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#wehavemarched – Thank You (11th Nov 2010) January 2, 2011

Posted by AaronPorter in Uncategorized.
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#wehavemarched – Thank You (11th Nov 2010)

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/news/article/nus/1021/

Hello Everyone,

#weHAVEmarched – and I want to say the most enormous thank you to you.  It was all of your hard work anddedication that made the biggest student demonstration in a generation- 50,000 students- possible.  Marching with you and your students was the highlight of my time in the student movement so far and when I finally found a few minutes to think last night it was time spent reflecting on how fortunate I am to be leading some of the most talented and capable campaigners, leaders, representatives and activists this country has ever seen.

Of course, all of us at NUS are deeply disappointed at the actions of a small minority of those 50,000 people who attended- I have no problem with direct action, but there can be no justification for extreme violence, criminal damage and the law being broken and I know from the hundreds of emails and tweets I’ve received that you and your demonstrators share my view that their actions were shameful, dangerous and counterproductive. We did everything we could to organise a peaceful and responsible action, but sadly it was hijacked and our press coverage overshadowed. But we must move forward- head held high. I won’t have our campaign derailed by people like this. In the months to come there will be a white paper, measures to change the student support package and ultimately a full-scale higher education bill to fight.

We say:

  • NO to scrapping the EMA
  • NO to the privatisation of Arts, Humanities and Social Science teaching
  • NO to cutting ESOL provision
  • NO to higher fees
  • NO to fees in FE for ‘adult learning’
  • NO to soaring levels of debt
  • And YES to fairness, equity, and a properly funded state education system.

This fight is far from over.  The next few weeks this agenda will move quickly.  For a start we need to up ourpressure on MPs who look like they will be voting in the first instance for measures to raise fees and to those who are in support of scrapping the EMA.  On Monday we’ll launch a new initiative to put pressure on them and I will be back in touch with details of our “Right to Recall” initiative tomorrow.  

There’s a couple of things you can do to help us right now. We need the contact details of your protesters- if you could email them and ask them to text NUS plus their email address to 88802, I’d be very grateful. And if everyoneon yesterday’s march wrote a letter to their MPs on the issues, and got their parents, relatives or friends to do the same, we could have an enormous impact. Next week we’ll launch our “Education Write Off” initiative to get mailbags bulging, but don’t wait on us. 

At HQ, we’re preparing for a lobby of Parliament.  We know that the coalition Government are planning to move quickly on this issue, and we need to be ready and waiting.  I know that many of you have been doing lots of local lobbying, and that work has been excellent and is essential if we are to stand any chance of defeating these plans.  As soon as we find out when the vote in Parliament will be I will call a lobby of Parliament to coincide.

Tomorrow I’ll ask you to let us know the home postcode of everyone on your exec teams, sabb teams, demonstrator lists and so non to ensure that we have maximum coverage of the house on the day. Please make sure you return those details to us.

Together we carry on- continuing to show that pricing future students out of education and dismantling the further and higher education sectors is unacceptable.  Together we will show that this generation of students is willing to stand up and fight for the next and tell the last generation that enough is enough.   

Once again, and on behalf of the entire NUS NEC THANK YOU.  

In Unity,

Aaron Porter

National President

 

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