Students are now facing an attack on education that is just as severe as the introduction of 9k tuition fees in 2010.
But this time, the issues aren’t quite so obvious. Instead of one big headline, the government plans, announced in the 2015 budget, are attacking education from every angle – the conversion of grants to loans for the poorest students, the change of student debt repayment conditions, the introduction of new teaching metrics, cuts that will lead to the destruction of elements of FE, and more.
As student activists, we obviously plan on fighting the government.
But unless thousands and thousands of previously apolitical students understand what is going on, we will never win. We need to broaden our movement, get them on board, and take on George Osborne together.
Which is why the NCAFC fully supports our affiliates the Young Greens in their call for a nationwide series of public meetings, titled: ‘WTF is going on? The Fight for Education’.
We are calling on local activists and NCAFC members to get involved in these meetings, help organise existing events and set them up where they don’t exist. Building local coalitions of left-wing supporters of the Greens, Labour, Left Unity, of all parties and of none; and of Free Education activists, worker activists, climate activists and liberation activists; and involving them all in the job of explaining the issues to students: this is the only way to get the message out.
There is a lot of work to be done. We need to speak to literally thousands of students on every campus if we want to maximise our mobilisation.
We are planning to distribute thousands of 20 page pamphlets containing in detail policy details – titled ‘Their Education and Ours’ – over the next few months and in these public meetings. We also aim to get speakers to as many events as possible, work with local activist groups, help provide leaflets and fliers to spread information about the November 4th national demonstration and more – with the aim of building the level of political consciousness within the student population as quickly as possible. These meetings are just the start.
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