On November 4th, Swansea University Students Union will be travelling to London amongst several other students union across the country to voice our opposition to proposed cuts and current barriers to education. This year, students are being attacked from all sides by the Conservative Government. From scrapping Maintenance Grants, planning to raise tuition fees and making brutal funding cuts to Adult & Further Education; to the increased deportation of international students. It is time to fight back. Everyone has a role to play in this. Everyone has different skills, knowledge and things to contribute towards making this demonstration a success.
This demonstration has been called in response to the most devious attack on education in decades. Following the lack of response from the diplomatic effort of writing to members of parliament with the #CutTheCost campaign, we need to have direct action on the streets and show the Government that we will not fall victim to this attack.
We need to stop expecting that being polite will stop these changes; instead, we will demand Free Education that is accessible for all, without barriers or borders.
The demonstration has been organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, a network of student and education worker activists launched in 2010. Since then, the NCAFC has supported students up and down the country as they organise action against tuition fees, education cuts and wider cuts to public services.
This demonstration is not just about opposition to the tuition fees or the plans to increase it. It's about the scrapping of maintenance grants which will heavily impact students from lower-income backgrounds. It's about the freezing of the loan repayment threshold, which will affect women at disproportional rate. This is about the junior doctors and Nursing students seeing cuts in their pay and increase in their working hours. It's about the cuts to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) that will create barriers to students with disability accessing education. It's about making a stand against the continued exploitation of international students as cash cows and the Islamophobic Prevent agenda, which racially-profiles and treats students like suspects.
We have seen across the sea the amazing student movement in South Africa who have stood and campaign for their fees to fall. Change is not impossible. We should not sit quiet and let our institutions be changed to the damage of our education and that of future generations to come. The national demo is not about who has the biggest placard, it's about all of the work that goes into building a movement in the run up and afterwards.
Let us come together in a powerful, peaceful, inclusive show of unity to demonstrate to the conservative government that we want a new vision for education. Education is a right, not a privilege and we must ensure that everyone has the equal ability to exercise this right. #SeeYouOnTheStreets