In an interview with the Mancunion student newspaper (5 Nov), National Union of Students President Liam Burns says of the 2010 siege of Millbank Tower that “occupying a locus of power is not a disproportionate response to the trebling of fees”.
This is a welcome progression from the outright condemnation of his predecessor, Aaron Porter. But Burns also says that he has planned the 21 November NUS demonstration to bypass Millbank and avoid anything similar. He is worried about “the danger of violence”.
During the November 2010 demonstration against £9k tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA, some 2,000 students stormed the Conservative Party headquarters.
It is often the role of more thought-out activists to advise restraint or discipline in the face of police provocation, to shield people from unnecessary arrest, or on occasion to stop them doing something stupid and counter productive.
However, Millbank was not that. Mr Burns should probably concern himself more with building a coherent fight against the ruling-class decimation of public education and less about sending his full-time staff out on a moral crusade against “vandalism”.
The NUS demonstration will assemble at 11 am in Temple Place and will march to Kennington Park. For more info, see here.
Michael Chessum has won the University of London Union (ULU) presidential election.
Michael is a co-founder and leading activist of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). He won 770 votes to his nearest rival Will Hall’s 513.
Hall is a Tory councillor in Henley.