National Union of Students (NUS) president, Aaron Porter, made an important U-turn last Saturday and pledged NUS’s support for student occupations and direct action.
Porter, speaking at the UCL university occupation in central London, said, “For too long the NUS has perhaps been too cautious and too spineless about being committed to supporting student activism.
“Perhaps I spent too long over the last few days doing the same.”
This is an important development and Porter didn’t want to be left behind and become completely irrelevant to the growing student movement.
However, he stands by his comments slamming the Millbank protests as “mindless violence”.
The rank and file student movement must continue to set the pace and not be held back by those on the right and the conservative elements inside the NUS.
On Tuesday it seemed Porter had already backtracked on his promise of the NUS providing “financial, legal and political aid for all current and future occupations.”
He has refused specific legal advice to the Cambridge occupation, arguing that NUS can only offer general legal advice about occupiers’ rights, rather than legal support for individual occupations.