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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 February 2011

National education shutdown needed

UCU  members on strike at London Met university in 2009 , photo Paul Mattsson

UCU members on strike at London Met university in 2009 , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Despite the government railroading its attacks on young people through parliament, the 29 January demonstrations showed that there is still willingness to fight back.

The young people who turned out on the protests in London and Manchester demonstrated to everyone that they understood that what parliament has made law can be made inconsequential by mass movements.

Claire Laker-Mansfield Socialist Students

Now young people will be looking forward, asking what is needed in order to win. If students are to win victories, escalating student actions and linking with workers in trade unions will be vital.

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The lecturers' union, UCU, is currently balloting for strike action over attacks to the pensions, pay and conditions of workers. But it is also about the general attacks on education, including tripling tuition fees, scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and slashing the budgets of higher and further education.

If UCU members vote to strike in defence of education then students must give mass support - attending picket lines and organising demonstrations. But more than that, what's needed is for students to go out on strike too, in support of their teachers, lecturers and support staff and in defence of their right to an education.

Students support UCU  members on strike at London Met university in 2009, Photo Paul Mattsson

Students support UCU members on strike at London Met university in 2009, Photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

So far, walkouts have been staged in schools, colleges and universities across the country but what's needed on the strike day is something bigger. We need a national education shutdown with every school, college and campus in Britain closed for a day of mass protest against this brutal government of the rich.

Added significance may well be given if, as is likely, the strike takes place on or around budget day on 23 March. If, on the day the government announces its next dose of pain, thousands of young people and workers are out on picket lines and protesting on the streets, it will send a very powerful message to the politicians in Westminster.

It will let them know that if they think that they will get away with making the worst attacks on ordinary people for generations, then they are mistaken.

The fightback is not over, it is only just beginning.

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In The Socialist 9 February 2011:


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts


Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain


Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds


Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


 

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