Students aim to oust lawmakers

LONDON (Morning Star) – The National Union of Students will launch a campaign today to oust all Liberal Democrat MPs from Parliament.

The campaign aims to build on last Wednesday’s successful mobilization of 52,000 protesters against plans to raise the cap on higher education tuition fees to £9,000 (about $14,500) a year.

Seizing on searing anger from students following the Lib Dem’s U-turn on pre-election promises to oppose tuition fee rises, the NUS has now called on its members to target Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his party colleagues.

NUS president Aaron Porter said the campaign would aim to force out Lib Dem MPs who break their pre-election pledge to oppose any rise in tuition fees.

Students will not target MPs who have promised to vote against the policy, such as Tim Farron, who has just been voted Lib Dem president.

Sheffield Hallam University’s student union president Caroline Dowd said the 1,000 students at the university were prepared to take to the streets to gather names for a petition and there would be a protest outside Mr. Clegg’s constituency office on Thursday.

The news follows a pledge by unions to forge closer ties with students in the wider anti-cuts resistance movement, while police continue to target students caught up in Wednesday’s violent scenes.

Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley said: “Unite and other trade unions are fully committed to linking up with the broadest range of other groups, including students, to make the government change its mind.”

RMT union general secretary Bob Crow added: “The political and chattering classes have seriously underestimated the public mood and RMT will work with students, pensioners, communities and our fellow trade unionists to build the strongest possible co-ordinated and peaceful resistance in the coming months.”

Around 57 people have been questioned in connection with Wednesday’s riots when protesters stormed the Tory headquarters.

A 23-year-old man suspected of throwing a fire extinguisher at police from the roof of the Millbank tower has been released on police bail.

Police Federation representatives have called for the culprit to be charged with attempted murder.

This article is reposted from Morning Star.

Photo: A scene from the Nov. 10 London protest by 52,000 British students against tuition hikes. (National Union of Students)