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

Wednesday, 28th June 2017

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NUS Women’s Campaign backs the call for a 2012 national demo against fees & cuts ahead of NUS National Conference

16th March 2012

Next month (April 2012) up to one thousand student representatives from across the country will meet in Sheffield for the NUS National Conference to decide the next steps for the student movement.

Top of the agenda at this year’s conference will be whether or not the NUS should lead a united, national campaign against cuts, fees and privatisation by organising a first term national demonstration.

Last year the vote for a national demo was extremely close, with anti-cuts students narrowly losing the motion by 15 or so swing vote. With the Tory-led government charging ahead with attacks on students it is clear that the fight to defend education is far from over. And there is no doubt that whether or not NUS should organise a national demo will be a key dividing line at this year’s national conference.

The NUS Women’s Campaign, which represents millions of women students nationally, has made a decisive intervention this week, which could swing the vote at next month’s NUS Conference.

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The Cuts Are Affecting Disabled People, But Only We Can Shape Our Future

18th November 2011

This is a guest post from Matt Bond who sits on the NUS NEC as the Disabled Students’ Campaign 2nd place rep.

Fifteen months ago as the Tory-led government took office I remember sitting in the living room of my old flat shuddering, thinking about what would lay ahead for disabled people. I knew of course the assurances that were coming out of the mouths of Cameron and other assorted Tory malcontents about making sure the most vulnerable in society would be protected from the cuts was nothing but bile.

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Progressive Students vow to take on the Tories – report from our conference

31st October 2011

How to build the fight back against the Tories’ attacks on students and the majority of society was discussed at the Progressive Students Conference, organised by the Student Broad Left and the National Black Students’ Alliance.

Student activists from over 20 colleges & universities rallied at the University London Union on Saturday 22 October to hear from a broad range of speakers including Guardian journalist Gary Younge, award-winning comedian and UK Uncut activist Josie Long, author Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn MP, student leaders and representatives from progressive campaigns and struggles.

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Taking on the Tories – join NUS Liberation Officers fighting the government’s reactionary agenda

13th October 2011

The NUS Black Students’ and LGBT Officers are urging students to join this year’s Progressive Students Conference to discuss how we can fight back against the Tories’ assault on students.

Vicki Baars (NUS LGBT Officer) and Kanja Sesay (NUS Black Students’ Officer) will be speaking alongside many other student leaders and campaigners including Jeremy Corbyn MP, Josie Long (comedian & anti-cuts activist), Kate Hudson (CND), Owen Jones (author of ‘Chavs’) and Aaron Kiely (NUS NEC).

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Progressive Students Conference 2011: STUDENTS FOR A PROGRESSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE TORIES

20th September 2011

Student Broad Left is proud to be co-organising the Progressive Students Conference 2011 alongside the National Black Students' Alliance on Saturday 22 October at the University of London Union (ULU).

The conference will be an opportunity for students from across the country to come together to discuss the progressive alternative to the Tories' policies of cuts, reaction and war - we need peace, equality and education for all. Check out our broad range of speakers and sessions below.

Register in advance today by emailing your name and unviersity to info@progressivestudents.co.uk. Read more

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Disabled people fight back against Tory cuts

11th May 2011

The Tory-led government claims that "we are all in this together." In reality Cameron and Osborne are attacking the most vulnerable in our society hardest, whilst protecting the most well-off at the same time.

Today saw the largest demonstration of disabled people in British history march past Parliament. Thousands of people joined the protest against the Tory cuts to benefits and public services that will see disabled people suffering the most.

Below we reproduce an excellent article published on the Guardian's Comment section today.

Disabled people are marching for our lives

By Sue Marsh

Today, sick and disabled people are taking their protest against cuts to parliament. The Hardest Hit march will bring together charities, individuals and online campaign groups to show politicians that we are united and committed. We have one clear message: "You are not protecting the most vulnerable."

Far from it, in fact. Sick and disabled people will lose £9bn in vital support over the lifetime of this parliament. That's a colossal 10% of George Osborne's entire £89bn deficit reduction plan. Some studies have found that it will cost the disabled a full third of our incomes. Incapacity benefit is being phased out and the much tougher employment support allowance (ESA) is disqualifying 93% of claimants from long-term support. Disability living allowance is being scrapped and replaced with "personal independent payments", which will disqualify a further 20% of the most severely disabled.

Mobility payments for vulnerable adults in social care will no longer be paid, in effect leaving them housebound. The Independent Living Fund has been abolished, which allowed just 21,000 of the most profoundly disabled people to live in their own homes rather than going into institutional care. Access to work payments have been cut, making it harder for sick or disabled people to work. ESA will be limited to one year's duration, meaning those with progressive or degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's, kidney failure, heart or bowel disease, MS and cancer will have just 12 months to find work before they lose vital support.

And on top of all these cuts, sick and disabled people face the same hardships as everyone else – higher fuel and food costs, the rise in VAT, housing benefit cuts, and a reduction of public services.

Some of us can't speak to object. Others don't even know what is being done in their name. For everyone who makes it to London, there are 50, 100, maybe 1,000 people at home who are too unwell or too disabled to attend. Some are simply too frightened and worry that by attending at all, the government will conclude that they are "fit for work" and cut off their benefits.

The government would love people to believe that the only losers are "scroungers" and "skivers". The protest will give the lie to that: it is about the dignity of those in genuine need.

Our protest probably matters more to us than any other group who have been affected by the government's austerity measures. The truth is, we are still largely invisible. Whenever a politician or journalist lists "swingeing cuts" they never mention us. When thinktanks and focus groups ask what should be done about equality, they don't include us. When business leaders and entrepreneurs talk about aspiration or flexible working, we are the very last people they mean.

To them we are a problem to be solved, a burden. We are a drain on productivity and an uncomfortable reminder that sickness or disability can come for anyone, at any time.

Well, with this march we hope to show that we are so much more than that. Some of us will climb impossible mountains to be there, proving that we can achieve anything. Those of us who can't attend will blog or use Twitter and Facebook to make our case. Social media has opened up a whole world of support and access, and has allowed groups like The Broken of Britain to win hearts and minds in a way that would have been impossible before. We will show you our endless resilience and our great strength – surely they are attributes we can all value?

The Hardest Hit march is about reminding our politicians that dignity is a right: that much of what they aim to take from us is enshrined in the law of basic human rights.

And we must speak out. There is no one else willing to do it. All the main political parties – Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat – support ESA and the chaotic shambles of assessment it relies on. All turn away when we say that most claimants are in genuine need. They all believe that time-limiting ESA for those with lifelong, degenerative conditions is appropriate. We are completely disenfranchised, and all we can do is fight for ourselves.

Consider this, though: some of us have been fighting for our very lives since the day we were born. We have fought for diagnoses and we have fought for the right to effective medications or treatments. We have fought discrimination and abuse, hate crime and poverty. If we've made it this far, and we are able to make it to London or make our points online, then I know we can win the right to dignity.

The Tory cuts are anti-women

3rd March 2011

Siobhan Bligh, member of Sheffield University Labour Club, explores the impact of Tory cuts on women.

If the Tory party is no longer actively sexist, it’s possible to argue that the outcome of their attack on public services has been proven to have a sexist outcome. The Fawcett Society cites independent data, which shows that women are going to be disproportionally affected by the cuts in public services. Read more

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NCAFC Conference 2012: important steps forward for the anti-cuts student movement

3rd February 2012

The National Conference of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) took place last weekend at Liverpool Guild of Students. The conference provided the opportunity for anti-cuts activists to come together and plan strategies for taking on the Tories’ ideological assault on education and wider society. The conference was by no means perfect, but a number of progressive policies were passed which should provide the basis for creating a more inclusive, representative, diverse and effective anti-cuts force within the student movement which is also better equipped with arguments to smash the Tories’ claim that “there is no alternative” to cuts.

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Ask Tory Mayor Boris Johnson why he won’t debate his support for anti-women cuts

11th November 2011

Tory Mayor of London Boris Johnson is refusing to join a debate on ‘Women in London’ hosted by the Fem 11 Conference tomorrow. The debate will be attended by other Mayoral candidates for the 2012 elections and 1,000 people.

The NUS Women’s Campaign is urging students to tweet at @mayoroflondon asking him why he will not join the other candidates at the only hustings especially on women’s issues. We suggest you add in the hashtag #sackBoris to your tweets.

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FINAL AGENDA: Progressive Students Conference 2011

21st October 2011

img src="http://studentbroadleft.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Progressive-Students-Conference-20111-114x150.jpg" alt="" title="Progressive Students Conference 2011" width="114" height="150" class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1962" /> Final agenda for the Progressive Students Conference 2011  Read more

Say no to misogyny on campus – support Portsmouth’s Women’s Officer

3rd October 2011

Tomorrow Portsmouth University Student Union will be debating whether or not to keep the Athletic Union’s ‘Naked Calendar’ after pictures of women students that were pictured in it ended up on pornographic forums where they have been viewed and commented on thousands of times.

Becky Gardner the Women’s Officer of Portsmouth University Student Union has been leading a campaign to have the ‘Naked Calendar’ banned.

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Sack Ken Clarke for trivialising rape says NUS Women’s Campaign

18th May 2011

The Student Broad Left strongly urges activists to join the NUS Women's Campaign in calling for Ken Clarke to be sacked for his disgusting plans to reduce sentences for rapists who please guilty.

Surely the Justice Secretary should be looking at how to address the appallingly low conviction rate for suspected rapists in this country instead of reducing the punishment for those who are convicted! Email David Cameron now to insist Ken Clarke is sacked: https://email.number10.gov.uk/ Read more

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Love Music Hate Homophobia

12th April 2011

By Vicki Baars, NUS LGBT Officer (Open Place) - guest article

Vicki Baars: NUS LGBT against fascism

The rise of the fascist British National Party is a threat to all oppressed communities in the UK, and LGBT people are no exception.

Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, may gloat that he has made his party more “gay friendly”, but this is nonsense: he has used BBC platforms to state that he finds gay couples “creepy”, and the BNP’s former director of publicity stated that “AIDS is a friendly disease because blacks and gays have it”. This quote perfectly highlights the importance of uniting the LGBT and Black communities in opposing fascism. Read more

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LGBT History Month starts today!

1st February 2011

Today marks the first day of the seventh annual LGBT History Month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month was initiated in 2005 by Schools Out (an organisation that campaigns against LGBT discrimination in education) in the wake of the abolition of Section 28, the Tory amendment that prevented the “promotion of homosexuality in schools” for 15 years. In reality the amendment created the invisibility of LGBT people within schools and created an environment where homophobia, biphobia and transphobia were allowed to run rampant. Read more

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