The Student Union is now affiliated to the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign! A motion of affiliation was successfully passed at the Union Council meeting on 21st February with only two votes against. An emergency motion has also been approved to be sent to the NUS Executive in time for the National Conference in. If the executive accepts this motion (on the grounds that the State of Emergency and assassination of PPP leader Benazir Bhutto occurred after the deadline for NUS motions) then the NUS could join with the B.M.T and the NUJ in supporting the PTUDC.
The Solidarity campaign in Norwich started last December when a broad motion entitled ‘Solidarity with Pakistani Students’ was passed unanimously. This made it union policy to host a meeting and invite a representative of the PTUDC to talk about the situation in Pakistan. A lot of work was put into this meeting and it became the centre for our entire campaign. The Union Executive gave its official backing to the meeting. The supporters of the PTUDC campaign then went ahead to organise the meeting.
The meeting was a success and actually helped to win the support of the Executive members in favour of the PTUDC. This support was crucial at the Union Council meeting as they made sure that the PTUDC motion was addressed first in keeping with its emergency nature.
So what now? Supporters of the campaign, Martin Hall and Dan Morley, are both running in the election campaign to be sent as delegates to NUS national conference. If at all possible, we urge supporters up and down the country to try and get themselves elected to conference in order to bolster the emergency motion! The struggle of Pakistani students is the struggle of all students. The illegal nature of student unions in Pakistan clearly demonstrates the state’s fear of the student movement and its revolutionary potential. The support that the NUS can give the student movement in Pakistan will be very important.