Below is a statement regarding the upcoming NUS National Conference.
The anti-racism anti-fascism motion that the NUS Black Students’ Committee submitted to National Conference is at risk of not being discussed – this would be unprecedented for NUS.
In the 20th anniversary year of the murder of Black student Stephen Lawrence, and with fascists attempting to get on to our campuses – it is vital that our movement discusses these important issues that affect the welfare of millions of our members.
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Anti-racism must be discussed at NUS National Conference – please sign the statement
We note that David Cameron is whipping up racist scapegoating of immigrants and Black communities to cover up for the failure of his government’s austerity policies which are making people poorer and destroying our public services.
It is totally unacceptable that the NUS risks being silent on the issue of anti-racism at this year’s National Conference.
It is vital that NUS takes a position on challenging racism because one in five students are Black, meaning the rise of racism is a serious welfare issue for over 1 million of NUS’ members.
NUS must also plays its role in opposing fascism which threatens the welfare of all Jewish, Black, Muslim, LGBT, women and disabled students.
The NUS Democratic Procedures Committee has taken the unilateral decision to move the policy debate on anti-racism and anti-fascism from the Welfare Zone to the Society and Citizenship Zone. As a result of this maneuver, anti-racism has been put at the bottom of the Conference agenda instead of the top and it is therefore unlikely that there will be time to discuss how the student movement takes on racism at the Conference.
We the undersigned call upon the NUS Democratic Procedures Committee to return the ‘Challenging Racism and Fascism on our campuses and in our communities’ motion to the Welfare Zone where it was originally submitted by the NUS Black Students’ Committee to ensure this important issue is discussed at NUS National Conference 2013.
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* Aaron Kiely, NUS Black Students’ Officer & NUS Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Co-Convenor
* Malia Bouattia, NUS NEC (Black Students’ Rep) & NUS Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Committee
* Vicki Baars, NUS Vice-President (Union Development)
* Abdul-Azim Ahmed, NUS Wales Black Students’ Officer
* Aisling Gallagher, NUS-USI Women’s Officer & NUS Women’s Committee
* Matt Stanley, NUS NEC & President, MidKent College Students’ Union
* Roshni Joshi, NUS NEC
* Gary Paterson, NUS Scotland NEC & Communities Campaign Convenor-elect, NUS Scotland
* Zahid Raja, NUS Wales NEC & Education Officer & President-elect, Swansea University Students’ Union
* Keryn Jalli, NUS Wales Black Students’ Committee & Black Students’ Officer, Swansea University Students’ Union
* Lani Baird, President, Aberdeen College & FE Rep NUS UK, Scotland LGBT Committee & FE Rep-elect, NUS UK Womens’ Committee
* Selina Clarke, NUS Black Students’ Committee (Disabled Rep)
* Yusuf Molade, NUS Black Students’ Committee (Further Education Rep)
* Pippa Georgeson, NUS Disabled Students’ Committee
* Jess Bayliss, NUS LGBT Committee
* Ginger Drage, Trans* Rep-elect, NUS Women’s Committee
* Kirat Raj Singh, VP Education & Welfare, Birmingham City Students’ Union & NUS Welfare Zone Committee
* Candice Armah, President-elect, Brighton Students’ Union
* Becca Anderson, Sabbatical President, Gateshead College Students’ Union
* Charlotte Britton, Welfare Officer, Swansea University Students’ Union & NUS Wales Executive, NUS UK Welfare Committee
* James McAsh, President, University of Edinburgh Students’ Association
* Adnan Pavel, Vice-President (Media & Campaigns) & Student Governor, London Metropolitan University Students’ Union
* Syed Rumman, Vice-President (Education), London Metropolitan University Students’ Union
* Ashley-Patson Aryee, President & Trustee, Oxford Brookes Students’ Union
* Jen Izaakson, Editor, London Student
* Al Hussein Abutaleb, Black Students’ Officer, Sheffield Students’ Union
* Tom King, Secretary, Student CND & LGBT Officer-Elect, SOAS Students’ Union
* Amberine Khan, Women’s Rep, Queen Mary Students’ Union
* Kara Stubbs, LGBT Officer (Women’s Place), Kent Union
* Rayhan Uddin, Anti-Racism Officer-elect, LSE Students’ Union
* Henry Parkyn-Smith, LGBT+ Campaigns Officer, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union
* Ross Speer, NUS Delegate, LSE Students’ Union
* Stef Newton, Stop the War Society, Goldsmiths College Students’ Union
* Max Shanly, Young Labour Regional Representative for the South East
* Robert Eagleton, Cardinal Newman College Student Union
* Tomas Evans, University and Community Forums, Cardiff University Students’ Union
* Francesca Manning, Kingston University
* Michelle Brown, Lancaster University Students’ Union
* Owen Jones, author of ‘Chavs’ and columnist for ‘The Independent’
* Zita Holbourne, Co-founder, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
* Lee Jasper, Co-founder, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
The full text of the motion reproduced in full:
Challenging racism & fascism on our campuses and in our communities (ordinary motion)
1. Racism is a scourge in society, including on campuses, that needs to be opposed.
2. The far right mobilisations, such as the fascist English Defence League’s (EDL) violent protests and the fascist British National Party (BNP) are a threat to society.
Conference further believes:
1. NUS must actively campaign against racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the far right as these are dangers which threaten the welfare of millions of our members.
2. The BNP is a fascist organisation which stands for an “all white Britain”, a goal which can only be achieved by violence, the annihilation of entire groups of people and the ending of democracy.
3. BNP leader Nick Griffin and fascist Andrew Brons are standing for re-election to the European Parliament in 2014. It’s a national priority for the student movement to stop fascists from winning MEP seats by mobilising the progressive majority to vote.
4. The student movement must never give a platform to fascists because fascism seeks to eliminate free speech, democracy and annihilate its opponents and minorities.
6. The lesson of the 1930s was that the Nazis used violence to gain power and carry out a Holocaust. They slaughtered millions – in the gas chambers and concentration camps – of Jewish people, Eastern Europeans, communists and trade unionists, Romani, LGBT and disabled people.
5. Giving fascists a platform in the student movement destroys the safe spaces our campuses must be for Black, Jewish, Muslim, women, LGBT and disabled people.
1. To actively challenge racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and fascism on our campuses and in our communities.
2. To campaign for no platform for fascists within NUS or in our Students’ Unions.
3. Launch a massive student voter registration drive as part of campaign to get Griffin and Brons out of the European Parliament in 2014.
4. Reaffirm our support for NUS organising an annual Anti-Racism/Anti-Fascism Conference and providing adequate resources for this work.
5. Continue working with Unite Against Fascism, Searchlight, One Society Many Cultures and Love Music Hate Racism.