Today, 21st November 2012 at 11am, thousands of students and other supporters are expected to take to the streets of Central London, in order to protest against the restrictions and cuts on education, and demand for their voice to be heard.
Starting at Temple Place on the Embankment and finishing at Kennington Park, the campaign was organised last April by the NUS and affiliates from other Universities (including the University of Southampton) and has been named #demo2012.
The three main themes of the demonstration (educate, employ, empower) reflect what the NUS feels are the most important factors in shaping the future prospects of UK youth, and what they perceive as being threatened by current government legislation. Lack of opportunity caused by government cuts to education, as well as widespread youth unemployment across the UK, are just two of the reasons for the demonstration.
The instigation of the coalition government in 2010 brought with it, amongst other things, cuts to funding such as the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and a rise in University tuition fees. In some cases, this has been up to £9000 a year.
Another contentious issue, also implicated as a basis for the demonstration, is the rise in youth unemployment, with up to 1 million 18-25 year olds out of work in the UK.
Perhaps the most important of all three objectives, ‘empowerment’ sees the demonstration as an opportunity for the voice of the student population to be heard and allows numerous impassioned students, from all backgrounds, to exercise their right to democracy.
For news updates, visit http://www.demo2012.org.uk/ and keep checking the Wessex Scene for more information.