This is our chance to show the tide is turning, writes the NUS' Erica Ramos.
The history of Students’ Unions has always been one of perseverance against the odds, and activism in the face of adversary. For over 100 years, we’ve fought for student rights, an improved educational experience and a fairer and more just society.
I’m proud to be part of that tradition. On Saturday, at noon, hundreds of thousands – led by students and young people – will come together for one of the biggest and most important protests this country has ever seen.
Brexit impacts all of us in so many different ways, but it will be clear on October 19th that we are all united by one thing; that we trust the people of the United Kingdom, not Boris Johnson, to solve this Brexit crisis.
For the students and students’ unions I represent, Brexit has been hanging over our heads for 3 years. EU students – such as myself – have been living in fear and uncertainty. Universities and colleges have been unable to plan ahead. Research projects are being curtailed. Fees look set to rise. Countless vital projects and programmes scrapped or unstable.
Students and young people have always been the ones most likely to hit the hardest by a Brexit-led economic downturn, and to suffer the consequences for the longest.
So it is unsurprising that the overwhelming majority of us voted to stay in the European Union in 2016, and over 75% of students want a People’s Vote.
When I address the crowds on Saturday, the call to action will be clear. In less than a fortnight, the government want to succeed in forcing a Brexit on us which is a million miles away from what he once promised.
And while the people of this country descend on the streets of central London, it looks likely that Members of Parliament will be debating the future of Brexit – in the first Saturday sitting since the Falklands War.
The contrast, between a Prime Minister inside Parliament trying to force his Brexit on the people and the huge crowds of protesters outside Parliament demanding the people have the Final Say, will be one of the most striking visual images of this entire crisis.
And make no mistake, we will make sure we are so loud that MPs won’t be able to ignore us. No one knows what the future will bring. But the past tells an often unsaid truth.
When different parts of society unite; when the young and old, the rich and the poor, north and south come together. We can change the course of human history.
On Saturday, I believe we will.
Erica Ramos is Vice-President Union Development of the National Union of Students and a supporter of For our Future’s Sake.
The march will assemble on Park Lane from 1200 Hrs. From approximately 1230 Hrs, the march proceed through the centre of the capital to Parliament Square where there will be speeches from political leaders, campaigners and people from all walks of life.
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