#Demo2012: NUS' Vicki Baars Apologies After Bonfire 'Death Chants'

21/11/2012 11:01 | Updated 21 November 2012

The National Union of Students' vice president has apologised for suggesting "offensive" chants for Wednesday's student protest, including one calling for Lib Dems and Conservatives to be burnt to death.

Vicki Baars encouraged students to shout "Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the Tories on the top, put the LibDems in the middle and burn the f***ng lot!", contrasting with the NUS' president's call for a peaceful march.

Baars sent an email with the chants on Monday evening from her official NUS account, saying "not all of the chants will be to everyone’s tastes," according to Aber Student Media.

One described David Cameron as a "w****r", while another said: "lets show these condem b***s the true meaning of class war".

The vice-president was heavily criticised on Twitter by angry students, prompting her to issue an apology, including one who tweeted:

Baars' email contradicts Liam Burns' insistence the protest would be a peaceful one. The NUS president said in an interview earlier this month: "I think we’ve done everything we can to negate violence. All of our students' unions are quite clear about this being a peaceful demonstration.

"I think we've set the tone right.

"When you start smashing windows, causing vandalism and harassing people, it’s not Nick Clegg or David Cameron who’s going to come down and clean that up. It’s cleaners that work in the building and we’re trying to claim that we’re fighting to get their kids into uni."

According to Aberystwyth's student media, Baars apologised for "any offence caused", adding she: "completely [took] on board that the partisan nature and the references have the potential to be misconstrued".

Rory Mitchell, vice president of Loughborough students' union, tweeted:

While Billy Marsh, chair of Loughborough University's student Conservative society added: "Vicki Baars should apologize or resign for that childish chant, no one needs to be burn for their political affiliation."

Burns is already having to contend with the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) group, who is dismissing plans for a peaceful protest and threatening to march on parliament, after describing the #Demo2012 rally as "too tame".

Ben Meakin, president of Aberystwyth University students' union, condemned her actions. "Promoting violent demonstration is highly inappropriate from a national officer, especially given what happened in 2010," he said. "I’m glad Vicki has now apologised for this reckless email."

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