‘#demo2012: Educate, Employ, Empower’ has been confirmed as the title of NUS’ national demonstration. The announcement was made by NUS President Liam Burns to a room of student leaders 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 told delegates:
“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 explained to delegates that through the demonstration, the student movement will be fighting for entire communities, and whilst there is no immediate parliamentary mechanism to influence, this could prove to be an opportunity to set the agenda for the General Election in 2015. Burns went on to state that the demonstration is only one part of the 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 went on to explain that within the coming weeks, NUS will provide resources, as well as supporting regional mobilising days and organising a national mobilising event. He also informed delegates that the union would be working with other organisations such as the Association of Colleges (AOC), British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), 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.
NUS Connect will be updated with more news on the demonstration very soon so keep checking back for more details and resources.