Thousands of Students Took Part In The Anti-Austerity March In Manchester
Yesterday saw a large demonstration of 60,000 people protesting against austerity and cuts in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is currently being held. Among those 60,000 were students from all over the country as SUs rallied to fight against the government’s plans to replace maintenance grants with loans.
Shelly Asquith, NUS Vice President Welfare spoke about why students were taking this opportunity to protest.
“Students are taking to the Tory Conference to show our opposition to their policies which are cutting people out of education.
“High rents, no grants and the deportation of international students – the list of discriminatory policies is endless.
“Until the government cease to impose attacks on students, we will not cease taking action – in Manchester, in Westminster and on our campuses across the UK.”
The Student Assembly Against Austerity planned a number of events in Manchester.
This included the student bloc of the main demonstration, which took place on Sunday 4th October, and was attended by 1,300 students according to the facebook event. They also have a “debt-in” against the plans to scrap grants. This event has just over 200 people attending.
A spokesperson for the assembly said: “The government’s plans to scrap maintenance grants represent a massive attack on the poorest students.
“Students are already facing mortgage sized debts, the highest tuition fees in Europe and a chronic cost of living crisis causing widespread student poverty.
“The Tories’ plans to burden the poorest students with an extra £10,000 worth of debt by scrapping maintenance grants is simply outrageous.”
Various Students’ Unions were present during Sunday’s demonstration.
The Conservative Party Conference is being held between Sunday 4th October and Wednesday 7th October.
All photos provided by Emily Carter, a photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University.