On Monday afternoon Liverpool Guild of Students launched its campaign in support of #demo2012.
#Demo2012 is a large demonstration planned by the National Union of Students to take place in London under the slogan “Educate, Employ, Empower.”
It will be the first such event called by the NUS since #demo2010 saw up to 50,000 students march in London against tuition fees and the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance.
The march is planned for Wednesday the 21st of November. It was called after a motion successfully passed at the NUS national conference in April this year. Delegates from Liverpool University voted for the motion.
Liverpool Guild of Students is backing the march, and will be selling coach tickets for £10 (£5 of which will be refunded on the day.)
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, which organised many of the 2010 demonstrations and a march in 2011 independently of the NUS, has welcomed #demo2012:
“NCAFC will be campaigning for a mass wave of student direct action this autumn, before, during and after the demo itself. We will also be demanding that NUS adopt the radical slogans democratically decided at its conference in April: tax the rich to fund education!”
Support for the demonstration has not been universal in the student movement. Some unions are refusing to back the demonstration, and Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Tory party, has argued against action by the NUS.
In a press release last year the organisation said, “the reforms that the government is making will put students at the heart of the system, and offers them a diverse range of providers.”
“I’m not ashamed to stand here and say we are doing this for a future generation.”
Students were invited to offer their opinions on the demonstration, and broke into groups to discuss why they thought it was important to march, and how activists could best get others to come on the demonstration. The event was also addressed by two of the Guild’s Student Representative Officers.
LGoS Vice President Maggie Hayes said, “I’m not ashamed to stand here and say we are doing this for a future generation.
“You come into university, pay the amount you’re paying, and graduate unemployment is at an all time high. There are one million young people unemployed. We’re one of the only countries in the EU to cut spending on education in a recession. This is about us showing that we’re angry, and showing that we can come together, but turning that into something more positive as well.”
Maggie also argued that the Guild should “set the agenda” for local FE colleges and schools.
Guild President Sam Butler also addressed students: “It’s really important we engage the rest of the community as well … Liverpool as a city relies a lot on government spending … we want to talk to those people who would never ever set foot on our campus. We will be going down as a city, not just as a red brick Russell Group university.
“It’s a really incredible feeling to be involved in student activism. It’s a feeling that I can’t really describe until you’re screaming with 50,000 other people marching on the streets of London, it’s a pretty incredible feeling.”
Sam invited students to become “ambassadors” for the demonstration, and get involved with signing other students up for coaches.
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What do you think about #demo2012? Do you think the Guild is right to support it? Will you be going? Let us know in the comments.