A leading light of student protest movement is in the running to become president of the National Union of Students.

Firebrand activist in bid for NUS presidency

Committed student activist, Mark Bergfield, 23, has told RiverOnline he will run for president of the NUS when Aaron Porter steps down in April. 

The Education Activist Network spokesman is a strong advocate for direct action and was a key player in orchestrating the recent student demonstrations which brought the capital to a standstill before Christmas. 

He told RiverOnline “I will stand on a platform of continuing to fight the planned fee rises and cuts to education and defending multiculturalism in our universities after Cameron’s attack on the ethnic make-up of Britain” 

The German national added “I think the NUS needs to show strong international solidarity with protest movements across the world at the minute, like they did during the reign of Apartheid in South Africa.” 

Kingston University EAN member, Alistair Farrow, who rallied Kingston students in the ‘fight against fees,’ backs the bid and said that Mr Bergfield “wouldn’t condemn students for fighting for their rights the way Porter did.” 

Anger at Mr Porter’s leadership has been building since he distanced himself from the thousands of students who rioted at Millbank last November. At a recent anti-cuts rally in Manchester he had to be escorted away by police when he was pelted by eggs by angry students calling for his resignation. 

Mr Porter, a Labour party member, was elected last April and was expected to stand again but some have suggested his decision to stand down is due to the growing strength of militant elements within the union. 

In a statement this morning he said: “After considerable soul-searching, I believe there needs to be a new President to lead the student movement into that next phase. 

“We should continue to be proud of what we have achieved, and it has been an honour to be President at this time.” 

NUS vice-president Shane Cowen is also standing, but the strength of his position is in doubt after he too was pelted with eggs by protestors at the Manchester rally. 

Liam Burns, head of NUS Scotland, has also put himself foward for the job. 

The new president will be elected at the NUS annual conference in April.

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