Across the country students took part in the education shutdown day of action coinciding with the Tories budget to fight for free education and to kick the Tories out! Protests, marches and campaign stalls took place on over 15 campuses. The Tories are riven by splits and infighting, the budget offers no way forward for young people. Now lets organise and fight to drive them out!
Get in touch via our Facebook page, emailing us at Socialistudents@gmail.com or texting your name and uni college or school to 07749 379 010
Here's a selection of pics and reports:
Students from colleges and universities in London gathered in parliament square to protest the latest Tory budget. A pensioner walking past took to the open mic, “they want to divide us, old against young” he said pointing at parliament “we can’t let that happen” he ended to applause. The socialist students open mic was an opportunity for students to tell the Tories what they thought of the budget, one student from Goldsmiths university made a stiring speech about people struggling on poverty wages and facing benefit cuts, she started a new chant “single mothers and the sick, did not start the deficit, that’s bullshit, come off it, the enemy is profit”.
We chanted against Theresa May, tuition fees and an education system being kept for the rich alone.
Goldsmiths society president Ellen Kenyon Peers said “Hammond doesn’t seem very good at his sums, he seems to think there isn’t any money for this” and reeled off the tax avoidance scandals and trident as examples as the huge expenses on the public purse. Education should be a right and not a privilege, and we don’t just want to fight for it for our generation but future generations to access to free education. Elliot a college student from Woodhouse college said “the 1% have too much wealth… and we need to change that” as a cheer went through the crowd.
Most importantly student’s repeatedly made the point, that the Tories are weak and divided. Over issues such as Brexit, they are on the back foot and scared over tuition fees. But it’s the responsability of young people students and workers to organise now to kick out this rotten government.
Youth and Student Organiser
London Socialist Party
Birmingham Socialist Students mobilised massive support from all major Brum universities and colleges for our Free Education demonstration on budget day. Young and old flocked to our stall on their journeys home from work to pledge their support for free education and an end to Tory austerity by signing our petitions, making donations and giving campaigners encouragement on what was a cold, rainy and windy night in the Second City. One young person that came to our stall told us that:
“The paradise papers show that the money’s there, its just not in the right places for those that need it most.”
One elderly gentleman told us of his granddaughters dilemma about whether she should apply to University and said to us that:
“The reality is, more young people have to go to university nowadays to get a career that’s capable of paying for the very basics when compared to my generation. Why should access to university then only be made available to those who can afford £9,000 a year? Taking on debt like that turns many young people away, it’s totally rigged.”
Another student currently at university spoke to us about the mental health problems that their friends had been suffering partly as a result of the overbearing levels of student debt and graduate job insecurity.
With the Tory government moving from crisis to crisis and Free Education being a flagship policy of Corbyn’s youthquake, an end to crippling tuition fees seems not to be a matter of if, but a matter of when. This is why it is more important now than ever to keep up the momentum not only for free education but for an end to Tory austerity as a whole. Workers and students unite and fight!
Birmingham University Socialist Students
On Wednesday November 22, several students made their voices heard on campus as part of the Socialist Students Society. It is the first event in a campaign to fight for better education at university, for both students and staff. We are protesting against the 75 unnecessary job cuts announced last week. We are protesting against another rise in tuition fees. We are protesting because while students have to scrounge for change to print their assignments, the University spends £700,000 a year on the Vice Chancellor.
While out on campus we felt an air of discontent. Students are not happy with being saddled with debt for the majority of their lives. Staff are unhappy with the fact that 75 jobs are being cut to save money, and 8 faculties are being merged to 5, which will inevitably lead to admin staff cuts, while the university advertises for a chauffeur for university executives!
The protest went very well overall with many staff members and students showing their support, with some even asking ‘why hasn’t this happened sooner?’. Other societies also showed their support including the Feminist Society. We were even approached by the UCU publicity officer who voiced her support for the protest too. There was a big sense of unity in our protest as we are all in this together, fighting against irrational decisions made by upper management and the VC. We ended up with over 100 signatures in our petition which we hand delivered to the Vice Chancellor’s secretary (unfortunately he was too busy to actually meet with the students face to face).
This is only the beginning though. We will be back, and won’t stop until the Vice Chancellor has agreed to freeze tuition fees, stop the 75 jobs cuts, prevent the merging of faculties, and to replace the existing pension scheme so that the university once again pays into staff’s pension funds.
If you are interested in what we stand for and want to get involved, you can find us in room 1083 at 7pm every Monday in Nuffield Theatre.
James, Southampton University Socialist Students
"Leeds For Free Education joint with University of Leeds Socialist Students organised to protest yet another austerity budget brought in by a government so out of touch with its populace they recently claimed there were no unemployed people in the UK.
The main topics of today's protest were free education and an end to the public sector pay cap (a cut in real terms) with speakers from University College Union and Leeds For Free Education at the University of Leeds campus, a lively and very loud march through the city centre and ending with speakers from the Royal College of Nursing, Socialist Students regional committee, and a amazing young speaker from Huddersfield Kirkleeds College."
Lincoln socialist students campaigning against tuition fees today
"Cardiff Socialist Students protesting against Hammond's budget today. The Tories have nothing to offer the youth but more misery."