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ICU to join NUS fees demo

Oct 02 2003 10:29
Nia Stevens
For the first time since 1999, Imperial College Union will be attending the NUS?s annual march in protest against tuition fees on 26th October.
Last year a rumoured 1000 IC students turned out to protest against the College?s policy supporting top up fees.

The decision was made by ICU?s Executive Committee yesterday that despite the Union's non-affiliation to the NUS there will be an official ICU presence at the event and that £2000 will be allocated to supporting this. This money will go towards items such as placards, T-shirts, flyers to publicise the event to ICU members and transport into central London from the Wye and Silwood campuses.

It was felt by members of Exec that since a purpose of the march is to protest against top-up fees and ICU currently has a policy opposing top-up fees it would be appropriate to participate in this national demonstration, particularly since the Government is tabling legislation in this session of Parliament to introduce top-up fees. It was also noted that complaints have been made in the past regarding ICU?s (official) non-attendance.

The march, which has in recent years become an annual event, was in its early years a protest against student poverty but with the introduction of tuition fees became a march against fees.

It is claimed,12757,1039891,00.html that this Government may face its biggest backbench revolt yet over the issue of top-up fees making it one of the hot topics of this year?s Labour party conference. Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have policies opposing the introduction of top up fees and many Labour MPs such as Labour?s candidate for Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron,12757,1038621,00.html, have expressed their opposition to the proposals.

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Discussion about “ICU to join NUS fees demo”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. tom t   
Oct 02 2003 14:10

It's worth noting that the Greens have a similar no fees policy, citing the end of the Trident nuclear warhead capabilities as providing funds (and skilled jobs in other industries) to pay for it.

Doesn't Ken, the man who actually has a chance of winning the mayoral contest, have a position on fees?

Oct 02 2003 17:18

Well it would be nice to think that maybe it might be reported as a NUS affiliated and non-affilliated demo. But it won't. It will all get sucked under the NUS banner. Still, better than doing nothing as in previous years.

Not so sure about the Green party, but they did make a good job of Oxford city center, so I have to give them that.

Oct 02 2003 17:19

PS - I think Mayor Ken is trying to get back in the Labour party and so won't say anything controversial.

Oct 02 2003 18:41

As long as the media concentrate on someone other than Will Straw this year.

5. Nia   
Oct 02 2003 18:59

Zebedee, to be fair if the NUS have organised the demo (which thay have) then reporting it as an NUS demo would seem reasonable.

Oct 02 2003 20:47

true, but they also claim to have set up the no2fees website, which they didn't.

I just get annoyed that from an external perspective the NUS is the voice of all students and all students have a voice in NUS.

You are right in that this is a NUS demo and that it should be reported s such.

But even if ICU got together totally outside of NUS with other colleges and organised a demo it would be still be called an NUS demo.

7. Chris   
Oct 03 2003 00:35

I won't be there. I think regulated post payment is the way forward - much better than pre payment

8. n/a   
Oct 03 2003 18:03

Well, I think regulated non-payment is the way forward.... not post- or pre- or mid-


9. n/a2   
Oct 03 2003 18:53

Hear hear!

10. Chris   
Oct 04 2003 01:16

You need to look out of the box. Someone has to pay for it and unless the s**t places close down or the tax payers change their voting tactics it's gonna be the students. Post payment is a much better option than the current system and I think the only possible comprimise

11. ...   
Oct 04 2003 02:45

I have no problem with the 's**t places closing down', as you so eloquently put it.

I also have no problem with the idea of progressive taxation to fund education and public services adequately.


Oct 06 2003 02:20

The demo is on a Sunday this year. NUS would have done a Saturday, but that breaks NUS' policy... (a long story).

I would like to think that the whole of UL could stick together as one on the march (so that we dont get too much infiltrated by leftie soapboax hoggers and firemen like last year) and someone organise an "after demo" party somewhere...

13. tom t   
Oct 06 2003 08:58

Yes Rob, I'm glad to stick with you and 'infiltrate' UL as a 'leftie soapboax hogger' - better than being infiltrated by that awful NUS scum, what ho old chap?!

You will bring some Conservative FUtures join up forms won't you ;-)

Now let me find the name of that nice brewery...

14. Paul   
Oct 08 2003 21:13

It was a wednesday last year wasnt it? The firefighters and usual rah rah pallestine crew annoyed me, made me realise why marches were ignored.

15. Nia   
Oct 09 2003 10:48

Marches are often ignored. But not always.

E.g. stop the war march in feb caught media attention because as well as "the usual suspects" there were a whole load of people who generally never did this sort of thing. Admittedly this is a bad example in terms of it's (non-)effect on government decisions but it did make life a bit tougher for them - which is about as much as can be achieved.

I suspect that if large numbers of students turned out to protest then it would put pressure on the government in a similar way. Top-up fees is not a popular move (lots of mps and public polls have given it the thumbs down) so if the government can be convinced it's unpopular enough to swing an election (50% of the population going through HE is a lot of votes!) then they may be forced to reconsider.

The other way of looking at it is - if it does end up being just "the usual suspects" and nobody else then that gives a clear message that the students aren't that bothered about it all.

British summer time ends on 26th Oct so you get an extra hour in bed before the march ;-). Who would you choose spend that hour with?

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