Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It is time to go Aaron Porter – we need a fighting NUS

Students need a fighting NUS to take on the Tory cuts.

“We the undersigned believe that Aaron Porter should be removed as NUS National President as he is unable to lead the student movement. His failure to call or even back another National Demonstration, his refusal to back up his promises of support for occupations, his weak stance on police brutality and his collusion with the Government in identifying cuts means that he has lost the confidence of the movement.

We call on activists to bring motions to their SUs calling for his removal and an Extraordinary Conference to do so.”

Signed in a personal capacity:

Sean Rillo Raczka, NUS NEC and Chair of Birkbeck SU

Clare Solomon, ULU President

Fiona Edwards, Student Broad Left

Joshi Sachdeo, NUS NEC

Ashok Kumar, LSE Education Officer

Mary Robertston, Free Education Campaign & SOAS Occupier

Javed Anjum Sheikh, NUS NEC

Poggy Murray, NUS Black Student Committee & Liverpool Guild of Students LGBT Officer

To add your name email:

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1. That on the 9/12/10 over 30,000 students marched from the University of London Union (ULU) to Parliament in a protest against fees and cuts on the day of the vote to raise tuition fees.

2. That the National Union of Students organised a candlelight vigil and rally in Victoria Embankment with under 1,000 attending.

3. That the NUS NEC, in a proposal made by NUS President Aaron Porter, voted NOT to back the march from ULU.

4. That Aaron Porter stated he was ‘not at all proud’ of the ULU protest.

5. That the co-ordinators of the NUS Rally at Victoria Embankment urged those in attendance to return home immediately afterwards and not to join the protest in Parliament Square.

6. That violent police tactics including kettling, horse charges and the use of batons were deployed by the Met, leaving over 43 protestors injured or hospitalised, including one life threatening injury.

7. That the NUS has not put out an official statement condemning the police violence towards students on the 9th of December, standing up for their right to protest and not be illegally kettled or charged by horses.

8. That Aaron Porter recently visited the UCL Occupation where he stated that the NUS would provide support for those in occupation, as well as calling a National Demonstration on the day of the fees vote.

9. That at the UCL Occupation meeting Aaron Porter admitted that the NUS had been ‘spineless’ and ‘dithering’ in response the student occupations.

10. That Aaron Porter has reneged on both promises mentioned above (8).


1. That emails leaked to the Daily Telegraph show that the NUS had put models of alternative cuts to Ministers, outlining where cuts could be made to the Higher Education budget without raising tuition fees. These plans included cutting grants to the poorest students, and immediately charging a higher commercial rate on interest on student loans.

2. That the NUS response to this leak is to admit that they had ‘met with ministers and officials to discuss and model various potential impacts of cuts to Higher Education’


1. That the National Union of Students should not be in the business of modelling cuts for the ConDem Government or discussing possible ways of cutting grants from the poorest of students.

2. That the NUS National President should keep his promises.

3. That the NUS should organise another National Demo, and officially supporting and coordinating other demonstrations and protest.

4. That the NUS should give practical support to occupations and students affected by police violence.

5. That Aaron Porter, given his failure to assist students & occupation, and to coordinate or support further National Demonstrations against the cuts, and because of his helpful emails to the government, is incapable of leading the student movement.


1. That we have no confidence in Aaron Porter as NUS President.

2. To call for an Extraordinary Conference to hear this vote of no confidence.

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