Yesterday the NUS President, Aaron Porter, made the welcome move to publicly support the student wave of occupations and tomorrow’s national day of action against the ConDem plans to attack students with higher fees and education cuts. He made this announcement when he visited the UCL occupation: http://ucloccupation.wordpress.com/
On his Presidential blog this morning Porter went further and announced, “the NUS will be organising a national day of action and a lobby of Parliament” in the run up to the vote in Parliament. Again, this is a welcome move and good way to build on the fantastic success of the NUS/UCU national demonstration on 10th November – which was the biggest student mobilisation for decades.
What NUS also needs to do – alongside this - is call another national demonstration, preferably on the weekend ahead of vote (taking place before Christmas).
Another national demonstration is the best way to maximise the impact of this growing movement against higher fees and savage education cuts. And a demo on a weekend will mean that students and lecturers can be joined by parents, past students, the broader trade union and progressive movement and all those who wish to see the next generation have the opportunity to access a university education.
Given the anger that exists across all sections of society to £9,000 fees - a national demo has the potential to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people. Such an initiative would place enormous pressure on MPs – particularly those Lib Dems who signed a pledge before the General Election to vote against any increase in fees. For these reasons another national demo is clearly the way forward for the movement.
The only question that remains: will NUS call another national demonstration?