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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

NUS leadership abandon fees fight

YOU WOULD think that National Union of Students (NUS) conference would be a place to implement plans of action on how to fight for the rights that students deserve. This year, however, policy was passed which means there are no plans or date for national action let alone a demonstration against fees. A motion for universal grants was defeated.

Sean Williams Brunel university Socialist Students

You might ask what side are the NUS leadership actually on? Question no further, it is common knowledge that most of the NUS leadership are careerist bureaucrats with no wish to upset New Labour.

Many first-time delegates found it a shock to witness the lack of democracy at the conference. Policy motions were barely discussed as time was filled up bureaucratically. Motions on the 'Campaign to Defeat Fees', in defence of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, adult education and against the privatisation of canteens all fell victim to the bureaucracy.

All this spurred on Socialist Student delegates to spread the word of the Campaign to Defeat Fees. In conjunction with our campaigning to get Rob Macdonald elected for the NEC Block of 12, we staged numerous chants outside conference floor, proudly displaying our banners.

Our calls for free education for all gained support from a significant minority of mainly FE students. We gathered over 100 signatures for the Campaign to Defeat Fees and got details of 50 people who wanted to find out more about Socialist Students.

Campaigning against New Labour's attacks by "lobbying" MPs will not produce results. We need to take the spirit of students in France and Greece to produce a mass campaign that will put real pressure on the government.

We put forward these ideas in our fringe meeting. We formulated plans for the coming months including a day of action on 27 April with the aim of building for a national demonstration next year.

I urge any students reading this article to run for delegation to the NUS conference 2008. The more socialists we have, the more effect we can have; fighting for a campaigning democratic NUS.

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In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

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Related links:

NUS:

triangleHow can students and young people fight the Tories?

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleLively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

triangleFight for free education

triangleNUS leadership: Blairites supported by establishment

Fees:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

Students:

triangleLeicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

triangleManchester Socialist Students: 200 years of Marxism

Campaign to Defeat Fees:

triangleWilletts approves tuition fees hike

triangleAttacks begin at Bangor University

Socialist Students:

triangleFat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students

Education:

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

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