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Campaign to Defeat Fees
17 October 2008
Students in Bangor win vote to fight fees
Campaign to Defeat Fees wins support from Tommy Sheridan and Bangor Students Union
After a successful week of campaigning by Socialist Students and other supporters of the Campaign to Defeat Fees, students in Bangor overwhelmingly voted yes to fighting fees - 271 students voted YES, whilst the no campaign only received 104 votes. This shows that a clear majority supporting our policies of opposing ever-increasing student debt and fees. We put forward the need for a mass campaign including a national demonstration.
Unfortunately Socialist Students and others had to build this campaign in the teeth of opposition from those in the NUS leadership. NUS National President Wes Streeting and NUS Wales President Ben Gray spoke at meetings against the Campaign to Defeat Fees. Instead of calling for a campaign involving the mass of students linking up with the trade unions, the NUS leadership called for a strategy of solely negotiations with ministers. This was clearly rejected by students in a ratio of almost 3 - 1.
As part of our call for the students union to build a fighting campaign against fees and debt, Socialist Students also managed to get passed a motion forcing the students union into calling action on November 5, as part of the NUS day of action on student debt. NUS Wales is not organising any event this day, which is of increased importance given that the Welsh Assembly is discussing cutting back on the assistance that is available to all Welsh students studying in Wales. A longer report will follow from Bangor Socialist Students.
Tommy Sheridan, ex-MSP and a leading figure in Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement, signed up to support the Campaign to Defeat Fees. Tommy, a prominent activist in Scotland and internationally, joins John McDonnell MP, Tracey Edwards PCS Youth Organiser (personal capacity), Aled Dilwyn Fisher President LSE students union and Green Party GLA candidate for North East London, Socialist Party councillors Ian Page, Chris Flood, Dave Nellist, Rob Windsor, Huddersfield Save our NHS councillor Jackie Grunsell, Andrew Price UCU, Portsmouth Students Union Campaigns Coalition, Huddersfield Students Union, Solent University Students Union, Brunel Students Union, Lee Vernon Finance Officer Sussex Students Union and over 5,000 others in the student and labour movement in supporting the campaign.
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