Download File - Student Assembly Against Austerity

Autumn 2014
n twitter: @thestudentassem
n fb:
Free education:
no cuts, no fees, no debt!
the rich, billions of pounds could be released to pay for
free education, more resources for the NHS, improving
public services, and for tackling climate change.
The Student Assembly Against Austerity is determined
to fight for this alternative of free education. We
need to build a campaign with coordinated action on
campuses across Britain.
Get active!
usterity isn’t working. Students are facing a
cost of living crisis, colossal student debt and
enormous cuts to education and all the vital
public services we rely upon.
The Tories are determined to drive through even more
attacks on students and education. We must resist
these attacks with all our strength.
n Organise for the National Day of Action Against the
Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3 December. Join
the facebook event here:
n Join our ‘Student Manifesto 2015’ campaign – let’s
turn up the heat on politicians ahead of the May 2015
General Election. For details see
When the student movement unites and fights back
we can win. The Student Assembly Against Austerity
proved that earlier this year. Our campaign to stop
the government privatising student loans mobilised
thousands of students on more than 50 campuses in
our national days and weeks of action which succeeded
in forcing a government u-turn. Proving once more that
campaigning works.
Student Assembly
Against Austerity
National Convention
£9,000 tuition fees, the scrapping of the Education
Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and savage cuts to
education are all attacks the student movement must
unite to reverse.
Join us for a day of discussion, debate and action
planning on the next steps in building a student
movement that takes on austerity.
We must fight for an alternative. Last month Germany
scrapped tuition fees, underlining the fact that free
education is possible and it is simply a question of priorities.
According to the government’s own figures education pays
for itself – for every £1 invested in higher education the
economy expands by £2.60.
If the government reduced military spending, increased
corporation tax and clamped down on tax avoidance by
Saturday 31 January 2015
10am–5.30pm, SOAS
in central London
Register today:
Speakers include: Piers Telemacque NUS Vice
President Society & Citizenship
Shelly Asquith President of SUarts
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Francesca Martinez comedian
Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green Party
Lindsey German Stop the War
Sabby Dhalu Stand Up To Racism
Fight for FE – bring back EMA!
By Shakira Martin, President of LeSoCo Students’
Union and NUS National Executive
tudents studying within further education have
been amongst those hardest hit by education
cuts. With major cuts still due to happen within
FE, we need to work hard and in solidarity to protect
and support the students who choose to study
within further education to have successful futures.
EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) for
many students was used to eat and travel with and
ultimately what supported them in continuing their
studies and gaining their qualification.
The government’s decision to scrap EMA hit the huge
numbers of young people studying in FE colleges
that were from deprived, poor backgrounds. It gave
thousands the opportunity to reach their potential
by providing access to education.
Stand up to racism
By Aaron Kiely, NUS National Executive
With the General
Election coming
up it is vital that
the student
calls for a new
EMA – that
helps students
to maintain
throughout their studies while in further education.
For this reason we must continue to fight and work
for the government to properly fund FE, and when
I feel like we are not heard and considered let’s use
our voices and shout a little louder until change is
We need to work today for tomorrow.
Fund education not
s we approach the 2015 General Election the
mainstream political parties are in a race to the
bottom to be the hardest on immigration and
are using racism to distract people from the real causes
of falling living standards – the political consensus on
On Saturday 21 March the United National Anti-Racism
Day 2015, thousands of people will be marching
through central London under the banner of ‘Stand Up
To Racism’. We need students to be there in force.
The financial cost is enormous too. Britain’s military
intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past
decade cost more than £30 billion.
That’s why in the run up to the this national
demonstration, in the first week of February, students
across the country will be taking part in a national week
of action against racism.
We will be organising to say no to Islamophobia,
anti-Semitism, attacks on international students and
institutional racism. Get involved and play your part in
standing up to racism.
By Fiona Edwards, Stop the War National Officer
e are living in a period of permanent war. The
wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have led
to huge death and destruction, with millions
of people killed, injured and displaced as a result. The
human cost of these wars is enormous.
In addition Britain is spending £100 billion renewing
Trident and on top of that spends £33 billion per year
on the military. For just a quarter of Britain’s annual
military spending tuition fees could be abolished and
EMA could be brought back.
It’s time the British government changed its priorities
and funded education instead of war, death and
Students Stand Up To Racism – national week of action
Monday 2 – Friday 6 February 2015
Take part in the national week of action by organising an activity on your campus.
For more information contact [email protected]
Fund youth services – stop the cuts
By Piers Telemacque, NUS Vice President Society &
or many young people, youth workers are not just
youth workers. They are our friends, mentors, role
models, social workers, and for some kids, the closest
thing they have to someone who listens, empathises and
cares about them and their needs. They encourage young
people to do well and prosper in education.
For many people the youth service provided their first
trip outside their hometown. It's where young people
can discuss liberation and equality issues, because to be
frank the schools are too damn scared to touch them.
I know many young people who wouldn’t imagine they
could ever be successful. Yet through the skills and
opportunities youth services provide they’ve made a
success of themselves and are putting back into their
The reality is that austerity Britain is failing too many
young people. I know for a fact that it's the youth
workers that consistently pick up the pieces and
End the student
housing crisis
Shelly Asquith, President of Students’ Union
University of the Arts
ccess to education is being stalled not just
by fees, but by a vicious housing crisis.
Every year students are dropping out or not
applying altogether because of the growing rents
in university accommodation; the lack of provision
in Further Education and exploitation in the private
help repair damage. If no one was there to provide
that safety net then the long term effects would be
devastating. That’s why I’m leading the campaign for
statutory youth services that are well funded for all.
Lobby your MP to support the Youth Service Early Day
Motion here:
This year, following years of privatisation at UAL,
our campaign forced a change in strategy to make
halls more affordable. Rents were rising by as much
as 60% in year, with few checks on the quality of
rooms. Occupations and demonstrations led to our
management committing to ending the outsourcing
agenda and bring all new halls back under University
control: affordable and accountable.
Isolated campaigns are not enough though – we
need to build a national campaign for housing.
Demands should include a return of housing
officers with the power to cap rents and prosecute
bad landlords, and an end to arbitrary letting agent
fees. Institutions should be legally required to
offer guarantorships to international students and
others in need; and the Government should allow
students to access Housing Benefit in the summer
We need strong housing campaigns on every
campus, and an NUS that is not afraid of running
an offensive against the greedy landlords and rogue
estate agents profiting from our debt. A student
movement can beat the housing crisis locking
students out and win an education that is free for all
- no matter what our background.
Register your FREE place here:
Sam Fairbairn,
People’s Assembly Against Austerity Secretary:
“Austerity has done exactly what is was supposed to;
made the richest richer at the expense of the poorest in
We want to build a loud, active and vibrant
student movement, which puts the demands
of the student movement on the political
map in the weeks leading up to the General
Election. From days and weeks of action to
creative stunts and peaceful direct action
– we want to organise and coordinate the
fight back to defend students.
We need to create permanent opposition to any government
who remains committed to policies of cuts and privatisation.
That’s what the People’s Assembly is committed to do, but to
create this movement we need everyone to get involved. We
Come along to the Student Assembly Against
have local groups up and down the country organising
National Convention on Saturday 31
events and activity to demand the alternative and
help us build a student movement
campaign for a fairer, more sustainable future.
that cannot be ignored.
Join us...”
Speakers include:
National Day of Action
Against the Autumn
Wednesday 3 December, on campuses nationwide
eorge Osborne will be giving the Autumn
Statement on 3 December. He will claim that
austerity is working – but we know it isn’t.
Students are facing a cost of living crisis, colossal
student debt and enormous cuts to education and all
the vital public services we rely upon.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Join the Student Assembly
Against Austerity’s national day of action to demand
free education and an end to austerity – no ifs, no buts!
More info here:
Student Assembly Against
Austerity National
Saturday 31 January 2015, 10.00am – 5.30pm, SOAS in
central London
Where next for the student movement? –
Campaigning for free education & against austerity
into the General Election May 2015.
n Jeremy Corbyn MP
n Francesca Martinez, comedian
n Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party
n Shelly Asquith, President of University of the Arts
Students’ Union
n Sam Fairbairn, People’s Assembly Against Austerity
n Piers Telemacque, NUS Vice President Society &
n Shakira Martin, President of LeSoCo Students’ Union
n Lindsey German, Stop the War
n Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up to Racism
n Aaron Kiely, NUS National Executive
n More speakers to be confirmed
Set up a Student Assembly
Against Austerity on your
The Student Assembly Against Austerity is the student
wing of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
We exist to bring together all students that wish to
campaign for free education, against tuition fees,
a lifetime of debt, cuts to education and the broad
austerity offensive which represents the biggest assault
on ordinary people for generations.
Since we launched, just one year ago in November 2013,
we successfully led a campaign to stop the government
selling off the student loan book to private companies.
We’ve been at the heart of the coalition organising the
national demonstration for free education.
Already dozens of local Student Assembly groups have
been set up on campuses across the country – why not
set one up on your campus?
Contact us on [email protected]
to help and advice in setting up a Student Assembly
on your campus.