Student Assembly Against Austerity Press Release
Students to hold protests, rallies and direct action in national day of action for free education
Over twenty campuses are participating in today's national day of action for free education and against the government’s austerity programme– the day George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons.
The day of action will see rallies, protests and peaceful direct action sweep campuses nationwide including in London, Brighton, Gloucestershire, Manchester, Teesside, Sheffield, Coventry and elsewhere.
This national day of action comes two weeks after the 10,000 strong national free education demonstration in London.
The Student Assembly Against Austerity has called the day of action to advance the demands of the ‘Student Manifesto 2015’ which aims to influence politicians and political parties in the run up to the General Election in May 2015.
The Student Assembly Against Austerity is coordinating the day of action alongside other groups, including the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
Aaron Kiely, NUS National Executive and organiser for the Student Assembly Against Austerity said:
“This national day of action seeks to build on the huge momentum unleashed across the student movement by the 10,00 strong national demonstration for free education which took place two weeks ago.
“Students will be out in force again on campuses across the country this week to ensure politicians and political parties get our message loud and clear as we approach the General Election: we want tuition fees to be scrapped, EMA to be brought back and the savage cuts to education we’ve witnessed to be reversed.”
Sahaya James of the Student Assembly Against Austerity said:
"Just two weeks ago the 10,000-strong free education demonstration of 19th November signalled a passionate and focused start of a movement that must carry on being active and vocal if we are to keep up the pressure on politicians in the lead up to next year's general election. To strengthen this rapidly growing movement, today will see a day of action on campuses across the country. With this kind of vibrant grass roots awareness-raising and our clear message of no fees, no cuts and no debt, we are kick starting a movement that cannot be ignored."
Cat Denby, free education campaigner and student at Kings College London said:
“On the 3rd of December at Kings College London, we will join the national day of action against cuts to education, affordable accommodation and free tuition fees. Nothing ever happens overnight, yet a spark has been ignited which will create a movement. Education should be a right not a privilege for the chosen few.”
Barnaby Raine, activist for free education at Oxford University added:
“We demonstrated to demand a basic political choice; a government that lets corporations avoid billions in tax and then spends billions on nuclear weapons should instead invest that money in education. In the run-up to the General Election we will keep up the pressure so that politicians get the message: they should change their priorities and follow Scotland and Germany in abolishing tuition fees.”
Jordan Blyth, Teesside Free Education Campaign said:
“We are planning a peaceful protest outside of our Students’ Union, as they have shown they are uninterested in the views of their members, and will not support free education, and have actively fought against it every step of the way. We will protest outside with banners, pickets and petitions, and talk to students about the injustice and impracticality of tuition fees forced upon us by an uncaring ConDem Coalition of out-of-touch Tories and Lib Dems who sold students down the river.”
Alex Falconer, who is organising action at Falmouth University added:
“Falmouth University will take action on Wednesday 3rd of December against course closures and the continued marketisation of universities which is caused by the failed funding model, tuition fees. We are telling politicians to make education free to access now.”
Chris Jarvis, Campaigns and Democracy Officer at Union of UEA Students said:
“Last year’s successful campaign against the student loan book privatization proves that sustained pressure and grassroots campaigns can make a difference. Now we’re on the offensive. By building movements on campuses across the country, we can push the public discourse and therefore eventually policy towards an education system that is free, fair and fully funded.”
1. The Student Assembly Against Austerity is coordinating the national day of action for free education and against austerity on Wednesday 3 December alongside other groups such as the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
2. A list of the 20 campuses taking part in the national day of action, including links to the local events can be found here:
3. Live updates, photos, videos and reports will be uploaded to the Student Assembly Against Austerity official facebook page throughout the national of action. Check out the facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/thestudentassembly
4. This week a study has been published claiming that the student vote could swing the 2015 General Election. Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30252713
5. The Student Assembly Against Austerity has launched the ‘Student Manifesto 2015’ to rally the student movement behind a progressive set of demands that are being made of politicians and political parties. Read the ‘Student Manifesto 2015’ here:
6. The Student Assembly Against Austerity is the student wing of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
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Twitter: @thestudentassem | #FreeEducation