A coalition of NUS Officers, Students’ Union Officers and student anti-cuts activists on why we will be protesting outside Tory Party Conference this October. Add your name to this statement by filling in your details at the end of this article.
The brutal attacks unleashed on students, young people and education in the Summer Budget mean that we have only one option: to confront the Tories. We will start by mobilizing tens of thousands of students to join the TUC protest outside Tory Party Conference.
The Tories’ summer budget contains a triple attack on students: the scrapping of maintenance grants, the lifting of the cap on tuition fees and the freezing of the student loan repayment threshold at £21,000 for the next 5 years. Attacks on international students are also intensifying from limiting access to the NHS to forcing students to leave after finishing their degrees.
The Tories have no democratic mandate for these attacks, which will burden the poorest students with £10,000 more debt, shut millions of people out of education, worsen the cost of living crisis and is another step towards a fully marketised education system. Only 1 in 4 people voted Conservatives at the General Election.
These attacks are totally unnecessary. If the government increased tax on the rich, scrapped Trident or reduced military spending, billions of pounds would be made available to fund education and other vital public services. There is an alternative – Investment in education promotes social justice, is good for the economy and creates job.
That’s why we will be joining the Student Assembly Against Austerity in protesting outside Tory Party Conference on Sunday 4 October, marking the start of a week of protests with peaceful direct action, rallies and meetings in Manchester, to kick off an autumn of resistance.
The Government should take note – we are going to build a massive, vibrant student movement that will fight them every step of the way.
Shakira Martin, NUS Vice President Further Education
Shelly Asquith, NUS Vice President Welfare
Mostafa Rajaai, NUS International Students’ Officer
Aaron Kiely, People’s Assembly Against Austerity
Malia Bouattia, NUS Black Students’ Officer
Fran Cowling, NUS LGBT Officer
Piers Telemacque, NUS Vice President Society & Citizenship
Maddy Kirkman, NUS Disabled Students’ Officer
Gary Paterson, NUS Scotland Vice President Communities
Sahaya James, NUS National Executive & South West Young Greens Co-Convenor
Miriam Kane, President of Lewisham Southwark College Students’ Union
Minesh Parekh, Education Officer of Sheffield University Students’ Union
Alex Etches, Campaigns and Activities Officer of Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Bahar Mustafa, Welfare and Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Ashley van Huis-Carter, President of Midkent College Students’ Union
Daniel Nikolla, President (HE) of City and Islington College Students’ Union
Jon Warner, Education Officer of Birkbeck College Students’ Union and Student Broad Left National Steering Committee
Aaron Parr, Queen Mary University of London Student Assembly Against Austerity
Dave Cocozza, Spokesperson for Higher and Further Education of the Green Party
Danielle Louise Riseley, Manchester Metropolitan University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Ellie Kate Kinney, Chair of Goldsmiths College Student CND
Pekka Piirainen, UCL Fossil Free
Paul Haw, Bournemouth University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Shazab Islam, Wolverhampton University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Shadia Edwards-Dashti, SOAS Student Assembly Against Austerity
Hannah Graham, Teesside for Free Education Campaign
Amy Liddle, Bristol University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Ali Sendall, Liverpool Hope University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Jonathan Maunders, Oxford Brookes Student Assembly Against Austerity
Joe Haslam, Lancaster and Morecambe College Free Education Campaign
Fiona Edwards, Student Broad Left Secretary and Student Assembly Against Austerity National Committee
Barbara Ntumy, London Met University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Hayden Cooper, Guild Councillor of Exeter University SU
James Honke, Birmingham University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Saleem Aslam, University of Liverpool Student Assembly Against Austerity
Becky Cutts, Liverpool John Moores University Student Assembly Against Austerity
Ben Hayes, Goldsmiths Student Assembly Against Austerity
Connie Judkins-Law, University of Kent Canterbury Student Assembly Against Austerity