You may remember the name Aaron Porter. It belongs to the scab who is President of the National Union of Students. He comes in a long line except he has even less charisma than most of his predecessors. And what a line of inheritance!
There is Charles 'deport them back to be tortured' Clarke (who used to be a civil libertarian protesting outside the Hope Office when Meryln Rees deported ex-CIA agent Phil Agree and Mark Hosenball, David Aaronovitch ex-Communist Party renegade and Zionist of The Times, Laura Fitzimmons a nonentity who lost Rochdale for Labour and ended up working for the pro-Israel propaganda organisation Bicom, Stephen Twigg whose only claim to fame is being gay, Trevor Phillips, the uncle Tom who heads the EHRC and who Ken Livingstone described as being to the right of the BNP!, Vicky Phillips, the incompetent head of law at Thompsons who once advised me not to appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which I ignored and won!, Jack Straw of course, Sue Slipman, the Communist who got paid lots of dosh by Camelot, owners of the National Lottery but has otherwise disappeared into obscurity and of course Phil Woollas, whose career ended trying to get White people angry enough to save his seat.
So Porter comes from a distinguished crowd and what he lacks in personality and charisma he makes up for by shouting. Hence when the students occupied Tory Party HQ did he go on TV to explain that this kind of thing will happen when you start starving people and burdening them down with impossible burdens of debt. Did he warn of things to come? No the little scab for once sounded sincere in his anger, directed at fellow students of course.
No help whatsoever has been extended by NUS to those arrested. I have had to find decent solicitors for my daughter and arrange legal aid etc. because NUS has simply abandoned them. If NUS was sincere then regardless of its views on the small amounts of damage caused at Millbank Towers it would have arranged for the legal defence of those arrested and gone on to the offensive. The Police strained every muscle to find the person, as it turns out an under 18 Classics student, who foolishly hurled down from the roof an empty gas cannister (which could easily have injured a fellow student). Porter could have contrasted the police's determination to arrest the person concerned compared with their obstruction, lies and disinterest in the members of the police force who murdered Ian Tomlison, the newspaper vendor, at last year's G20 demonstration. Now that was a crime.
But Porter of course has ambitions. Not to represent his members more effectively but how best to abandon them for a ministerial career.
I wrote to Aaron Porter yesterday about his attempts to obstruct the National Conference of Black Students, on the pretext of there not being enough disabled access. This is the correspondence:
I wrote to Aaron Porter about this and he responded so I include the whole correspondence.
Dear Aaron Porter,
You are not responding to a naive 19 year old at her/his first NUS Conference. I was a member of NUS’s Polytechnic’s Committee for 2 years and a delegate to 13 NUS Conferences. I saw the Charles Clarkes, Aaronovitches and Sue Slipman’s, as well as creatures like Phil Woollas. You come from exactly the same political stable. The idea that your obstruction of the Black Students Conference is on account of your concern for Disabled Students, whilst a rhetorical debating trick, convinces no one. After all, where there is a will there is a way.
You predecessors are notable for only one thing - the consistent pursuit of power and flexibility of principle. That is how we have Clarke trying to deport asylum seekers back to torture and Woollas talking about getting ‘white people angry’.
I am the proud father of a daughter who was arrested at Millband. You have done fuck all to support her and her fellow students. Absolutely shite. Instead you vented your anger on students who weren’t content merely with words but took action. Instead of condemning them, someone with a slightly larger brain would have pointed to the catastrophic effects of government policy in making normally law abiding students do this type of thing and then warned it was but a harbinger of things to come.
But you were more concerned about proving your loyalty to the system. That was the same reason that under your scab leadership NUS alone amongst all unions failed to condemn Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and its murder of 9 humanitarian activists. Your professed concern about violence will therefore be taken with a pinch of salt and your concern for disabled students likewise
From: Aaron Porter
To: tony greenstein
Sent: Fri, 19 November, 2010 17:58:08
Subject: RE: Reopen Registration for Black Student Conference
Setting the record straight
Thanks for your email, and I wanted to reply personally - whilst also including a more detailed response I have included below.
In order for the NUS staff to meet all the requirements with regard to accessibility (special needs of disabled students’ etc), this takes just under 2 weeks. And this rule applies to every single NUS event - the Black Students’ Conference is exactly the same as every other event, and I had infact already accepted 2 deadline extensions.
I hope that you can understand that contrary to Joshi’s email, I’ve actually done everything I can to support the Black Students’ campaign - but I can’t compromise when it comes to access, particularly for disabled students’.
More detailed email below:
As you will all know, the issues that students are facing right now – with cuts, the scrapping of EMA, the AimHigher programme the trebling of tuition fees make this the most serious period for students and NUS in over a generation.
This is why, I was so dismayed to read the misleading and largely inaccurate email distributed on behalf of our Black Students’ Officer, Kanja Sesay earlier this week. It was misleading, deceptive and incredibly disingenuous.
I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight, and correct the misinformation and lies in the email that was circulated earlier in the week.
The email sent by Anil Joshi Sachdeo (on Kanja’s behalf) failed to mention that I had already granted 2 extensions to the registration deadline, and indeed offered all the support I could to help maximise attendance at the conference.
However, when I was approached for a third extension I was not able to accommodate this. It’s not because I don’t want black students’ to organise – infact quite the reverse. The reason I wasn’t able to accommodate this, is because the NUS staff can not guarantee that all students accessibility needs will be met, unless they have a 2 week period to ensure that all delegates have their access needs met. This applies to every single NUS event.
Under no circumstances can I allow an NUS event to go ahead with the needs of disabled students’ and others are put at risk.
Every single NUS residential event, without exception, adheres to this 2 week period to ensure the access needs of disabled students’ and others are met. Infact many other events, have a period much longer than 2 weeks, but I wanted to make sure the Black Students’ Campaign had as much time as possible to mobilise.
I am deeply troubled that I am being asked to jeopardise the accessibility of disabled students’ and others with access needs. This is the only reason why the third extension was not granted, and not for any other reason.
I have no problem with legitimate political criticism. But when I am publically criticised, in a way which is incredibly misleading, unfair and insulting, I had to take this opportunity to respond myself.
More broadly, I would hope that the black students’ campaign would focus it’s attentions on joining the rest of the student movement in fighting the cuts, the scrapping EMA, AimHigher and the proposed trebling of tuition fees.
For that reason, as a member of the Black Students’ campaign, I am utterly appalled that once again the Black Students’ Campaign seems to be more concerned creating an artificial fight with NUS, rather than focussing on the challenges black students face.
I want to use this opportunity to reiterate the fact, that despite Kanja’s email, I do want to work with Kanja, but I am disappointed that he has resorted to playground tactics. But it is so important for us to pull together and actually ensure that the black students’ campaign is focussing on the real issues that black students face – rather than making false allegations about it’s own organisation.
My door is always open, and I hope that the campaign can begin to focus on the key issues that black students face.
From: tony greenstein [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 19 November 2010 14:53
To: Aaron Porter
Subject: Reopen Registration for Black Student Conference
why are you trying to shut down the voice of Black students in NUS. Afraid of something, such as your future career as a New Labour MP being in jeopardy.
You really are the pits. My daughter was arrested fighting for free education. All you do is calculate whether something will benefit your miserable, Phil Woolas style career ahead.
The remarkable and brilliant student action at Millbank has produced some predictable frothing at the mouth from the establishment and right wing press. Cameron has called for the `full weight of the law' to fall on those who had caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage to the expensive decor at Tory party HQ. Responsibility is being placed on `a violent faction', after the march was `infiltrated' by anarchists.
There are an encouraging number of intiatives to show solidarity with the arrested students – something that is vital if they are to avoid the sort of punitive `deterrent' sentences handed out to the Gaza demonstrators. A legal support group has been established and the National Campaign against Cuts and Fees has started a support campaign. Goldsmiths lecturers union has publicly commended the students for a `magnificent demonstration' .
This is all much needed, as the establishment is clearly on the march with this one. The Torygraph has published an irresponsible and frenzied `shop-a-student' piece and the Met are clearly under pressure to produce `results' after what they have admitted was a policing `embarrassment' .
51 people have been arrested so far, and the police have claimed they took the details of a further 250 people in the kettle using powers under the Police Reform Act. There may be more arrests to come.
Students who are worried should consider taking the following actions:
If you have been arrested, or had your details taken – contact the legal support campaign. As a group you can support each other, and mount a coherent campaign.
If you fear you may be arrested as a result of identification by CCTV, FIT or press photography;
DONT panic. Press photos are not necessarily conclusive evidence, and just because the police have a photo of you doesn't mean they know who you are.
DONT hand yourself in. The police often use the psychological pressure of knowing they have your picture to persuade you to `come forward'. Unless you have a very pressing reason to do otherwise, let them come and find you, if they know who you are.
DO get rid of your clothes. There is no chance of suggesting the bloke in the video is not you if the clothes he is wearing have been found in your wardrobe. Get rid of ALL clothes you were wearing at the demo, including YOUR SHOES, your bag, and any distinctive jewellery you were wearing at the time. Yes, this is difficult, especially if it is your only warm coat or decent pair of boots. But it will be harder still if finding these clothes in your flat gets you convicted of violent disorder.
DONT assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well. `That isn't me' has got many a person off before now.
DO keep away from other demos for a while. The police will be on the look-out at other demos, especially student ones, for people they have put on their `wanted' list. Keep a low profile.
DO think about changing your appearance. Perhaps now is a good time for a make-over. Get a haircut and colour, grow a beard, wear glasses. It isn't a guarantee, but may help throw them off the scent.
DO keep your house clean. Get rid of spray cans, demo related stuff, and dodgy texts / photos on your phone. Don't make life easy for them by having drugs, weapons or anything illegal in the house.
DO get the name and number of a good lawyer you can call if things go badly. The support group has the names of recommended lawyers on their site. Take a bit of time to read up on your rights in custody, especially the benefits of not commenting in interview.
DO be careful who you speak about this to. Admit your involvement in criminal damage / disorder ONLY to people you really trust.
DO try and control the nerves and panic. Waiting for a knock on the door is stressful in the extreme, but you need to find a way to get on with business as normal. Otherwise you'll be serving the sentence before you are even arrested.