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

Friday, 23rd March 2018

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For left unity in the NUS elections 2015

Student Broad Left supports the creation of a united left, anti-austerity, anti-racist slate for the NUS elections which take place at National Conference in April 2015. We will be working hard, in discussions with other prominent left groups in the student movement, to achieve this goal because we believe that our enemy is the right wing not each other and that united together we can have a powerful impact.

Unity is strength NUS banner

The Tories austerity agenda has had a brutal impact on ordinary people – students are no exception. 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. Student Broad Left supports the strongest, broadest and most determined resistance to this assault.

Those waging the attacks want us all to be divided so that the opposition to austerity is weak. The left must try to ensure they are unsuccessful and that the movement against austerity is united.

Sadly, whatever the result of the General Election in May 2015, it is likely the next government will continue the enormous austerity offensive – with the three main Westminster political parties all signed up to implement more cuts.

It is clear that the current NUS leadership is not in favour of opposing the massive attacks on students – as the disgraceful move to pull support for the free education demo and attempts to undermine Students’ Unions and student activists mobilizing for the demo last month attests.

Only the left is offering a way forward – for a fighting NUS that actively defends students against cuts, fees and attacks on our living standards.

This term the left succeeded in putting left unity into practice. The Student Assembly Against Austerity, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Young Greens worked together to organise the 10,000 strong national demonstration for free education – the biggest student protest since tuition fees were trebled in 2010. It is vital that this unity is continued into the NUS National Conference in April 2015 to ensure the left has the greatest possible impact and puts up a serious challenge for the leadership of the student movement.

Student Broad Left supports the creation of a single united left slate to bring together all those that want a fighting NUS that actively defends students against austerity and the Tories assault on education.

We believe that those groups and individuals that have played a leading role in the student movement over the recent period should all be included on a single united left slate. Specifically those student activists that have played a key roles in the fightback against austerity – whether that is organising the free education national demo, defending local youth services facing the axe or taking action against the student housing crisis. Those students that played a central role in organising the 100,000 strong national demonstrations against Israel’s assault on Gaza over the summer. And those students who have consistently campaigned against the rising tide of racist scapegoating in society.

To this end we are keen to work alongside representatives from a broad range of campaigns and movements, including the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

Left unity maximizes the left’s chances in the elections for NUS President and the five Vice Presidents, where right wing candidates are generally favourite to win but not unstoppable if the left unites and runs a powerful campaign.

It is a total waste of time for the left to stand against each other in full time elections in NUS, a case that the Student Broad Left has consistently put forward. A divided left only lets the right wing off the hook and makes it much less likely that the left can win. We need a united front to turn NUS into the fighting national union that students deserve.

A united left slate that represents leading campaigners from the main groups fighting austerity, fees, racist scapegoating, climate change and for free education and a free Palestine in the student movement, stands the best chance of making maximum gains in the NUS elections 2015.

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