Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10992

Posted on 20 January 2011 at 17:17 GMT

Student protests against EMA cuts

Over the last two days, while further demonstrations have taken place nationally against the abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance, a survey indicated that 70% of EMA recipients would have to drop out of their course if their grant was withdrawn; and a sharp rise in unemployment among 16 and 17 year olds has been reported. Reports from London, Leeds and Coventry follow.

Marching to parliament in London

Around 600 students marched in central London on Wednesday 19 January against the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

Inside the House of Commons, a motion calling for a parliamentary vote on the issue was voted down. This was proposed by the Labour Party, that is presently supporting the campaign, however, during the last general election they gave no guarantee that they would have kept EMA if they had won.

Disgracefully, on this crucial issue for hundreds of thousands of young people, only a handful of MPs saw fit to attend the parliamentary debate. But the students gathered outside parliament showed that the movement against these cuts has not gone away. Although smaller than the protests at the end of last year (affected by exams and other factors) this was an extremely important stage in rebuilding the momentum of the campaign.

The next important date for young people who want to fight back against the Con-Dem cuts agenda is 29 January. On this day, students will be uniting with workers and young trade unionists in marching for education, decent jobs and the right to a future. In Manchester, a demonstration backed by the unions PCS, UCU, NUT and NUS will be assembling at 10.30am at the Manchester Museum and marching to a TUC organised youth rally in Platts Field. There will also be an education demonstration taking place in central London on the same day.

Claire Laker Mansfield, Socialist Students

Silent EMA protest in Leeds

On Tuesday 18 January, the day before parliament voted to decide the future of Education Maintenance Allowance, 45 school, college and university students held a silent protest in Leeds city centre. EMA is a vital programme which provides financial support to students from less well off backgrounds, who without their weekly EMA payment might not be able to afford to study at sixth form or college.

EMA exists to provide money for transport, stationery equipment and books for students who may not be able to afford the costs of study.

The silent protest was organised and called by school and college students from Leeds. Armed with banners, leaflets and taped up mouths, the protest had an eerie resemblance to what out educational institutions will sound like if the government's attack on them is successful: deathly silent.

The response of many passers-by and passengers on passing buses was encouraging; with people taking leaflets and some offering words and gestures of support.

Eventually the protest sprung into angry chants, indicating that hearts still beat with those who wish to obtain an education and are fighting for that chance.

After twenty minutes of chanting, the protest marched back to Leeds Metropolitan University for a meeting on EMA and issues specifically relating to college and school students.

The organisation and fighting will of school, college and university students shows that the Con-Dem government will have to fight every section of society it attacks. Those with the future to lose are not standing idly by, they are active, they are angry and they are linking the struggle to every section of society facing the cuts.

This attack on EMA is just another aspect of Cameron's programme to keep the masses out of further and higher education and strengthen the position of the privileged in Britain. The closure of the EMA programme won't just be a financial sting for the working class but will further limit the ability of many students who aspire to go to university, as they will be effectively priced out of the route to university.

Robert Harries, Leeds University Socialist Students

Demo in Coventry

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education in Coventry organised an EMA demo on Wednesday 19 January as MPs were debating scrapping the EMA. Around 60 students and workers from around the city joined together as the students marched down the High Street to the Council House.

Socialist Party members Lenny Shail, Rob Windsor, Paul Hunt and 15 year old school student Joe Shail all spoke at the demo. The students were encouraged to express their views and feelings, and several addressed the crowd.

It was clearly outlined that we should not have to pay for the banking crisis and this was highlighted again and again, as was the need for a socialist society. Following the demo, over 20 students attended a Socialist Party meeting. The local newspaper ran a positive story on the demo.

Robert McArdle, Coventry East Socialist Party
Here is a link to a video of the protest:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AleLyzIP8Kw

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

EMA:

triangleCorbyn's alternative for young people

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleKnowsley: No A-level education on offer

triangleTories plan further fee hikes for uni students

Leeds:

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

Education:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

College:

triangleFreshers week campaigning reports

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2