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Posted on 31 January 2011 at 12:29 GMT

London demonstration against education cuts

Thousands of young people and workers took to the streets in London on Saturday 29 January as part of the ongoing protests at the attacks on education and the public sector.

Alex Moore, Leicester Socialist Party

The demonstration was called despite the already planned demonstration in Manchester on the same day which was linking up the struggles of students with those of young workers and trade unionists.

Despite the questionable action of calling the demonstration, the majority of the protesters on it understood the need for unity. They chanted slogans such as "workers and students unite and fight!" and carried placards relating to all cuts and not just education cuts.

The mood was spurred on by the recent revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. "Let's all go the extra mile, let's do this Egyptian style" would undoubtedly win the 'chant of the day' award, if such an award existed.

Students understand that the rulers and dictators of these countries are the bath buddies of the rulers of western states such as Cameron and Obama, and they share common aims in making huge cuts in public services and attacking the ordinary person's standard of life.

In the UK one in five graduates are unemployed, this is the highest the figure has been since 1995, a clear sign of the inability of capitalism to provide jobs for everyone.

Graduates now face the likelihood of years of unemployment, and the private sector exploits the desperation of young people by offering internships without pay or a guarantee of a job at the end.

With no job security, only those from wealthier backgrounds can afford to take these gambles and the rest of us are left outside in the cold staring through the window.

Furthermore, with the recent decision to hike tuition fees up to 9,000 a year, vast numbers of young people will be deterred from going to university.

But unemployment for young people without degrees still remains higher than for those with degrees, so the future for young people under capitalism looks very bleak indeed.

A huge campaign of young people, students and workers is needed, to continue the recent struggles and to take up the demands of Youth Fight for Jobs, for decent and secure well-paid jobs and free fully-funded education from 'cradle to grave'.

The only way to defeat the cuts is to defeat the government and that can only be done by uniting with the trade unions and standing shoulder to shoulder with them on the TUC demonstration on 26 March and in the coming struggles.

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