March for the Alternative | This Saturday

Hi All,

Today, UCU members are on strike in opposition to the damaging cuts in education. NUS has worked closely with UCU throughout our campaigns to oppose Government cuts and stands in solidarity with their strike action.

On Saturday 26 March thousands more trade union members, students and the public will join together in central London to oppose the catastrophic cuts happening across all sectors in the UK. Will you be joining us?

Timings and Transport
The March for the Alternative is taking place in central London on Saturday 26 March.The march will form up from 11am on Victoria Embankment and leave for Hyde Park around noon. The rally will begin at 1.30pm and finish around 4.30pm, with staggered starting points to allow for people to join and leave the rally throughout the afternoon.

If you are travelling by public transport please be aware of delays and congestion due to the sheer number of people expected to attend this event. If you have not already organised transport to London, False Economy are collating spare seats from transport organisers on their website. Click here to go to the False Economy website to see the transport map.

Useful links
March for the Alternative Website
TUC Top Tips for new marchers
Bringing home the cuts – Winner of the TUC video competition
Coach parking is almost full
Women marching against the cuts
Getting home after the rally

We are looking forward to marching in solidarity with those campaigning against the cuts, and we hope to see you there. There isn’t a specific marching point for NUS so we are just gathering on Victoria Embankment, look out for the NUS banner!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email fundourfuture@nus.org.uk or Willow Wood (author of Lemon City III) at willowitch@hotmail.co.uk

In Unity,

Aaron Porter
NUS President

#HelpJapan, Californian fish and let’s rock the kazbah.

I wish I could physically contribute to helping people in Japan. If I did not have final assessment coursework at the moment, I think I would seriously consider flying out there with the Red Cross. I understand many might be fed up of every blog post and report being about Japan, but I can’t stop thinking about it and worrying about people.

My friend Nina’s family is safe for the moment, thank stars [hugs her]. And it’s a relief to hear that Miyabi’s family is also safe. I’ve still heard nothing from Hisako but she does live in Sendai, which has had nearly all of its electrical power blown, virtually no internet and has sparse mobile coverage.  I hear many are staying in makeshift shelters in Kencho municipal headquarters in central Sendai, so I’m remaining hopeful. For the most part, I want to visit Nina and give her a super-big-hug because I don’t think she realises just how awesome and brave I think she is. You’re in my thoughts, crazy-lady.

I’m touched to see many online communities invent creative ways for donating to charity – help_japan on LiveJournal being one. But I’m worried that because of the extensive damage that has happened in Japan it will take months for there to be any improvements, and as with Haiti, I fear people might not remain engaged in the cause for more than two-three months. But who knows just yet?

In other (bizarre) news, the coast of California is full of millions of dead fish. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a long time. There doesn’t seem to be a lot reported on it but here’s a 24-second-report about the matter. It’s worth watching just to go, ‘wtf?’

And the last thing I want to talk about is the demonstration in London on the 26th of March (Saturday next week). If you think you are capable of going, then don’t let anything stop you. These aren’t easy times and people sometimes wonder what good does any of it do? Demonstrations are liberating. If you have never attended one, it might be hard for you to understand how powerful people can be when they work together. Every voice in London next week adds to the impact we can make. Don’t be told it doesn’t work because that’s what the ‘people at the top’ want you to think. They’re scared of us and what we might do if we retaliate to bullshit like, ‘The Big Society’. You, yes you – the person reading this right now – you are vital to making this work. Does that sound cheesy? I don’t give a toss. You’re voice counts and fuck; I want it to be heard. More information and links can be found [here].

Thank you for reading. I hope all is well for you.