The NUS President Liam Burns, alongside the NUS National Executive Committee, have officially supported a national demonstration planned by anti-cuts groups on 9th November.
The demo has been backed as a response to a Government White Paper putting forward the motion of cuts to public services in education, including many cuts to student support.The demonstration aims to have tens of thousands of concerned students and citizens marching in Central London against the Government policy concerning Higher Education.
This has been a stark change to recent comments made by the NUS, and the move has been welcomed by many activists in the anti-cuts campaign.
Speaking to Liam Burns in the last issue of Pugwash News, the NUS President said that as he had “lost the argument concerning a national demo” he wouldn’t be able to call a national demonstration.
“Our members have said when would there be the best time to have action, whilst there is no vote, no bill on the table? Or do you save to a time when there is? I spent a lot of time arguing around the demo, and I lost the argument for it.”
Burns said that he would like to see another national demo, and whilst this demo hasn’t been organised by NUS, merely supported, it seems to be a move in his direction of student oriented policy.
UPSU’s VP Education and Democracy, Godfrey Atuahené Junior commented UPSU’s plans for the demonstration.
Godfrey said “At present there is nothing in the pipe line for the Union to attend the NCAFC march which is being supported by the NUS, however we are a student led organisation, and if students strongly want the Union to attend the march I urge them all to submit a motion to Student Council and attend Student Council on the 27th October and mandate the sabbatical team and PTO’s to discuss and possibly call an EGM about the march.”
The demonstration has been supported by some Labour MP’s, Unite the Union, PCS, NUJ, RMT and the Fire Brigade Union.
The demonstration will take place almost a year to the day that a wave a student protests against the Government’s plans to increase tuition fees took place.
The protest ended at Millbank tower where many angered protesters took to occupying the offices of the Conservative party headquarters.