Rally today in London expected to attract thousands...

Chumbawamba and satirist MARK THOMAS are supporting thousands of students on a march through London tomorrow (November 18) demanding the restoration of the student grant and the abolition of tuition fees.

The demonstration, which last year attracted over 10,000 students from across the country, is being called by the Campaign for Free Education (CFE) and is backed by students’ unions and trade unions nationwide under the collective banner of United For Free Education. Protesters are assembling at noon at the University Of London Union in Malet Street, London, WC1, before marching to a rally in Hyde Park.

Mark Thomas told NME: “It’s an insult to people who believe education should be free. Tuition fees and the scrapping of grants are just a logical extension of the madness of free markets. The Government and multinational companies think education is a commodity that can be made into a quantifiable substance. The fact that market factors dictate knowledge, and are being allowed to do so, is absolutely fucking mad!


“The idea of paying for education is absurd – you may as well find a private tutor.”

Jude from Chumbawamba said: “Free education is a basic right like food and shelter. We’ll definitely be attending the march.”

Speakers at the Hyde Park rally, which takes place during the European Week of Student Action, include The Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, Tony Benn MP and a student from France who will talk about the effect government cuts have had on education in her country.

Anita Goldsmith, the National Union Of Students Womens’ Officer, said: “When NME ran their ‘Ever Get The Feeling You’ve Been Cheated?‘ front page back in March, the paper, its readers and the pop stars interviewed in the issue made their stand against the Government. We have been cheated – and it’s time to do something about it. We didn’t vote Labour for them to decimate our education.”

More details are available from Campaign for Free Education, PO Box 22615, London, N4 1WT. Tel: 0958-556756. E-mail:

Education: right or privelege? Are you a student? Are you going to the march? If not, why not? Have your say. Post a message on Angst!


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