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London students vote to coordinate with workers
Students have shown their huge opposition to the cuts programme of the coalition government on many demonstrations and protests. On Sunday 12 December the London Student Assembly (LSA) met and agreed a number of campaigning plans.
On 29 January, the Young Members' Network of the PCS civil servants' union is planning a demonstration in Manchester to a TUC rally against youth unemployment.
Campaigning by Youth Fight for Education (YFE) supporters meant that the LSA, which brings together student activists from across London, agreed to back this demo.
A demonstration of young workers and students marching side by side against education cuts, job losses and other attacks will be a big step forwards for building a united fightback.
The LSA also agreed to back the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) anti-cuts conference on 22 January. Many students have been drawing the conclusion that their movement would be massively strengthened by uniting with anti cuts unions across the country and, crucially, with the trade unions, who have enormous potential power.
The NSSN conference will provide the opportunity for such coordination.
Unfortunately, despite the Socialist Workers Party's participation in the leadership of the NSSN, their members sought to deny students this opportunity by arguing for a separate national assembly on the same day, led by students but aiming to appeal to trade unions and the whole anti-cuts movement. This proposal will be discussed at a planning meeting on 14 December, as The Socialist goes to press.
YFE argues for a conference that represents the whole of the education movement, with anti-cuts groups in schools, colleges and universities, as well as education-based trade unions, electing delegates to a national conference, which can then vote on motions and a strategy.
This should not clash with the NSSN conference. Some local groups may find a conference difficult in January given the exam period for some students so YFE argues for this to take place as early as possible in February.
In The Socialist 15 December 2010:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students