Britain  •  Youth

Angry students chase NUS President off demo

06 February 2011

Yesterday over 4000 students, workers and youth took to the streets of Manchester against the Con Dem cuts to EMA, education funding, and the public sector. Official ‘leaders’ of the movement tried to hold back protesters from expressing their anger. But they only showed their increasing irrelevance to the struggle.
Many activists held placards declaring that NUS President Aaron Porter had sold them out and didn’t represent them. They were angry that he had called protesters ‘despicable’ and refused to lend solidarity to many brave examples of direct action taken by students over the past few months.
When Porter tried to sidle his way onto the demonstration, many students were not happy. Hundreds gathered behind a National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts banner and big red REVOLUTION flags yelling “Students, workers, hear us shout! Aaron Porter sold us out!”
He was soon chased off the demonstration he claimed to be responsible for, and had to jog into Manchester Met Student Union, protected by a line of police.
The Tory press have dared to claim that protesters hurled anti-Semitic abuse at Aaron Porter. This is a lie. It was made up to discredit the movement – a last ditch attempt for Porter to save face. The whole story is a complete fabrication.
Sally, a REVOLUTION activist from Leeds, said “ Aaron Porter is not representing students and he shouldn’t be able to get away with it. He needs to see and realise the amount of people who want him out.”
Protesters rejoined the march but organisers had planned a route with police that sent protesters two miles away from the city centre. It wasn’t long before many youth tried to march back to the city, but they were violently attacked by police.
An activist from Leeds, Adam, had his head smashed against a concrete floor, whilst another protester, Erin, had her arm broken.
As cuts start to bite and more and more people come out onto the streets, so the police have become more and more violent using, truncheons, boots and fists to crush defiance. We need to be prepared for these assaults on our movement, and emphasise that when it comes to dealing with police bully-boys, self-defence is no offence.

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