Saturday, 4 December 2010

Student movement demands better leadership

Aaron Porter, president of NUS, is under attack from occupying students across the country for failing to provide support. Laurie Penny has the background and reports comments from students currently in occupation:

"Time and again the leaders of the NUS have put their political careers before the interests of the students they claim to represent," said a representative of the UCL and Slade occupations. "After broken promises and chaotic, indecisive leadership, our union has again failed to support its members in the face of the gravest threat to education in decades. If Aaron Porter is incapable of providing leadership then he should step down," he said.

"We are disappointed in Aaron Porter," said representatives of the Cambridge occupation, who also contacted the NUS to be told that there would be no legal support available. "By offering legal help and not following through, Porter is actually putting students in danger." Aaron Porter declined to comment.

"From our Universities to our government to the NUS, young people are being failed by institutions which are meant to be standing up for us," said the Cambridge occupiers. "This is why we are waging a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience."

Student occupations are currently taking place in numerous universities and colleges, ahead of Thursday's national day of action which includes a march on Parliament. NUS, together with lecturers' union UCU, is organising a lobby of MPs.

However, it has required the initaitive of University of London Union (ULU) - together with UCU London Region, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, Coalition of Resistance and others - to call a national march.

Assemble midday at ULU, Malet Street, central London, on 9 December.  


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