For a fighting NUS – against cuts, racism, imperialism and war

Tuesday, 23rd September 2014

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Fighting cuts, racism and war: key motions for NCAFC Conference 2012

The Student Broad Left is proposing a number of motions, alongside a broad range of student leaders, at the forthcoming National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts Conference taking place this weekend (28/9 Jan 2012) in Liverpool.

Below we share three important motions: ‘We need a fighting NUS to take on the Tories’; ‘Fund Education Not War – Scrap Trident, Scrap Fees’; and ‘No to racist scapegoating – we need unity in fighting cuts and racism’. We strongly urge activists attending the event to support these motions.

We need a fighting NUS to take on the Tories

Conference believes:


1. The Tories’ cuts agenda is having a devastating impact on students and education.
2. On a national level the NUS has let students down by failing to organise any actions or initiatives against the government’s assault on students and education since its pathetic ‘glow stick’ vigil mourning higher fees over a year ago in December 2010.
3. That the fight to defend education is not over: NUS must do more to lead the student fight back against cuts – including by organising national demonstrations, protests, lobbies of parliament, petitions, media work and more.
4. Significant numbers of students are prepared to continue the fight against the government’s attacks on education, even without the leadership of NUS, as the 10,000 strong national demonstration in Autumn 2011 shows.
5. Even larger numbers of students could be mobilised to defend education if the NUS took the leading role.

Conference further believes:


1. Within the student movement the organisations that have played a prominent role in actively defending education include: the NUS LGBT Campaign, the NUS Black Students’ Campaign, a number of Students’ Unions particularly the University of London Union (ULU), the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, the Education Activist Network (EAN) and the Student Broad Left (SBL).
2. That NCAFC should work with the organisations listed above to form a united challenge to the current NUS leadership at the forthcoming NUS Conference, including a united slate for the full time officer positions and a joint campaign for NUS to organise a national demonstration against the cuts in the Autumn term.

Conference resolves:


1. To actively campaign and lobby for NUS to call a first term national demonstration in 2012 against cuts, fees, high interest on student debts and privatisation, to unite the student movement.
2. To work with the NUS LGBT Officers, NUS Black Students’ Officer, the leadership of ULU, EAN and SBL to organise a united anti-cuts slate for the NUS National Conference 2012 and to campaign alongside these groups at the conference to win the vote for NUS to organise a national demo.

Proposed by: Student Broad Left

Fund Education Not War – Scrap Trident, Scrap Fees

Conference notes:


1. According to the Treasury, by mid 2010 Britain had spent more than £20 billion on the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of Britain’s war on Libya last year totalled £2 billion.
2. The cost of renewing Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system has risen to £100 billion.
3. Government figures show that it would have cost just £2bn per year to abolish tuitions fees, before they were trebled.
4. Over the past decade hundreds of thousands of young people have been active in the movements against war and for global peace, from opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to calling for an end to Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

Conference believes:


1. Whilst the government is cutting billions of pounds from education and trebling tuition fees, it remains committed to wasting billions of pounds on war and nuclear weapons.
2. The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have been a waste of money and a waste of lives. One million dead in Iraq and hundreds of thousands killed in Afghanistan – and at the cost of billions of pounds to the British taxpayer.
3. There are dangers of new wars being launched by the Western powers in the Middle East – the United States and Britain are particularly turning their attention to Syria and Iran. These wars will bring even more death and destruction to the Middle East and could cost the British taxpayer billions of pounds.
4. Britain should withdraw troops from Afghanistan, scrap nuclear weapons and refrain from launching new wars in the Middle East, against Iran and Syria. This would save billions which could be used to fund education and other public services facing the axe.

Conference resolves:


1. For the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts to work with the Stop the War Coalition and Student CND to campaign for the British government to change its twisted spending priorities and fund education not war, to scrap Trident and scrap tuition fees.
2. For the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts to send an open letter to the Foreign Secretary William Hague proposing that the government end the war on Afghanistan, refrain from launching new wars in the Middle East and use the money saved to fund education and other public services. To publish this letter on the NCAFC website.

Proposed by: Sean Rillo Raczka (Vice President ULU), Fiona Edwards (Student CND), Kanja Sesay (NUS Black Students’ Officer), Vicki Baars (NUS LGBT Officer), Shadia Edwards-Dashti (Student Stop the War), Nathan Sparling (NUS Scotland LGBT Officer), Aaron Kiely (NUS NEC), Stef Newton (UCL LGBT Officer & NCAFC Committee), Ben Hayes (La Swap College anti cuts group Chair), Calum Sherwood (Bristol Labour Students Co-chair) and the Student Broad Left


No to racist scapegoating – for unity in fighting cuts and racism

Conference believes:


1. In order to minimise rising anger to the Tories’ economic policies of slash and burn, politicians are seeking to divide and rule the 99% by scapegoating and blaming Black people, Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers for the economic crisis caused by the bankers and government ‘austerity’ policies.
2. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has been leading the charge with high profile attacks on multiculturalism and immigration. His aim is simple – distract and confuse ordinary people from the real causes of rising unemployment, deteriorating public services and falling living standards to weaken opposition to his government and its cuts agenda. He wants to blame the Burka not the bankers!
3. Across Europe – including Britain – there is a significant rise in Islamophobia and racism, and the far right continues to mobilise. The fascist British National Party secured 1 million votes at the last General Election and the racist and fascist English Defence League have continued to organise violent, anti-Muslim ‘protests’ in 2012.
4. If the Tories’ succeed in scapegoating Black people, Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers for their attacks on ordinary people the movement against the cuts will be undermined: we need a united movement against cuts which makes no concessions to racist scapegoating.

Conference further believes:


1. The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts must increase the involvement Black students in the leadership of the campaign.
2. 1 in 5 students in Britain is Black, a total of 1 million.
3. Black students are not only disproportionately affected by the cuts to education but also suffer from attempts to scapegoat Black people for the economic crisis.
4. In the interests of strengthening and broadening the anti-cuts movement all white NCAFC platforms should be avoided where possible because they are not representative of the student movement.

Conference resolves:


1. To raise the slogans ‘No to cuts and racist scapegoating’, ‘Blame the bankers not the Burka’ and similar anti racist slogans in our campaigning.
2. To mandate the incoming National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts National Council to ensure that there are Black representation on all NCAFC platforms in the future where possible.
3. To publicise the forthcoming Unite Against Fascism Conference on Saturday 24th February on the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts website.


Proposed by: Kanja Sesay (NUS Black Students’ Officer, Vicki Baars (NUS LGBT Officer), Aaron Kiely (NUS NEC), Sean Rillo Raczka (Vice President ULU), Stef Newton (UCL LGBT Officer & NCAFC Committee), Ben Hayes (La Swap College anti cuts group chair), Shadia Edwards-Dashti (Student Stop the War), Calum Sherwood (Bristol Labour Students Co-chair) and Fiona Edwards (Student Broad Left)


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