At the end of the day participants unanimously voted for the Action Plan of events, campaigns and protests which will form the basis of the Student Assembly’s work over the coming months in the run up to the General Election. Check out the full Action Plan at the end of this report.
The National Convention opened up with an inspiring plenary session called ‘No more austerity!’ We heard speeches from Shelly Asquith who is President of SUArts, Diane Abbot MP, Jeremy Corybn MP, Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, Sabby Dhalu from Stand Up to Racism and Christy Mc Morrow who has led a movement for free education at Sheffield University.
Throughout the day, interactive and productive workshops took place on the following themes:
- Fighting austerity on campus: for affordable housing & stopping course closures
- Hardest hit: fighting cuts, bigotry and inequality
- No racist scapegoating
- We have a right to resist - #CopsOffCampus
- FE students and the fightback – bring back EMA and defend youth services
- For an ethical education – fossil free, no to war
Full reports from each workshop – where additional actions and campaigns were discussed - will be posted on this website over the coming days.
The day ended with a closing rally on ‘Students and the General Election’ where we heard back from the day’s workshops, decided what the Student Assembly’s Action Plan for the coming months should be and heard from fantastic speakers.
Jonas from the Mexican student movement gave an emotional account of how the Mexican state ‘disappeared’ 43 students. We then heard from Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition, comedian and activist Francesca Martinez, Dr Shahrar Ali who is Deputy Leader of the Green Party, Sam Fairbairn from the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and Aaron Kiely from the NUS National Executive rounding the day off.
Student Assembly Against Austerity Action Plan
(February – June 2015)
Between now and the General Election the student movement needs to put forward our demands to politicians, political parties and the wider public – we want free education, equality and social justice. No more austerity!
Here is the ‘action plan’ we decided on Saturday 31 January at the Student Assembly Against Austerity National Convention.
February – May
Student Question Times: National Tour of the ‘Student Manifesto’ for Free Education
In the run up to the General Election the Student Assembly Against Austerity is coordinating a national tour of Student Question Times to put the demands of the student movement high on the political agenda as we approach voting day on 7 May.
Can we abolish tuition fees? Do protests work? What’s the alternative to austerity? Why is there always money for war and not education? How can we challenge the rising tide of racism? What would an ethical education look like?
We want to take this national tour to as many campuses across the country as possible. Please volunteer to organise a meeting on your campus today.
February – April
Registering to vote
Use the #GenerationVote toolkit from NUS.
Wednesday 4 February
Rent Freedom Day of action hosted by Generation Rent
A day for ordinary private renters and their allies to hammer home the message to Westminster – that we are angry, organized and ready to evict any MP who doesn’t tackle the serious issues facing private renters today.
Monday 9 – Sunday 15 February
Go Green Week
Join People and Planet’s annual national week of climate action in schools, colleges and universities.
Saturday 28 February
People’s Question Time Manchester & Music Beats Austerity Gig
At a time when poverty and inequality continue to rise, and all major parties remain committed to a programme of cuts and privatization, join us at the People’s Question Time in Manchester where we will be discussing how we organise for a fair, sustainable and more secure future.
Saturday 28 February
Student on the Protest @ UKIP conference: No Border – No Nations – Free Education!
Home students and international students are fighting together for free, democratic education and against UKIP’s racism, Islamophobia and Xenophobia. Join to say “No borders, no nations: free education!” Join the facebook event here.
Saturday 7 March
National climate demonstration – Time To Act
Join the march in central London. The climate talks in Paris this December are crucial if we’re going to protect all that we love. Our movement is growing, and we’re more diverse and determined than ever before.
Saturday 15 March
Remember Fukushima London demo
Contact SOAS CND for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 21 March
National demonstration: Stand Up To Racism and Fascism
Join the demonstration in central London, organised by Stand Up To Racism as part of an international day of action to mark UN Anti-racism Day.
After the #ParisShootings – no to the Islamophobic backlash across Europe! From Ferguson to London #BlackLivesMatter!
- No to scapegoating immigrants
- No to Islamophobia
- No to anti-Semitism
- Yes to diversity - migrant are welcome here!
Saturday 28 March
Free education – no to a graduate tax Birmingham demonstration
Join the demonstration in Birmingham on Saturday 28 March, called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
Saturday 20 June
People’s Assembly National Demo & Music Festival
Whatever the result of the election austerity looks likely to continue. We need a broad, united and national movement that can challenge austerity, defend living standards and all the public services we rely upon.
That is why the People’s Assembly is organising a national demo and music festival on Saturday 20 June – join us!