Liam Burns (NUS UK President):
One thing we’ve got to understand and get better at is our campaigning techniques. Don’t get me wrong, I do not deride what Quebec students managed to pull off, I’m not saying that the actions in Chile weren’t powerful and inspirational but they are in very, very different political and economic climates. … We are not going to deride those tactics but we need to have 21st-century campaigning when dealing with 21st-century problems …
The Chilean movement only became so radical through a similarly lengthy debate, she says. “2011 was the product of 10 years of debate,” adds Paul Floor Pilquil, Vallejo’s colleague at the University of Chile student union (Fech). A decade ago, he says, Chile’s main student bodies were as bogged down in the smaller issues as they are now in Britain. “But then we started to connect all the specific problems.”
Liam Burns essentially says that Chilean students only saw success because they’re living in some backwards state. Leaders of the Chilean student movement say we’re basically playing catch up with how the NUS is attempting to deal with the issues students in the UK are facing.
I know who I’d rather pay attention to (not the one from the organisation that’s leaving UK students out to dangle over access to free education but the one that’s actually forcing ministerial resignations.)
Quotes taken from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/21/student-march-eggs-anger and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/20/chile-student-rebel-camila-vallejo respectively.