The NUS are paying for students to come to London to protest for lower rent prices

There’s free food too

The NUS will pay for your company at a weekend of strikes against ridiculous rent prices next month.

The Rent Strike Weekender is taking place on the 16th-18th September in order to spark a national collective action against rising rent prices for students. The NUS are offering to pay for 75-100 per cent of travel fares for students to attend on a first come, first served basis. Meals will also be provided. This comes as a pleasant surprise after the NUS have been under constant fire recently over not actually representing and supporting students.

These plans were decided on Thursday at an NUS press conference in Shoreditch, where housing prices were referred to as “tuition fee by stealth” by campaigners. The NUS is calling for 25 per cent of beds to be priced at a maximum of 50 per cent of  available student finance.

Activists from UCL Cut the Rent and the Radical Housing Network will host a weekend training event and will be “an opportunity for us to share methods and tactics for launching rent strikes on our own campuses, in a horizontal space where we can learn, participate, meet and scheme with each other”, according to the Facebook event description.

This comes after, back in June, UCL rent strikers won rent freezes and concessions worth over £1,000,000. A success for the campaign which they believe has enabled it to spread nationally.

The hosts of the event Rent Strike wrote that the weekender “will place emphasis on the mutual exchange of ideas and strategies, widening participation and building a movement that is non-hierarchical, inclusive and sustainable. We hope to see the creation of new friendships, affinities and rent strikes as a consequence.”

NUS Welfare Officer Shelly Asquith told a press conference: “The fact so many are now involved in political action at personal risk, demonstrates a collective hope of bringing about change for the benefit of all students.”

“I think where institutions are threatening eviction, we have to be quite hard in shaming them. There’s a duty of care universities have to support their students and there’s no way they should be pushing them out onto the street for taking part in political actions. Perhaps we could look into doing stuff around evictions resistance.”

Ben Beach from the Radical Housing Network said: “When so many now find themselves trapped in poverty due to the rising costs of housing, it is becoming increasingly clear that rent strikes will form a vital part of resistance to the housing crisis.”

The weekender won’t just include discussions about rent, also on offer are BBQs, parties and dancing, all for free. Sounds like they really want to encourage high student attendance.