if there was only one impact of the growth of the student movement in the past few years, it has been that your betrayal of education and your fire sale of public services will be written on your political gravestone in 2015. The Lib Dems have lost 35% of their membership since 2010, and are running at an annual deficit of £411,000.

We demand a written guarantee that you will block the sale of student debt and rule out any detrimental changes to loan repayments; and we demand that you withdraw your support for the lobbying bill. If we do not receive assurances to this effect by 1 October , we will support direct action in the autumn term targeted against any company or political party complicit in the privatisation of the loan book.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts will now build a broad coalition of activist groups, trade unions and social movements to mobilise students, workers and graduates against the sale of the student loan book, with the aim of building action nationally in early 2014.