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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10426

Posted on 20 October 2010 at 16:58 GMT

Warwick university students condemn escalation of fees

Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza, photo Warwick Socialist Students

Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza, photo Warwick Socialist Students   (Click to enlarge)

Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza, called and mobilised for by Socialist Students.

Lenny Shail, Warwick socialist students

The protest was in response to Lord Browne's proposals for - in effect - a two tier education system that will leave working class people out in the cold.

I spoke during the protest, along with Dan Crowter from Coventry FE college Socialist Students and Coventry Socialist Party ex-councillor and leading anti-poll tax campaigner Rob Windsor.

Rob reminded the crowd that it was New Labour that brought in university fees and pointed to the lessons of the anti poll tax struggle.

The poll tax wasn't defeated by moaning, or lobbying MPs, or even by riots, but by over 18 million people getting organised, standing united and refusing to pay.

The crowd screamed with cheers as Rob pointed out that it was the bankers and capitalist system that got us into this mess so it should be them, not us, who pay for it.

Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza

Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza   (Click to enlarge)

FE student Dan admitted that like many others he will be virtually excluded from a university education simply because he won't be able to afford it.

He urged the students to get organised along with workers on campus but also to link up with the wider struggle against the con-dems' attacks on the living standards of ordinary working class people locally and nationally.

I pointed out that only the richest in society will be able to afford a decent education while the rest of us will have the door slammed in our faces, even before we hear next week about the next round of massive cuts planned.

A fight back is both necessary and winnable. I reminded the crowd of the victorious student protests in 1984 against Thatcher's proposals for a type of student fee, and I linked the effect the miners' strike had then with the effect the fight back against attacks on all working people can have today.

I urged all students to go to London on 10 November for the national demonstration that has been called and to put pressure on the Students Union to mobilise for it.

I ended by saying that the immediate task is to defeat the current attacks and fee increases, but until ordinary working people take democratic control of the economy, of society as a whole, putting it into the hands of the millions not the millionaires, we will always be left at the mercy of the free market.

I urged all students to join the campaign to defeat fees and cuts but to also join the fight for socialism.

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