Britain: Student demo should be start of the fightback

With thousands of young people being denied a university place, facing a substandard education, forced into low paid work or left on the scrapheap of unemployment, a nationally organised fightback is essential.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called a demonstration which will take place on 10 November.

This has been called under the banner ’Fund our Future – Stop Education Cuts’ and will be a march through London.

The lecturers’ union, UCU, has also given its backing to this demo. This is very positive given the need for a united fightback of students and education workers to defeat cuts and fees.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) and Socialist Students welcome the NUS calling a national demonstration. We will mobilise students around fighting slogans and a strategy to stop the cuts.

We want to draw together local campaigns that have been fighting cuts on their campuses and in their colleges throughout the last year.

The demo should be a vibrant display of the strength of these campaigns and show the NUS leadership that it is possible to mobilise students with more radical ideas than they generally put forward themselves.

YFJ and Socialist Students have called a joint day of action on 20 October. The date coincides with the end of the government’s comprehensive spending review which will almost certainly announce further cuts.

We call for demonstrations, student walkouts and other protests to take place at colleges and universities all over the country on this day. We invite all who oppose cuts to take part. The day of action will be used as a springboard to getting a mass turnout in November.

The national demo must not be a one off ’token’ protest. It should be used as a catalyst to begin the task of building a movement capable of stopping the government in its tracks.

Student walkouts, strike action by education workers and unity with those fighting cuts in all areas of the public and private sectors will be needed if we are to win this battle and defend our futures.

Socialist Students and YFJ say:

  • Strike against cuts and fees
  • Unite the anti-cuts campaigns on a national level
  • Build a democratic mass struggle
  • Fight for a socialist education system

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August 2010