Wednesday 18-01-2017 - 09:48
Liber8 is a call to the movement to recognise that the issues facing students are as urgent as they are intersectional. To focus where we aim our fight and build our institutions as not just spaces to education, but to liberate.
Students, our colleges and universities, have sustained a number of attacks over decades now. For too long, we have campaigned from one single issue to the next, with varying degrees of victory. Now, our resistance must be coherent, address the many issues facing students and recognise that they do not manifest in isolation.
Education must be a key to liberation. Instead it is increasingly too far out of reach for those who need it most, and more and more a space of repression and discrimination.
It is the responsibility of the student movement to put ourselves squarely within the camp of resistance to the attacks from above and the development of alternatives from below.
It is in this spirit that my priority campaign as President is ‘Liber8 Education’. Organised around eight issues that affect students’ lives and connect us to wider society; it allows all of us to take action towards the achievement of a free, liberated and accessible education for all.
Liber8 Education is an organising tool for our movement which seeks to support resistance while putting forward credible alternatives. Up and down the country students are organising over college closures, mental health and housing; to women’s rights, migrant rights and the Black attainment gap. This initiative is here to support those efforts, provide a means for learning from one another, encourage unity across these fights and solidarity between our movement and the wider communities in which we live and study.
Liber8 Education is built on my deep conviction of the importance of students in achieving social change. Throughout history students have been at the forefront of movements against oppression and inequality at home, for international justice and liberation abroad, and in paving the way for a better, fairer, and more equal vision of society.
The past gains of our movements are being challenged and rolled back everywhere. Hatred, division, and scapegoating are the currency our politicians are trading in.
Our response must be a principled opposition as well as an active response of a fight for liberation.
My priority as the President of the National Union of Students is to bring these tasks together and to state loudly and clearly, that we are the alternative, and we – not them – will build the world anew.
For all the latest info, check out www.nus.org.uk/liber8.