Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/463/1732
Fighting start for the Campaign to Defeat Fees
Socialist Student members have been campaigning against fees since the lie came out of Tony Blair's mouth - "Education, education, education". However, this year students are being asked to pay £3,000 per year, often having to sign contracts at the start of the year promising to pay the full amount.
The demonstration called by NUS at the end of October showed the anger that many students felt. There was a real mood to organise and fight back, with the vast majority of students ignoring the official slogans - which called for the maintenance of the fees at £3,000 - and demanding an end to all fees.
Socialist Students feels that this 15,000 strong demonstration could be a good starting point to a mass movement against fees. We have organised the Campaign to Defeat Fees as a campaign to pull together all those who want to fight fees, linking up those who are already involved in campaigns against cuts and closures to a movement that is fighting the biggest single nation-wide attack on our right to free education.
Where we have launched the campaign, we have had an excellent response. Socialist Student members in Thames Valley University were overwhelmed - students were queuing to sign up and find out more information about the campaign.
One person was so inspired they rushed off to the nearest cash machine, and came back waving a ten pound note to donate! Even the students' union receptionist was interested, pointing out that it was about time somebody did something!
In FE colleges, such as Leyton Sixth Form, Monoux College and Suffolk College, there was a lot of interest. Students at Suffolk College agreed with our demands for free education and for a decent Educational Maintenance Allowance for all. In Brunel University, 30 students signed up for more info in only 40 minutes of campaigning!
In all of these areas, more activity is planned. The first step is to get together all the activists interested in building the Campaign to Defeat Fees. This campaign has the potential to force the government to scrap fees altogether, but we must start to build a mass movement now to be able to do that.
To find out more, get involved or for campaigning resources, see www.socialiststudents.org.uk/cdf or call us on 02085587947; email email@example.com or write to PO BOX 858, E11 1YD.
In The Socialist 16 November 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news