Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/685/12766

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2011

Youth must join pensions struggle

Strike together as in France 2010

Jack Poole, Brighton University Socialist Students

The government and their friends in the media will always try, as they did in June, to spread division between workers and service users during strike action. It is important to cut across these lies with solidarity action and unity between young people and workers on strike.

Three quarters of a million teachers and civil servants took coordinated strike action in June against the government's decimation of public sector pension schemes.

This unity between students, young people and workers was shown last year in France, in the struggle against the pension reforms. With the Con-Dem coalition likely to face more strike action over pensions this autumn, it is important to analyse and draw lessons from struggles such as this.

Last October, President Sarkozy's plans to raise the retirement age saw a furious and enormous reaction from the French working class, with massive strikes and demonstrations - at the height of the movement, 3.5 million people demonstrated across the country.

A crucial turning point for the dispute was when young people and students began to take part in the struggle in a large and organised way. Ignoring the lies of Sarkozy's supporters and the right wing media who tried to re-assure young people that pension reform did not concern them, student strikes in solidarity with the workers helped shut hundreds of schools.

The idea that raising the retirement age does not affect young people is a downright lie used to divide the movement. For example, with one million young people unemployed in Britain, it is madness for the government to be forcing older workers to work for longer while these young people waste their talents on the dole queue.

Sarkozy revealed a lot when he was quoted as saying about the strikes, "school and college students...must be watched closely like milk on a stove."

Politicians like Sarkozy and Cameron are right to be frightened of a mass movement of youth and workers opposing their austerity measures! Such a movement would stand a real chance of stopping them and their cuts in their tracks.

Young people and students on their own do not carry the social weight to defeat governments, even weak ones such as the coalition in Britain. However, as last year's student movement in Britain showed, the energy and anger of a movement of young people can give confidence and inspire others in society to fight back. Three months after the last major student demonstration, half a million trade unionists marched through the streets of London.

Combined with the organised working class, which holds the power to make society grind to a halt, this kind of action would stand firmly in the way of the brutal austerity cuts of governments across Europe and beyond.

If more workers take coordinated strike action to defend their pensions, young people and students need to unite with them. We should take our solidarity to the picket lines but also organise walkouts at our schools, colleges and universities and join the protests and demonstrations taking place. Any blow against this government is a step towards a decent future for young people.

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


In The Socialist 14 September 2011:


Socialist Party features

We need a programme of action to fight back!

Austerity policies strangle growth


Socialist Party youth and students

Pampered politicians plan education massacre... STOP THEM!

Low pay and the housing crisis

Youth must join pensions struggle

EMA cuts: doors close on our future

Cuts hit young people hard in Hastings


Stop attacks on pensions

Hands off our pensions!

NHS pensions - Pay more, work longer and get less!


Socialist Party workplace news

Bombardier

Support Wyndeham workers

No to pay cuts in Carmarthenshire

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

How can the national rights of Palestinians be achieved?


Socialist Party news and analysis

NSSN calls on TUC to open the floodgates of mass action

Nationalise the banking system!

Childcare costs push parents into hardship

Save our NHS

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Power and terror


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save Surrey libraries!

Bristol: Labour's short-lived valour

Hundreds march against Dale Farm evictions

May Day protest case goes to Strasbourg


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 September 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Youth:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleFight for free education

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

Strike:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

triangleHome care workers to strike

Pensions:

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

trianglePlymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

France:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleFrench Labour reform protests

Young people:

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

Students:

triangleVictory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

Sarkozy:

triangleFrance - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/1/18

Socialist Party

Southern Socialist Party conference: discussing the way forward in 2018

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

More ...

triangle17 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Planning for 2018

triangle17 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Housing crisis - the socialist solution

triangle17 Jan Hackney Socialist Party: Slum housing in the past; and the crisis today

triangle17 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: Mass movement challenges Iranian regime

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

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