Thousands of students, including protest groups, are gearing up for a mass demonstration which will take place through the streets of London tomorrow calling for free education across England and Wales.
Organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), the group said protesters will march under the slogan ‘FREE EDUCATION - NO BARRIERS, NO BORDERS, NO BUSINESS’ after the Government recently announced plans to abolish maintenance grants, instead, turning them into loans.
The NCAFC said the move will leave the poorest students in ‘more and more debt’ after years of fee increases, calling the Government’s move a ‘concerted attempt to turn higher education into a market system, run like a business, with more and more provision privatised and outsourced’.
Deborah Hermanns, who is involved in the campaign with the group described, how the fight for free education will not end once the demonstration is over. She said: “We are not just marching for one day and for the abolition of fees. We are building a movement which can strike to win, just as other movements all over the world have won.”
Backed by the National Union of Students (NUS), the NCAFC said the protest is also backed by Unite the Union and will be attended by students from over forty campuses, adding how it has also been personally endorsed and promoted by Jeremy Corbyn.
A similar march late last year attracted more than 10,000 protesters. Tomorrow, though, the NCAFC has highlighted how the march will begin at 12pm on Malet Street - the former University of London Union - and will pass by key points across the capital including Parliament Square. the Home Office, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
As well as calling for free education, the group added how the march will also highlight the rights of migrants and international students who face an ‘increasing and constant surveillance and intimidation, as well as financial exploitation’.
Speaking of the election of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Hope Worsdale, of Warwick for Free Education, said: “Students will be keeping him to his promises of free education and pushing him to promote free education not just for home students, but also for those from outside the UK.”
For more information on the NCAFC and its work, visit the site here
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