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

Wednesday, 28th June 2017

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Stop Trump Day of Action – unite against his agenda of hate and division

20th February 2017

No Trump

Today tens of thousands of people are taking part in the national day of action against Donald Trump and the proposed State Visit.

For the details of the Stop Trump and One Day Without Us national day of action page click here. In addition to other actions across the country, thousands of people are expected to turn out for a rally this evening in Parliament Square from 5pm.

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Agenda ‘Students For Jeremy Corbyn: fighting austerity, racism and war’ – Progressive Students Forum 2016

12th October 2016

students-for-jeremy-corbyn

Check out the agenda for this year's Progressive Students National Forum taking place on Saturday 15 October from 10.00am - 5.30pm. This year's overall theme is 'Students For Jeremy Corbyn: fighting austerity, racism and war'.

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National demo: Stop Bombing Syria! Sat 12 December

11th December 2015

Stop the war

Join Stop the War's national demo on Saturday 12 December to say STOP BOMBING SYRIA. Assemble at 12noon outside the BBC, near Oxford Circus tube station.

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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

Statement: Students of Britain and Ireland in solidarity with Venezuela

31st March 2015

US go home

Student leaders in Britain and Ireland stand in solidarity with Venezuela, against US aggression.

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43 Disappeared Students in Mexico meeting

19th February 2015

Public meeting on human rights in Mexico following the disappearances of 43 students.  Read more

No to Trump’s racism & bigotry: protest his inauguration

16th January 2017

Oppose Trump and his racism protest Join Stand Up To Racism’s protest outside the US Embassy in London on the day of Trump’s inauguration as President of the US – Friday 20 January at 5pm. Check out the facebook event here.   Read more

Students join the Stop Trident national demo

3rd February 2016

Student CND

Student Broad Left is supporting a major national demonstration called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to Stop Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

We will be joining Youth and Student CND, the Student Assembly Against Austerity, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and Stop the War on the student bloc of this demonstration to say: Fund Education Not Trident, we want Books Not Bombs.

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Protest: Don’t bomb Syria! Saturday 28 November 2015

26th November 2015

Protest - dont bomb syria

Stop the War Coalition are organising a protest against the bombing of Syria outside Downing Street from 12 – 2pm this Saturday 28 November.

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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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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 info@thestudentassembly.org.uk 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.

Sinn Féin Árd Fheis – Sinn Féin will deliver a future for Young People

13th March 2015

By Joe Dwyer, Liverpool University On Friday and Saturday (06-07 March) Sinn Féin hosted their annual Árd Fheis [Conference] in the City of Derry. This location holds particular significance for Irish Republicans as Derry saw a central role in the northern conflict. In the 1960s the City cradled the non-violent Civil Rights Association, an alliance of moderate Irish Nationalists, Republicans and radical students, who mobilised against the conservative and sectarian Stormont regime. In January 1972, Derry was the site of ‘Bloody Sunday’ – an infamous day which saw the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment of the British Army enter the Irish Nationalist Bogside and proceed to shoot 26 unarmed civilians. Tragically 14 died - 7 of whom were below the age of 21. Many called the Civil Rights Association the 15th casualty of Bloody Sunday as the north swiftly descended into a long protracted conflict. Unsurprisingly, this difficult past was prominently recognised at the Árd Fheis – but so too was the vibrancy and positivity of Derry today. The Army watchtowers are now gone and today the City is seen as exemplary for its management of cross-community relations – a fact manifested by a Loyalist Bands Forum addressing one of the Fringe Meetings. The City tangibly exhibits the progress that has been made under the Peace Process and was accordingly a fitting place to hold Sinn Féin’s national Árd Fheis. Irish Youth and Student politics was well represented by the large number of young delegates. The weekend’s debates and discussions saw many excellent contributions from the Party’s youth on a wide range of topics. Numerous motions were passed expressing the Party’s continued desire to represent and deliver for the needs of young people. Motion 74 commended the Party’s Youth Guarantee Document ‘Youth Matter’s: Not for Export’ and called for a continued commitment to seriously address the current youth unemployment crisis and the social exclusion that results from it. While Motion 135 criticised the recent threat made by Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment & Learning, to cut University places in the 6 Counties. The Árd Fheis also condemned the consistent cuts to the Third-Level Education Sector in the 26 Counties and re-affirmed Sinn Féin's commitment to publicly-funded Third-Level Education north and south. Senator Kathryn Reilly, Sinn Féin's Spokesperson on Youth Affairs, gave a rousing speech in which she slammed that the current Fine Gael-Labour coalition Government in the south for showing an: “entrenched distain for disadvantaged, marginalised young people.” She said young people in Ireland deserved: “far more than just zero hour contracts and precarious employment. […] What they deserve is paid work, decent work, a living wage and most importantly: they deserve respect.” And concluded that: “We need a future for young people and we in Sinn Féin can - and will - deliver that future for them.” This was met with loud cheers and applause from the floor – demonstrating that Sinn Féin is a party which proudly embraces intergenerational solidarity. The weekend saw many international guest speakers appeal for co-operation between progressive-left movements. The Greek Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos spoke of SYRIZA’s solidarity with Sinn Féin and its opposition to austerity. While the former South African Minister and member of the National Executive of the ANC, Sue Van Der Merwe praised the high quality of debate from the younger delegates, commenting during her address: “I’d like to say at this point how impressed I have been particularly with the younger people who have taken this platform – they have articulated their arguments with passion and maturity – and it would seem to me that Sinn Fein’s future is in very good hands.” The spirit of the weekend was perhaps best summarised by Martin McGuinness MLA, who said that: “The youth, the energy and the determination in this Árd Fheis is palpable.” Anyone looking for more information on the Sinn Féin Árd Fheis can go here where they can find videos of the weekend’s proceedings and read through the motions and procedures.