Solidarity with the anti-fascist network, solidarity with migrants!


On September the 12th fascists – from up to 12 different groups – will once again impose themselves on the town of Dover. In January of this year they did the same, and the small turn out of extreme-far right and nationalists was disrupted and confronted at every opportunity by a robust counter-mobilisation by the Anti-Fascist network. The political climate, however, is, this time, distinctly different – with a crisis of unprecedented proportions unravelling across Europe and beyond as hundreds of thousands of migrants flee war, persecution, poverty and conflict, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, in search of refuge. The heavily fractured far right are exploiting this as an opportunity to unite and consolidate themselves and call for closed borders. Even more insidiously we see some of their rhetoric reflected in Government responses to the crisis, with David Cameron adamant that we can afford sanctuary to no more refugees, and only relenting under intense pressure from grassroots activists, resistance from migrants, the UN and the escalating emergency of the situation to nebulously pledge that the UK will take in 20,000 refugees ‘by 2020’.

NCAFC would like to take a moment here to comment on the capricious media and political narratives around the crisis. We have witnessed a noticeable shift: most starkly this is emphasised in The Sun calling for us to act to alleviate the plight of refugees whilst just a few months ago it provided a platform to an article by Katie Hopkins branding migrants ‘cockroaches’. It was only with the widely disseminated picture of a drowned Syrian boy, testament to the often gruesome sensationalization of suffering inherent in the media, that the Government felt any obligation to act. It was only when Germany began to provide refuge to more migrants that the UK and other European Governments were compelled to respond, as if compassion is a functionality to emphasise the charitable credentials of ‘civilised’ Western states, as if the lives of migrants can be relegated to statistics around which imperialist states compete for supremacy. All the while those in Calais are suffering in destitution in makeshift campus, bludgeoned by police batons, forsaken by the British and French states. All the while migrants are systematically perishing in the Mediterranean Sea – and, in response, the rescue initiatives were cut by the Government as such projects might ‘encourage more migrants to come to Britain’. All the while migrants are imprisoned and subject to dehumanisation and sexual abuse in detention centres, violently deported and brutalized by abhorrent raids. All the while migrants are homogenized into the category of ‘refugees’, constructed as helpless victims of chance, rather than subjects of military intervention and imperialism, the violence of borders, oppressive foreign and domestic Government policy, social strife incubated by war and poverty, and intentionally constructed, racialized systems of subjugation which benefit economic and political elites.

Because this is not simply a humanitarian crisis: it is a distinctly political one. By the Government and media reframing it as the former, not only can they adjust public consciousness such that it is only motivated by such lurid depictions of suffering, they can also conceal their complicity in the so called ‘migrant crisis’ by voiding it of its political context. By remoulding narratives around the refugee/migrant dichotomy, they are assimilating into a logic which ranks life, which establishes hierarchies of worthiness demanding protection only for those who truly need it. In doing so they elude broader political questions of the causal link between relative prosperity in the West, especially for the very richest, and the deprivation of the Global South, and how that siphoning of wealth may inevitably draw migrants from poverty in the Middle East and Africa towards the UK. They can dismiss socio-economic questions about how this poverty is a form of structural violence, just as the West’s continual waging of war on the Global South, capitalist globalization, and the reverberating histories of colonialism are. They can essentially remould their actions not as a political duty in mitigating suffering they have significantly contributed to, but as an isolated gesture of generosity and charity which demonstrates their ‘progressiveness’ and ‘compassion’ as implicit ‘British values’. They can reframe themselves as bastions of ‘civilisation’ providing aid and protection to those bound in some arbitrary plight whilst raising no challenges or questions around their own structural violence and borders in fomenting and reproducing that plight. A once xenophobic media can convert from a rhetoric of ‘swarms’ of migrants leaching from our social security, to desperate refugees with no other options and in need of saving, as ‘unfortunates’ to showcase in their destitution and hardship. A Government which once called for ‘more fences and dogs’ to resolve the crisis, the imposition of more violence upon those fleeing violence, all for the preservation of artificial national divisions and the exclusivisation of its wealth, resources and communal and cultural ‘purity’, has now pledged to a pretence of kindness. But make no mistake: it did not heed appeals to conscience, not as it perpetrates state violence on people of colour and migrants every day, but only the prospect of its Europe-wide reputation and toxic ‘British values’ being sullied.

We must recognise the political intent of this crisis. We must recognise that it is not inevitable. It could have been prevented. We must, then, raise a political challenge to it, a combating of the logic which underpins this crisis, and NCAFC believes that part of this resides in the 12th of September. Not only do fascists pose a grave physical threat to migrants and refugees which must be resisted, this new surge of public awareness and a demand for the end of the crisis will have kindled the anger of the far right. They will seek to latch on to this political climate and band together in order to reinforce reactionary narratives, gain traction for their cause and amass as many numbers as possible to confront the call for 20,000 refugees to be afforded sanctuary in the UK. They must be stopped, as they seek to bolster their ranks through the suffering of the most dispossessed.

In our National Demo for Free Education on November the 4th we have called for ‘no borders’, and on the 17th of October we are coordinating an ‘Open Dover, Open Europe’ demo, demanding that the borders be opened and fortress Europe be dismantled. We believe that not only is community self-defence against fascists necessary, preventing them from gaining control over the streets, threatening the safety of the most marginalized and seeking to normalize their poisonous views, we must also create a broad-ranging, grassroots anti-racist movement capable of deconstructing broader racialized and structural violence. We express our solidarity with those sending material support to Calais in the form of convoys, in which students have participated. We express our solidarity with Movement for Justice, the women of Yarlswood, and all those protesting for the end to detention centres, deportations and borders. We express our solidarity with the migrants in Calais, who have exhibited incredible fortitude in protesting and resisting despite the adversity of their conditions.

We believe that all these struggles, together, contain within them the power to fundamentally transform a social order premised upon brutality and violence, and in generating an uncompromisingly political counter-narrative which demands more than isolated and superficial acts of Governmental aid, but an end to borders and capitalism and state violence. We believe that no human is illegal. We believe that all deserve dignity and protection. We believe that all deserve not simply free education, but freedom of movement, and freedom from violence, and the freedom to flourish. We believe all deserve safety and sustenance and unconditional compassion.

We believe that all deserve freedom, and that we must fight for it.

***September 12th***

***Open Dover, Open Europe – October 17th***!/events/417016075167947/?fref=ts


Join the march on Saturday! 12pm! ULU, Malet Street

On Saturday we will meet at ULU at 12pm.

Click here for a map.

The agreed route will see us marching from Malet Street past

Russell Square, Southampton Row, Kingsway, Aldwych, Strand, Whitehall, Parliament Square, St Margaret Street, Abingdon Street, and the march will end at Millbank

Speakers include:

Opening rally at ULU

Ruby Hirsch La Swap College occupation
Alan Whittaker UCU President
Michael Chessum, UCL Union Sabbatical Officer, NCAFC
UCL occupier
Alfie Meadows, Defend the Right to Protest
Kings College London, We Support our Teachers
Tunisia Solidarity Campaign

Closing rally from 2pm outside Parliament

Jody McIntyre activist and journalist
John McDonnell MP
Barnaby Raine Westminster School, School students against the War
Zita Holbourne PCS, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
Jim Wolfreys UCU NEC, Kings College
Kanja Sessay NUS Black Students Campaign
Alex Kenny NUT NEC
Mark Bergfeld NUS NEC, EAN
LSE occupier

Days of Action in January

Since it is still not clear when and whether there will be a vote on EMA, we will drop the 11th as a day of action and put all our strengths into organizing the events on the 26th and the 29th of January.
Let’s make these two days to remember!
The 26th is a day of nationwide action – organize in, and walk out of, your school, college and university! On the 29th there are two large demonstrations held in Manchester and London. Flyers and leaflets can be downloaded from the top of our website.
In addition, on the 22nd of January, the NCAFC will have its conference at University College London (UCL). On this day students from across the country will come together to discuss what to do next and how we wish to organize ourselves as an organisation. Please make an effort to attend or to send representatives from your local campaign group and email us at [email protected] if you require help with transport or accommodation.

Real & Fake NCAFC events (and how to get our support for your demo)

We are living in exciting times!

Everyone at NCAFC is really happy about how much is going on and the amazing response we get from people all across the country. We are constantly bombarded with questions and affiliations and people wanting to organise local events.

As we understand that for some a quick supportive reply might suffice to get NCAFC’s support, it needs to be said that things are not that quick & easy.

There have been some “fake” NCAFC events going around Facebook and being Twittered about so here are our guidelines:




  • Send us an email to [email protected] with your personal information (name and university/school/city) and a brief description of the event (type of event/date/location).
  • We will discuss it and vote it through in a local or national NCAFC meeting, which will be open for you and anyone else to come along and pitch in.
  • We will keep in touch with you until the big day (Note: the bigger the event, the more involved we will get with details such as security, materials, stewards, etc)

We hope this helps.

Don’t put yourself in danger – only attend events you know the organising body of. If in doubt contact organisers and ask them to explain what security measures have been taken. It is bad enough that the police is violent even after we meet with them, imagine how they can get if they know nothing about the demo you are thinking of attending.

Keep safe and… Merry Christmas!

Stop the tuition fee increase! Join the march on parliament 9 December

This Thursday, 9 December, tens of thousands will come to London to march on parliament as the tuition fee increase is being discussed and voted on. School, college and university students will be joined by supporters from across the country to take a simple message to the government: “no to fees, save EMA”. This protest will be massive – make sure you come along and join NCAFC and other student campaign groups in our opposition to the cuts agenda of the Condem cabinet.

The protest will be starting from University London Union (ULU) on Malet street, gathering at 12 and setting off shortly afterwards. Bring whistles, coats, food and gloves!

If you cannot come to London then organise protests in your local area. Go to town halls, target tax dodging shops on the high street (Vodaphone, Topshop) and shut them down for the day.

Join the facebook group http://www.facebook.comevent.php?eid=136567579732280

NCAFC National Meeting

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is going to be having its national meeting in London on the 5th of June. Please come along, we’re going to be discussing how to organise the campaign so that we can hit the ground running at the start of the next academic year. With the Tories about to announce loads of cuts in education, this is a really important campaign, and a really important meeting!

The meeting will be taking place in University College London from 1PM on Saturday the 5th of June. For more information, check out the Facebook event.

We will be electing an editorial board to ensure regular and timely communications about events, news, and action. Please try to send a delegation from your campus to this meeting to let us know what you’re up to and plan jointly with other anti-cuts campaign groups. Also, it would be great if you could send us a report from your campaign, so that we can stick it up on our website.

There will be a fare pool for those coming long distances, and crash space can be arranged for those who need it. If you have any questions or concerns, see the contact page and don’t hesitate to send us an email.

The NCAFC national meeting isn’t the only thing coming up! Here’s a list of events occurring over the next month:

Saturday 22 May: Right to Work Conference
11-5 Friends Meeting House, London

Tuesday 25 May to Sunday 30 May: European Education Congress 2010
Bochum, Germany

Saturday 29 May: Defeating Cuts in Education conference
Brighton (venue tba)

Thursday 10 June: UNISON Day of Dissent

Defend Simon Hardy: protest 1pm, Friday 7 May

Westminster Uni anti-cuts activist Simon Hardy is being disciplined for his part in the recent anti-cuts occupation.

Join the protest: 1pm, Friday 7 May, University of Westminster Regent Street campus

Facebook event here.

More details from Westminster activists below…
[Read more…]

Workshop Summaries

1st Session- 1150-1250

==Arguing against cuts==

Rachel Archer looks at the enormous scale and the supposed reasons for the huge assault on further and higher education across the UK. Starting with the global credit crunch, she will look at the trillions spent on failing banks and the truth surrounding the ‘fiscal crisis’, spurring plans by Peter Mandelson to cut uni courses to two years, and the mysterious ‘Browne Review’ into higher education led by the ex-boss of British Petroleum. [Read more…]

RIGHT TO WORK officially endorses the Convention

This weekend, as many as a thousand Trade Union, student and unemployed activists from all over the UK descended on Manchester for the second Right to Work conference. It was the largest gathering of its kind for as long as many attendees could remember. The session on education cuts drew some of the biggest crowds, and the conference was supported nationally by the UCU along with PCS, CWU, RMT, NUJ and NUT unions, Stop the War Coalition and Unite Against Fascism. The National Union of Students was conspicuous in its absence, but real student activists were there in numbers.

In all of the sessions relating to defending education against cuts, speakers repeatedly raised the need for national co-ordination. During the final session, the amendment ‘to support the National Convention Against Fees and Cuts’ was accepted without objection, and the conference voted overwhelmingly to pass its Statement of Intent. This can be viewed (in its original form without the amendment) here:

All of this bodes well for the National Convention, which is now under a week away. Email [email protected] for more information.

See the homepage of the Right to Work Conference here: