NUS President announces demo to “Educate, Employ, Empower”

THE NUS’ national demonstration in November 2012 will aim to “Educate, Employ, Empower”, it was announced in a speech made by NUS President Liam Burns at the NUS ‘Lead and Change’ training course in Bristol.

In his announcement, Burns stressed the importance of “understanding of the demonstration”, which will be held on 21 November. Burns said:

“Now is not the time to revert to talking only about tuition fees in Higher Education in England. From access to education to youth unemployment, getting on the housing ladders to the closure of local services – when Government continually attacks and undermines the future of students, young people and entire communities, this demonstration is a firing gun in the fight for a far more positive future.”

Burns claims that through the demonstration, the student movement will be fighting for entire communities, and whilst there is no immediate parliamentary mechanism to influence, he believes the demonstration could prove to be an “opportunity to set the agenda for the General Election in 2015″. Burns also stated that the demonstration was only one part of a fight to break a political consensus which believes that “investment in education and employment isn’t a priority”.

During his speech, Burns told delegates that the demonstration will be a “springboard” for creating activists who will continue to be involved in local campaigns. “We know that the student leaders of today are those who came to the national demo in 2010. The students you mobilise to come to Demo 2012 will be the ones leading the campaign to get students firmly on the agenda for the General Election in 2015.”

Burns added that the NUS will provide resources as well as supporting regional mobilising days and organising a national mobilising event. The Union also plans to work with other organisations such as the Association of Colleges, British Universities and Colleges Sport and various trade unions to ensure that demonstration can “attract an increased level of attendance and support”.

NUS’ plans to help build for the demonstration include a national mobilising event to be held on 7 September, and “Student Activism 2012″, which will be held on 3 November. Burns told delegates that NUS would continue to support action taken by Students’ Unions to deliver change on a local level following the demonstration, and that it is “important” that momentum continues beyond November.