Wednesday 26-01-2011 - 00:00
Following on from last year’s march that saw 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters protesting against higher tuition fees and cuts teaching and support in universities and colleges, the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) have joined forces with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to move the focus from London to the North-West, where the cuts could hit hardest.
The march and rally called ‘A Future That Works: A National Rally for Young People’ will see the three organisations calling their members to Manchester this coming Saturday to highlight the impact the Conservative-led Government’s cuts will have on young people, particularly those in the North-West.
The plans by the Government to decimate welfare and hike the cost of education have seen the biggest wave of street protests since Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party was in Government and the organisers are asking those in the North-West to join them to show that anger at the Government’s agenda extends well beyond London.
Organisers estimate that around 6,000 people will join the protests in what could be the North-West's biggest day of protest for decades.
Aaron Porter, NUS President, said:
"Last year we saw 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters on the streets of London in opposition to the Coalition's plans to treble tuition fees and slash teaching budgets.
"In abolishing the Education Maintenance Allowance, raising tuition fees, axing AimHigher and scrapping the Future Jobs Fund, the Coalition have disgracefully targeted young people out for the most severe cuts. I call on all those who believe the Government should help those who need it most to join us and protesting against Coalition policies that risk consigning an entire generation to the scrap heap."
Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary, said:
“This government seems intent on abolishing routes into education for all but the wealthiest. Last week’s scrapping of the education maintenance allowance, coupled with the huge rise in tuition fees, is going to deny thousands of young people the chance to better themselves. It is not fair that they are being forced to pay the price for a financial crisis they did not create.”