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Friday, 23rd March 2018

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NUS VP HE Usman Ali: ‘Vote YES to a national demo’

We are delighted that NUS VP Higher Education and Presidential hopeful Usman Ali is fully in support of NUS organising a national demo to defend students in the autumn of this year.

All of the candidates running to succeed Usman as VP HE next year – Al Hussein Abutaleb, Michael Chessum, Sophie Richardson and Rachel Wenstone – are also backing a first term national demo against fees, cuts, student debt and privatisation.

Usman Ali, NUS Vice President Higher Education said:

“We have a Government that claims to want to put “students at the heart of the system”. Let’s be straight up about it, it’s really about markets being at the heart of the system. The effects of this will be wide-reaching, damaging, and destructive to the social mobility agenda. In November 2010, we showed that our movement can be heard. One of my proudest moments in the student movement was my role in leading 52,000 students on the streets of London to voice our opposition to the Government’s HE reforms.

“And once again, we must make our presence felt on the streets of London, mobilise students around the country into action and bring courage home. We must unite and rally together, both locally and nationally. I have always been, and remain, massively in support of local and regional demonstrations and other forms of action. But we need a mindset shift – not to simply question the decisions like failed pledges within Parliament – but be powerful and daring in pushing for more accountability and transparency of the British political system itself. Not just focus on why politicians lied to us and let us down but actually look at why they actually were allowed to be able to get away with their ‘broken promises’.

“The student revolutionaries in Libya and Tunisia told me they fought for their democracy, and how we as a movement need to ensure we use the democracy and rights that we already have. That resonates with me looking back at my last two years in NUS, and at what we can achieve in the year ahead. Now with the same spirit we shall fight to improve our democracy. This Conference, I will be calling proudly for an Autumn National Demonstration. I hope you can join me and we bring democracy home.”

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