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

Friday, 23rd March 2018

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Left wins NUS President – defend Malia, defend NUS

29th April 2016

Malia President speech Student Broad Left report of NUS National Conference 2016 – by Fiona Edwards and Aaron Kiely (Student Broad Left Secretary and Co-Convenor)

Last week’s NUS National Conference was historic. Malia Boauttia was elected NUS President - the first Black woman and the first Muslim to win this position in NUS’ 94 year history. It was also the first time since 1969 that an incumbent President lost their re-election.

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Unite Against Fascism National Conference: Welcome refugees – unite against Islamophobia, racism and fascism

3rd February 2016

UAF Conference

Come along to the Unite Against Fascism National Conference on Saturday 6 February.

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Report of Progressive Students 2015: building a fighting student movement to take on the Tories

20th October 2015

The Progressive Students Forum 2015

On Saturday 10 October 2015, the Progressive Students Forum brought together leading student activists and campaigners to discuss the ways in which the broad left in the student movement can build a movement that takes on the Tories and opposes their agenda of austerity, racism, bigotry, climate change and war.

In the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning and historic election victory in becoming leader of the Labour Party, it is clear that there are huge opportunities for the left to put forward a new kind of politics and win mass support. This sense of optimism made for a very upbeat and productive Progressive Students Forum.

The Forum was attended by over 60 students from 24 university and college campuses and was organized by the Student Broad Left. You can join the Student Broad Left here.

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Join the Student Broad Left – build a progressive, fighting student movement

30th September 2015

Free education

The Student Broad Left is a network of left activists campaigning for a progressive student movement – join us today to help us to strengthen the fightback against austerity, racism, bigotry, climate change and war. Join here today.

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5 reasons to back Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader – let’s take on the Tories!

6th August 2015

Jeremy for Labour Leader

There is only one week left to left to register as a Labour Party supporter so you can vote for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour Party. You can register online as a supporter here - it only costs £3.

Student Broad Left activists outline 5 reasons to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.  Read more

Report of NUS Conference 2015: Left victories mark start of a new era for the student movement

1st May 2015

By Aaron Kiely (NUS NEC) and Fiona Edwards (Student Broad Left Secretary) free education national demo 2015  NUS National Conference 2015 saw massive victories for the left, with delegates electing the most left wing leadership team for more than three decades. This is a turning point for the student movement, marking what will hopefully be the start of a new era, with an NUS that plays a leading role in the fightback against austerity, racism, climate change and war. There is a real opportunity, for the first time in more than a generation, to realign the student movement with the labour movement and all progressive campaigns after decades of students being isolated from these struggles. The prize for the left – leading a movement of 7 million students to fight for a better education system, a better society and a better world – is huge. So we shouldn’t expect those on the right wing of NUS, who have run the organisation for decades, to accept this change in leadership without a fight. Left unity is crucial to entrench this victory and set NUS onto a new path. NUS: for free education, for a free Palestine and against racism This year’s NUS National Conference was dominated by left wing politics both on and off the debating floor of the Conference. Last year the left won a landmark shift in NUS’ policy on education funding – ending 20 years of support for students paying tens of thousands of pounds for higher education through tuition fees or a ‘graduate tax’. A new a policy for free education was voted through instead with around 55% support. Over the past year the Student Assembly Against Austerity, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Young Greens have organized a big movement for free education including a 10,000 strong national demo. This new movement, inspired by Germany’s decision to scrap tuition fees last year, has received huge attention in the media and has won huge support for free education on campuses across the country. As a result at this year’s NUS National Conference the policy for free education was passed with a 90% majority – and it was left to the outgoing NUS President lead a tiny minority in voting against free education. Shakira and Sahaya NUS NC15 The crucial question of whether or not NUS should organise a national demonstration for free education and against student poverty was not debated at the Conference due to deliberate time wasting by the outgoing right wing leadership of NUS. If the motion had been discussed it would have passed overwhelmingly. Four of the new NUS Vice Presidents (out of a leadership team of six) signed Shakira Martin and Sahaya James’ statement in support of NUS organising a demo in advance of the Conference, alongside over 150 prominent national and local student activists. Now the decision to call a national demo will be made by either the NUS National Executive or the NUS Full Time Officer team – and the left has a majority on both of these decision making bodies. A massive NUS national demo for free education and against student poverty in the autumn term is on the cards. Black Lives Matter The importance of students taking on the rising tide of racism was another central theme of Conference. Motions on fighting institutional racism in education, as well as combating Islamophobia, attacks on immigration and anti-Semitism were passed almost unanimously. Big anti-racist fringe meetings took place at the Conference organised by FOSIS & the NUS Black Students’ Campaign and another one by Stand Up To Racism – the organisation which mobilized 15,000 people onto the streets in March for UN Anti-Racism Day. Whilst the issue of Palestine was not discussed in the motions debate due to lack of time, hundreds of delegates wore ‘Free Palestine’ badges and Palestinian student from Gaza, Malaka Mohammed received a very warm response from delegates when she made her Block of 15 election speech. NUS’ policy in support of Palestine will be discussed at the next NUS National Executive meeting, where it is likely to pass with a significant majority. The left breakthrough and win majority of NUS leadership The left scored a massive electoral advance at the Conference – now holding 4 out of 6 of the Vice President and President leadership positions. Last year the left won 1 of these positions, so a 400% increase in one year is a stunning achievement. The fact that 21% of the Conference was Black – the culmination of more than a decade and a half of the NUS Black Students’ Campaign fighting to increase Black representation in the student movement – and also that over 50% of the Conference was women thanks to the introduction of gender balancing measures this year, had a huge impact on making this Conference representative, diverse and progressive. All of the left candidates won their elections on a platform of a fighting NUS that takes on austerity and racism and that champions free education and liberation. These victories take place against a backdrop of a youth and student radicalization in society – from the biggest pro Palestine demonstrations in British history last Summer to the new movements for free education, #BlackLivesMatter as well as a significant growth in the Fossil Free campaign, there has been an upturn in struggle over the past few months. Team Shakira NUS NC15 Shakira Martin, newly elected NUS Vice President Further Education, led the left at Conference. From rallying the left in advance of the Conference on the question of NUS organising a national demo for free education and against student poverty to making the main speech for free education in the debate, she set out what the key dividing lines in NUS were and defeated the outgoing NUS leadership on these key issues. Shakira’s speech was incredible – and very left wing, rallying the whole conference for free education, for strong FE representation, against education cuts, racism, war and climate change. Shakira’s left wing leadership unquestionably boosted support for all of the other left candidates. As a result Shakira won the NUS VP FE position with a huge mandate of 64% - defeating both Labour Students and an independent left leaning candidate that stood. The left also won NUS Vice President Higher Education, with Sorana Vieru getting 51% of the vote. Labour Students received 30% and Hattie Craig from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (also a left wing candidate) got 17%. With Sorana’s new left wing, pro free education, fighting leadership, there is a real opportunity to transform the debate about education funding, after years of NUS capitulating to tuition fees and a graduate tax. Shelly VP Weflare Shelly Asquith, leading campaigner for free education, affordable housing and liberation, won NUS Vice President Welfare with 58% of the vote. This provides a huge opportunity for an NUS that seriously tackles the cost of living crisis and the disgusting wave of racism, as politicians seek scapegoats for their failing economic policies. Piers Telemacque received a huge mandate, getting re-elected with 71% of the vote. Piers blazed a trail last year, winning NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship against the odds. Over the past year Piers has fought for free education, well funded youth services and against racism in the face of huge pressures from within NUS. Now that Piers is surrounded by allies instead of opponents on the NUS leadership team we can expect even more from him this year. Unfortunately the right wing maintained the positions of NUS President and NUS Vice President Union Development. In the case of VP UD, the left’s candidate Abdi-aziz Suleiman ran a brilliant campaign, with ideas that would have helped to transform NUS. Abdi got 42% of the vote. In the Presidential election the right wing candidate won with 60% of the vote. Unfortunately the left did not put forward a strong candidate for this position. If the left had of put forward a uniting candidate, with a record of opposing war and racism, as well as supporting free education, the left could have taken NUS President this year. Instead Beth Redmond from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Alliance for Workers Liberty stood, gaining 29% of the vote. But 11% of the Conference voted to Re-Open Nominations because of the Alliance for Workers Liberty’s involvement in orchestrating a huge witch-hunt of Black students on the NUS NEC this year, claiming that their opposition to the bombing of Iraq meant they supported ISIS terrorism – a smear that hit the headlines from The Sun to The Daily Mail. Alongside this the Alliance for Workers Liberty have also supported the Islamophobic cartoons printed by Charlie Hebdo earlier this year – another reason why so many Black and anti-racist delegates voted for RON. In the elections of the NUS National Executive (Block of 15) the left also made significant strides forward. This year the left won 10 out of 15 places – up from the 7 places we won last year (2014), which was up from the 4 places we won in 2013. One place was won by Student Broad Left and the Young Greens, four places were won by FOSIS, two by NCAFC, one by an NUS Women’s Committee member, one by an independent left Sabbatical Officer and one anti-war activist from the RS21 current. The Block of 15 results clearly show the plurality of the student left, making the need for unity essential if we are to maximize our impact. The NUS now has the most left wing leadership it has had for 30 years – and it is crucial that left wing student activists get behind our new Vice Presidents Shakira, Sorana, Shelly and Piers to translate these electoral victories into action to defend students and fight for change. Defending NUS democracy – stop the right wing fightback The right wing leadership that have run NUS for more than three decades are not going to accept a radical new leadership without a fight. We already know that one part of their fight back is going to take the form of a ‘governance review’. Now that the right wing forces in NUS have lost a control of the NUS National Executive and the NUS National Conference, we will suddenly hear talk of how these bodies are ‘inaccessible’ and ‘undemocratic’ and proposals will be put forward to diminish the influence of them. This is simply a cynical attempt to destroy and undermine spaces where the left now hold a majority (after years and year of the right wing dominating). Any governance review which takes place when the left doesn’t hold the crucial positions of President and Union Development, will be used to attack democracy and push back the advance of the left. Having a governance review now would be a distraction from the fightback we need to launch to reverse the attacks on education, it will be hugely costly and it will only serve the interests of the right wing forces in NUS that are pursuing this. It is true that the NUS structures need reform to increase democracy and participation, but we do not need a governance review to achieve this, and certainly not a governance review organized by the right wing of NUS. Building a fighting student movement After decades of internal struggle, NUS finally has a leadership fit for purpose. Now the hard work begins: the left must work together to transform NUS into a national union that fights austerity and the racist scapegoating that accompanies it. This is not going to be an easy task. For some sections of NUS many years have passed since the last time they even produce a poster or a leaflet, never mind led a campaign demanding anything of the government. The role for student activists building campaigns and movements on a campus level has never been more crucial. The newly elected left wing Vice Presidents of NUS need a huge movement behind them if we are going to have a chance of winning anything. That means building vibrant local Student Assembly Against Austerity and anti-cuts groups, thriving campus Liberation Campaigns, bringing together coalitions to root out racism, dynamic grassroots movements for Palestine and against climate change, as well as the left getting together to win the leadership of every single Students’ Union in the country. We are now just one week away from the General Election and our chance to throw out this disgusting Tory-led government. Whatever the outcome of the Election, we need to build a powerful, vibrant and progressive student movement that makes our demands clear. People's Assembly The next step is to build a massive student presence on the People’s Assembly Against Austerity national END AUSTERITY NOW demonstration on Saturday 20 June. Let’s use this as a springboard for a new wave of student action to demand a better world free from austerity, racism, climate change and war.   Get active! Join the People’s Assembly Against Austerity national demo in central London on Saturday 20 June. Ends with a free music festival - come and join the student bloc. Get involved with the Student Assembly Against Austerity today. Set up a group on your campus – contact today. Join the Student Broad Left – a national network of left wing student activists. We stand for a fighting NUS – against cuts, racism, imperialism and war.

Students Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & fascism – National Demo Sat 21 March!

17th March 2015

Join Student Broad Left in standing up to racism on the national demo against racism, Saturday 21 March 2015. Below we share an update from the Student Assembly Against Austerity, which is organising the student bloc for the demo.

Stand Up To Racism

Come and join the Student Assembly Against Austerity on the big national demonstration against fascism, Islamophobia and the far right on Saturday 21 March.

Students from over 40 campuses are mobilising to join thousands of anti-racist campaigners in a national protest to mark UN Anti-Racism Day 2015.

Saturday 21 March 2015 Assemble 12pm BBC Portland Place, Central London Organised by Stand Up To Racism

Join the main facebook event here. Join the student bloc here.

Dozens of coaches are coming to the demonstration from across the country - for a full list and details on how to book a seat click here.

As the next generation we will be marching for a future free of racism.

We will not allow politicians and the media to blame immigrants for an austerity crisis caused by the greedy bankers.

We are part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement – we demand justice and an end to institutional racism.

We stand united against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

We stand in opposition to racist stop and search and attacks on our civil liberties in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

We stand for a multicultural society – migrants are welcome here!

Campuses mobilising for the demo include:

London Metropolitan University SU University of the Arts London SU Lewisham College SU Sussex University SU King's College London SU Gloucestershire College SU LSE SU Wolverhampton University SU Birmingham Guild of Students Kingston University SU Salford University SU Birkbeck College SU SOAS SU Goldsmiths College SU Westminster University SU Essex University SU Kent University SU Roehampton University SU Clapton Girls Academy NUS London Brighton University SU University of Gloucester SU Plymouth University SU Sheffield Hallam SU University of West London SU Warwick University SU Prendergast Sixth Form Leeds University Union Chesterfield College SU City and Islington College SU Portsmouth High School Woodhouse College SU University of Bath SU Brunel University SU Greenwich University SU University College London SU

Get in touch if you want your college added to the list of those mobilising for the demo! Email

See you at 12pm this Saturday outside the BBC! Look out for the big Student Assembly Against Austerity banner. HOW TO FIND THE STUDENT BLOC ON THE DAY: the student bloc for the Stand Up To Racism demo will be assembling from 11.45am at the junction of Duchess Road and Great Portland Street (which is very near BBC Head Quarters at Oxford Circus).

Here is a googlemap of where we are meeting up.

We want to make sure that we have a loud, vibrant and awesome student presence on the day. Look out for the HUGE Student Assembly Against Austerity banner on the day if you are having any difficulties finding us.

Demonstrate – No to Fascist Marine Le Pen at the Oxford Union! Oxford Union – rescind the invitation!

4th February 2015

No platform to Le Pen

Protest outside Oxford Union - Thursday 5th February - No to Fascist Marine Le Pen!

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NUS Conference 2016: vote for a fighting student movement that takes on the Tories, austerity and racism

23rd March 2016

Shakira Martin

At this year’s Conference it is crucial that the left maintain and aim to increase these huge advances we made last year – with the election of four (out of six) left wing NUS Vice Presidents as well as a winning a majority of the NUS National Executive.

Since that massive breakthrough for the left the student movement has been increasingly active, with NUS leading campaigns against cuts, racism, climate change and more. We’ve got to keep up this transformation!

Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, the Labour Party is taking the fight to the Tories on the need for an alternative to austerity. We need a progressive student movement that links up with and supports this left wing leadership of the Labour Party, as well as support all progressive movements and campaigns.

Read this article to find out who Student Broad Left is backing in the NUS Vice President and President positions at this year's Conference.

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Join the national demo for free education – save our grants!

29th October 2015

Free Education demo 2015

On Wednesday 4 November, thousands of students will be marching through the streets of London to demand free education and to oppose the Tories’ latest attacks on education.

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Agenda: Progressive Students Forum 2015, Saturday 10 October

7th October 2015

The Progressive Students Forum 2015

Progressive Students Forum 2015 Fighting the Tories – to end austerity, racism, climate change and war Saturday 10 October | Student Central, London

Register your FREE place here. Invite your friends to the facebook event.

The Progressive Students Forum 2015  Read more

Progressive Students Forum 2015: fighting the Tories, austerity, racism, climate change and war

30th September 2015

The Progressive Students Forum 2015

Join the Student Broad Left on Saturday 10 October for this year’s Progressive Students Forum to discuss how we can build a movement to take on the Tories, austerity, racism, climate change and war.

Book your FREE place here.

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It’s fightback time! Taking on the Tories, austerity, racism and war

10th May 2015

The result of the General Election – a Tory majority government – comes as a nasty shock. The overwhelming majority of the electorate did not vote for the Tories – but all are going to suffer the consequences of another 5 years of Tory rule. Only by building a massive, united movement against austerity, racism, war and climate change will we have a chance of blunting and stopping the Tories assault and then kicking them out of power.

Join the fightback against the Tories

The first step is to make sure that the People’s Assembly Against Austerity’s national demo on Saturday 20 June is absolutely massive. The Student Assembly Against Austerity is coordinating the student bloc – join the facebook event here. It is vital we mobilise a big, vibrant and visible presence of students to this demo.

With the Tories going it alone in government we know exactly what to expect. More nasty, destructive cuts to the things ordinary people care about – the NHS, the welfare state, education and public services.

Join the People’s Assembly in on Saturday 20 June in the heart of the City of London, right on the doorstep of the very people who created the crisis in the first place, the banks and their friends in Westminster. Let’s demand that the bankers and the elite should pay for the crisis and not the vast majority who had nothing to do with it.

Now is the time to get organising, to mobilise our communities, to prepare transport and spread the word. We need to do all that we can to make this demonstration bigger and bolder than ever we have done before.

Transport is being arranged from across the country – check out the People’s Assembly and the Student Assembly websites for details.

The Student Broad Left is a network of left wing student activists campaigning for an end to austerity, racism, war and climate change – for free education, equality and social justice. We have been at the heart of building a fighting, progressive student movement, including by playing a key role within the Student Assembly Against Austerity. Join us today here.

Join the fightback against the Tories

NUS Conference 2015: Support a fighting, left wing student movement

13th April 2015

Fighting student movementNext week, almost 1,000 students will descend on Liverpool for NUS National Conference 2015. At this year’s Conference there is a real opportunity for the left to make serious gains in the elections for Vice President and NUS National Executive positions. Student Broad Left is backing the following candidates, who all stand for a student movement that fights for free education, against racist scapegoating and all discrimination and for international peace and justice: Shakira Martin for NUS Vice President Further Education Piers Telemacque for NUS Vice President Society & Citizenship Shelly Asquith for NUS Vice President Welfare Abdi-aziz Suleiman for NUS Vice President Union Development Sorana Vieru for NUS Vice President Higher Education Sahaya James #1 for NUS National Executive (Block of 15) Malaka Mohammed #2 for NUS National Executive (Block of 15) Dwayne Foster #3 for NUS National Executive (Block of 15)  Read more

NUS Conference Model Motions 2015 – free education, anti-racism, Palestine and climate change

17th February 2015

NUS National Conference

Here are some model motions for NUS National Conference 2015. We are supporting the Student Assembly Against Austerity’s model motions on range of issues from free education to opposing racist scapegoating and we have also drafted a two other important motions on Palestine and climate change.

NUS National Conference 2015 takes place in April and is the place where next year’s policies and priorities for the national student movement are decided.

Every Students’ Union has the right to submit policies – and every student has the right to put forward policies you want your Students’ Union to be putting forward.

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