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Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) have announced their full support for the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Demo 2012 protest, to be held in Central London on Wednesday Week 7. Ste Smith, LUSU President stated that he feels that it is “really important that collectively, as a group of unions across the country, we group together to fight for things we believe in.”
A motion recommending that LUSU support the protest was heard at the first Union Council of the academic year, which is the lead policy making body of the Union. The motion was originally due to be heard at the inquorate General Meeting in Week 1. Due to the fact that quoracy of 200 attendees was not met, all the motions and discussion points were instead heard at Union Council.
The NUS have announced that the march covers three subjects: education, employment and empowerment. They are calling for “a properly funded tertiary education system, accessible to all, in which all students are properly supported and encouraged – so that anyone with the ability and aspiration to study has the opportunity to do so.” Liz Ashworth, LUSU VP Activities had this to say about the impact for students, it is “really important that collectively, as a group of unions across the country, we group together to fight for things we believe in.”
The route for the march ignores the City of London and the West End. Instead, the march will begin at the Temple and head along Victoria Embankment. It will continue over Westminster Bridge, through Lambeth and Vauxhall, ultimately ending up in Kennington for a rally in the afternoon.
The demonstration comes two years after the NUS’ Funding Our Future march in November 2010, which was marred by violent scenes at 30 Millbank, the building that housed the Conservative’s party campaign headquarters. Around 200 people occupied the building, leading to bonfires, smashed windows, and the arrest of 35 demonstrators.
When asked why Smith mandated the FTO officers to attend the demonstration he had this to say, “officers are elected to represent the views of students. We voted, collectively, to go on this demonstration. All the officers should also represent those views. People may say they’re not the views of our students. if they’re not, then why did the elected representatives vote for it? I can understand that people may have personal gripes with it, and that’s fine.”