This is part of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity’s call for protests and action on budget day. We are demonstrating for a Budget that benefits the majority not the few – against the attacks taking place against the whole of society from the Bedroom Tax to the huge cuts and privatisation on our NHS. Check out the People’s Assembly website for more info.
Government insiders have hinted that George Osborne is set to announce the first auction of the student loan book on Budget Day.
On budget day we are calling for action to:
• Oppose the government’s plans to privatise student loans
• Oppose all cuts to education and public services
• Demand fair pay for university and college staff
• Defend our right to resist – stop the crackdown on protest!
LONDON ACTION: Protest outside Downing Street at 6pm – bring banners!
We are also calling on students across the country to organize actions on their own campus to raise awareness among students and to increase the pressure on MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to support our campaign.
Check out our activist guide we produced for the national week of action which contains lots of ideas and model resources for use on your camps as well as facts and arguments on why we oppose the privatization of student loans.
Here are a few ideas of what you could do for the day of action:
1. ORGANISE A ‘DEBT IN’ PROTEST
Students across the country – from Cambridge to East Anglia to Manchester – have been organising ‘debt ins’ to raise awareness on campuses about what the government is planning on doing with our student loans and what it’ll mean for students and graduates.
Check out this photo report of the ‘debt in’ organized at UEA for some inspiration.
Here is how you can organize a ‘debt in’ on your campus:
• Organise a planning meeting for students who want to get involved in organising the ‘debt in’. Here you’ll need to discuss when and where to do your debt in – choose somewhere high profile on campus and at a busy time of day to maximize your impact. You’ll also need to discuss publicizing and building support for your ‘debt in’, how and when you plan to make the props needed for your stunt as well as ideas for getting your ‘debt in’ covered in local and campus media.
• Approach your Students’ Union and campus societies and ask them if they want to get involved.
• Set up a Facebook event to help publicise your ‘debt in’, produce leaflets and posters for distribution around campus and send emails out to as many student societies as possible.
• Get some cardboard boxes from a local shop or supermarket and paint them red. Stick signs on them with slogans such as ‘Hands off student loans’ (check out the Student Assembly website – we will soon be uploading some signs to download and print off).
• When the ‘debt in’ starts make sure to keep it lively with chanting (“Student debt is too high, we won’t let you privatize”) and when the right time comes, get some volunteers to lay on the floor and be crushed by the red boxes of debt!
• Take loads of photos and a video if possible and share far on wide on social media using the hashtag #StopTheSellOff
If you need further advice or help please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
2. SOUND THE ALARM!
The majority of students still don’t know that the government plans to sell off our student debt before the next general election and that this will cause our debts to rise.
Raising awareness through the week of action is really important.
Let’s get organising lots of visible and creative stunts, alongside general campaigning on campus Here are a few ideas:
• Banner drops
• Photo stunts
• Organise a public meeting – we can provide you with a speaker
3. TARGET YOUR MP!
Find out who your local MP is here and gather signatures on a petition demanding that your MP publicly oppose the privatisation of student loans by signing the Early Day Motion in Parliament.
Here is our downloadable petition that you can print off and start collecting signatures on.
The Student Assembly have also produced a handy lobby tool which you can use to lobby your MP within 2 minutes, check it out here.
4. LAUNCH YOUR OWN STUDENT ASSEMBLY AGAINST AUSTERITY ON CAMPUS
The selling off of student loans is austerity’s hardest blow to students yet. But every section of our communities, campuses and families are being affected, whether by rising unemployment and benefit cuts, the attacks on healthcare and education or the closure of local services.
Student assemblies are about creating a united front for debate and planning resistance to the government’s austerity agenda. On campus, academic and non-academic staff alike are exploited by the same university management that it cracking down on our right to resist. To mount an effective challenge to these politics we need to organise and sustain a united campaign that opposes cuts, privatisation and exploitation without exception.