Want to build the #Freeeducation movement? Join NCAFC

NCAFCThe demonstration on Wednesday was incredible. 10,000 people on the streets demanding free education in the biggest student march since 2010! But this didn’t come out of nowhere. Building marches like these requires huge amounts of organisation and if we are ever to win this campaign it’s going to require a whole lot more. The NUS have proved that they are not going to do this and will actively try to stop us. It requires activists on the ground working together to make this happen.

This is where the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts comes in. Activists who are part of this organisation have spent months making this demonstration a success. None of us are experts or paid. We are all volunteers – students and workers just like you – who believe that we need a radical overhaul of the education system. We believe that sitting down with our vice chancellors is not going to get us, but direct action will. And we believe that we need to organise democratically, locally AND nationally.

But if we want to take this to another level, if we want to have even bigger actions than the one on Wednesday, then we need your help! Get involved with NCAFC, join our campaign and most importantly, come to our national conference happening on the 12-14th December in Manchester.

Have a look at this blog to find out more about how our structures and conference work and email [email protected] to confirm your place.

Round-up of yesterday’s coverage of the demonstration

We actually did pretty well! Every major news outlet in the UK reported about the demonstration in some way or another. We also got coverage in the international press, i.e. in Brasil, Germany, Canada, India and Slovenia. #FreeEducation also trended on Twitter nationwide for several hours! We have put together a collection of the coverage – see below:
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Guardian

Comment piece: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/19/students-free-education-march-tuition-fees

Demonstration: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/nov/19/student-protest-tuition-fees-scuffles-police

Live blog: http://www.theguardian.com/education/live/2014/nov/19/students-march-tuition-fees-live

BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30113313

Huffington post

Live blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/11/19/live-updates-freeeducation-student-demo-protest-2014_n_6183420.html

Article about why students are attending: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/11/19/student-protestors-speak-out-for-free-education_n_6185738.html

Ten reasons for Free Education: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/11/18/ten-reasons-for-free-educ_n_6176558.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-students&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

 

 

Times Higher Education

Comment piece: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/opinion/abolishing-tuition-fees-lessons-from-germany/2017085.article

Demonstration: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/students-march-for-free-education/2017093.article

 

 

Telegraph

Demonstration:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11240837/Watch-students-protest-against-tuition-fees-in-central-London.html

Comment piece: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/student-life/11241378/Education-should-be-free-to-everyone-at-every-level.html

 

 

Evening Standard:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/thousands-of-students-protest-in-central-london-over-university-tuition-fees-9870619.html

 

Russia Today

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/uk-britain-students-protest-idUKKCN0J31PZ20141119

http://rt.com/uk/206891-student-demonstration-tuition-fees/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHtvl38fkn8&feature=youtu.be  (from 03:08 min)

Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2841077/Police-clash-student-protestors-thousands-march-Parliament-Square-Tory-party-headquarters-anger-tuition-fees-graduate-debt.html

 

Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/us-britain-students-protest-idUSKCN0J31PX20141119

 

ITV

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-11-19/local-students-to-take-part-in-national-protest/, http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2014-11-19/11-arrested-at-student-protest/

 

The Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/student-protests-recap-london-tuition-4656716

 

Indymedia UK

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/11/518706.html

East London Lines

http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2014/11/fees-have-failed-student-demonstrators-take-to-the-streets-to-fight-the-trebling-and-trebling-of-tuition-fees/

London24

http://www.london24.com/news/education/thousands_of_students_protest_over_tution_fees_in_london_1_3854145

Yahoo News

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-students-london-cuts-demo-163823109.html

 

International media coverage

Turkey: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/175849/thousands-of-uk-students-demonstrate-for-free-education.html

Germany: ZDF and Deutschlandradio (links to follow)

The Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/europe/story/thousands-students-london-tuition-fees-protest-20141120

New Zealand: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/world/323956/scuffles-break-out-student-protest-london

Links to follow for press coverage in Canada, Brasil, India, Slovenia and other places.

PRESS RELEASE: LARGEST STUDENT DEMONSTRATION SINCE 2010 MET WITH POLICE VIOLENCE BUT PROTESTERS COME AWAY “INSPIRED”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: 07821731481, 07749263622, 07891714146

LARGEST STUDENT DEMONSTRATION SINCE 2010 MET WITH POLICE VIOLENCE BUT PROTESTERS COME AWAY “INSPIRED”.

– 10,000 students marched for Free Education

– Protesters met with violence from the police

– Days of action planned for 3rd and 6th December
NCAFC

Yesterday 10,000 students marched through central London demanding “Free Education” in what was the biggest student mobilisation since 2010. Called for and organised primarily by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and supported by a coalition of other groups, the demonstration called for an end to tuition fees, no cuts to education and the wiping of student debt. Students from universities across the country joined the protest, some travelling overnight from as far as Aberdeen to take part. FE and school students from London were out in force, with most protesters coming from a generation which had not been involved in the 2010 student movement.

Beth Redmond from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts said, “I am so impressed at how many people travelled from all over the country to come and demand a radical reshaping of education. For so many people to do this despite the National Union of Students’ attempts to undermine the organisers is incredible and just pushes the NUS into further irrelevance.”

When the march approached Westminster, protesters broke off into Parliament Square and were met with a heavy response from the police. Students were thrown to ground and beaten with batons. Later protesters marched down Victoria Street to demonstration outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Tory Party Headquarters, Starbucks and Scotland Yard where more violence from the police ensued. 11 protesters were arrested. All were released without charge after less than 8 hours. Many had facial injuries and one had to be taken to hospital immediately as the police had refused him medical treatment.

Hattie Craig from Defend Education Birmingham and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts said, “I was waiting outside the police station for those arrested to be released. We were shocked by how bad a state some of them were in when they came out. One guy’s face with a real mess and he couldn’t see straight. Loads of them had black eyes. The fact that they were all released without charge just goes to show that arrests like these are politically motivated and a tactic used to intimidate protesters as opposed to being based on any real evidence.”

Students are set to mobilise again on 3rd December, taking part in a “day of action” on their campuses which will see occupations, demonstrations and walkouts. On 6th December, local demonstrations will take place in cities across the country, linking students up with lecturers, teachers, trade unions, anti-austerity campaigns, families and the local community to develop a broad movement for free education.

Deborah Hermanns from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts said, “If we are win to free education we need to build a movement beyond this demonstration. I am really excited to see so many students inspired and newly politicised. They went home last night and already they are getting organised, telling us about their plans for the days of action and ready to build a long term campaign for free education.”

Notes:

  1. NCAFC is a democratic coalition of students and workers fighting for free education and against fees, cuts and privatisation in education. It has existed since 2010
    2. The facebook event for the Wednesday December 3rd day of action is here.
    3. The facebook event for the Wednesday December 6th local marches and rallies is here.outsideparliamentpolice

BUILD A MOVEMENT, NOT JUST A MARCH: days of action and walkouts in December!

Phone: 07749263622, 07989235178, 07821731481,  07891714146

Yesterday, as many as 10,000 students marched through London in what was probably the biggest demonstration in several years.  We could well be on the verge of a new wave of student activism.

But we know from walk out profileicdecexperience that A to B marches are never enough. In order to build a serious campaign for free education, the national demo has to be the beginning of a mass campaign in the streets and on campuses.

That is why the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is calling two more days of action in early December to provide a focus for mobilisation.

*** Wednesday 3rd December ***

On Wednesday 3rd December (facebook event HERE), we are calling for a day of action and walkouts. This will involve:

  • Walking out of lectures and classes
  • Launching occupations
  • Protesting in your local area

Use the time between the national demo and the day of action to build for it on your campus. Put on meetings and rallies, hold campus demos, occupy, run stalls and spread the word. If you want help to build on your campus, we’re always here to help: email [email protected]

For the facebook event, click here. Post your activities into it and we’ll list them in the description.

***Saturday 6th December***

On Saturday 6th December (facebook event HERE), we are calling for marches for education in local areas. Wherever you are, take over your town centre: make noise, make a fuss and be visible.

Most importantly, this is the chance to get a wider layer of people involved in the campaign. Don’t just focus on students, get the community out with you. Contact local trade unions, trades councils and community groups. We want parents, teachers and workers to march with us for free education! Now is the time to start building this: put up a facebook event up now!dec6new

Post your activities into the facebook event, or email us, and we’ll list them in the description.

***13th and 14th December***

We will be hosting a national conference on 13th and 14th December – a national meeting  for everyone involved in the free education movement to plan the next steps. This will be a democratic assembly: everyone will have a vote and we will decide on things collectively and elect a new national committee. We’ll also plan a strategy, and have lots of discussions and workshops about the student movement.  Click here for the facebook event.

19 November demo is part of global student week of actions

studentsism

NCAFC is supporting the global “We are students not customers” student week of action, which is taking place 17-22 November (for more see here). [Read more…]

Thousands of take over central London as students launch movement for free education

Thousands of students are marching on parliament today in the biggest student mobilisation since 2010 under the banner of FREE EDUCATION:  no fees, no cuts, no debt. The demonstration has been organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts working in coalition with other student groups.

The protest comes as more days of action are announced. On Wednesday December 3rd, there will be a day of action from students, and Saturday December 6th will see local marches across the country, bringing in local communities and workers.

Hattie Craig, from Birmingham Defend Education and NCAFC, said: “The number of students attending today from all over the country today is a testament to the level of support that this emerging movement has. We are fighting for an education system that is truly liberatory, and really free – not just without tuition fees, but with living grants and institutional democracy”.

Deborah Hermanns, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, said: “Today marks the beginning of a new movement for free education in the UK. Across Europe and the world, tuition fees and privatisation in higher education are being pushed back – and that is because students and education workers fought and didn’t compromise. We are building a movement, not just a march. The days of action in December will provide a focus for actions and energies.”

Delegations have come from at least 40 cities all over the country from Aberdeen to Bristol, Canterbury to Glasgow.  A full list can be viewed on www.anticuts.com.

Coaches from Aberdeen set off at 8pm yesterday evening.  Rob Henthorn, President for Education at the University of Aberdeen Students Association, said: “As much as we might think that education is free in Scotland, it will never be free unless it is free for everyone. We have come on a thousand mile 24-hour round trip to show our solidarity with the fight for free education across the UK, and to build a movement that not only can’t be ignored but which will win.”

Notes:

1. NCAFC is a democratic coalition of students and workers fighting for free education and against fees, cuts and privatisation in education. It has existed since 2010
2. The facebook event for the Wednesday December 3rd day of action is here.
3. The facebook event for the Wednesday December 6th local marches and rallies is here

london-student-protest

Some ideas for chants on 19 November demo!

bethmega1Here are some ideas for chants to use on the demonstration tomorrow. Please feel free to add more as comments! [Read more…]

AHHHHH IT’S TOMORROW! Ten Top Tips for Tomorrow’s Demo!

IT IS ALMOST DEMO TIME AND WE ARE ALL VERY EXCITED! Buuutttttt if you are coming down, make sure that you have a look at our top ten tips beforehand..

1) Stick with your mates

Make sure that you have the contact details for at least one other protester and look after each other. It is no fun trying to find people and you will feel much safer if you are surrounded by people you trust.

friends

 2) Wear warm and comfy clothing – especially shoes!

Demos can go on for hours and as we all know, this country is the country of rain. Even if it’s warm when we start, make sure that you pack loads of layers.

ftp23) Take a lot of water and snacks

You might not be able to go to any shops for several hours and while on demo-adrenalin it is often very easy to forget about drinking enough water and having food. So make sure you have got some with you.

ftp3

4) Take medication if you need it and don’t hesitate to ask for help

Demos can be very hectic and it is easy to forget about the most essential things, such as your daily medication. Also remember, stewards and especially first-aiders are there to help you. So if you feel unwell for whatever reason make sure to get in contact with them.

ftp4

5) The police are not your friends

During the demo police officers, especially liason officers (see picture), might approach you. They will be nice, smile and ask you a lot of questions. But remember: they are not on our side! They are there to get information out of you and to to divide the protest. The best advice we can give you: Do not talk to them at all – however much they smile at you.

polos

6) Take a Bust Card

Loads of people at the demonstration will be handing out cards with essential legal information on it. Even if you just want to get on the first bus home – take one. You never know in what situation you might get involved in and it is important to know your rights. If you would like to download the card beforehand, click here.

 get-out-of-jail-free-card
7) Stay Alert

Things can change very quickly on a demonstration so keep an eye on what others around you and the police are doing. You want to be able to react to situations and get yourself out of the way of ones you don’t want to be in, such as police kettles.

stayalert

8) Have a scarf

The cops often film at demos in order to build up files of “known protestors”. If you want to make it as difficult as possible for them to put you on a database, mask up to cover your face from police cameras.

beyonce

9) Check out where your nearest toilet is

This demo will last for a few hours and finding a toilet can be a pain, especially if you need an accessible one. Check out this link to see all the accessible toilets around the rally.

Funny-toilet

10) Enjoy yourself

Demonstrations are obviously about getting a message across but they’re also a day out from you university/college/school with lots of like-minded people, so have fun!

timetravel

Statement of support for free education demo from PCS union Young Members

A statement of support from the Young Members’ Network of the PCS trade union, which organises civil service workers. Thanks to the comrades! Originally published on their website here. [Read more…]

Demonstration to be “start of big things” as students prepare for an autumn of protest

Demonstration to be “start of big things” as students prepare for an autumn of protest

Phone: 07821731481, 07749263622, 07989235178, 07891714146

This Wednesday, on November 19th, thousands of students will march through London in what is likely to be the biggest education protest in several years. The demo – which is organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts in coalition with a number of other student groups – will march on parliament under the banner of ‘FREE EDUCATION: no fees, no cuts, no debt’. The demonstration aims to be the spark for a new and proactive generation of student protests.

There will be a press conference on the day of the demonstration. The press conference will include school students, activists from across the country and representatives of the different organisations behind the march. The press conference will take place at UCL (University College London) at 10am.

Callum Cant, from Warwick for Free Education and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said:  “At Warwick we have been campaigning on the ground for almost a month, and we’ve seen our hard work pay off. On campus, the mood is changing, people are excited, and we have seen a huge number of people getting involved in student activism for the first time.”

Hattie Craig, from Defend Education Birmingham and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said: “The students attending this demonstration are a new generation: one that was not involved in 2010, one for whom £9,000 fees are the norm. Despite this, they’re daring to call for demands which envisage a radical reshaping of education. This demonstration, expected to be the biggest since 2010, is the start of big things for the student movement.”

Kirsty Haigh, from NUS Scotland and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said: “NUS scotland firmly believes in free education and we are supporting the demo on November 19th. We believe education is a right that should be accessible to everyone and barriers such as fees are unjust. That is why I, and many other Scottish students, will be marching this Wednesday.”

Deborah Hermanns, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, said: “We will not win this with one march, but by creating a movement too big to ignore or to betray. So we have called for two further days of action on 3 and 6 December in campuses and communities across the country, and will keep fighting for as long as it takes to win.”

Notes:

1. NCAFC is a democratic coalition of students and workers fighting for free education and against fees, cuts and privatisation in education. It has existed since 2010 and has around 500 members.
2. The facebook event for the demonstration is here.
3
. The facebook events for the days of action are here and here.

 

Students-take-part-in-a-d-006