Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/466/1829
Campaign to Defeat Fees is building across London
London Socialist Students started to build the Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) this week with our 'Debt line' stunt. The 'Debt line' is spread across floors or on walls in busy places on campus. Students sign up next to the amount of debt they are already in due to fees, or what they forecast themselves to be in after they graduate. The signatures we have had so far are all over £10,000 and some nearer to £30,000.
Matt Dobson Socialist Students
The 'Debt line' is a good way of linking the personal experience of student debt to the need for a campaign that fights for free education. At Thames Valley University, students were often queuing up to sign the 'Debt line' which gave us plenty of opportunity to speak to them about building a campaign.
Jacqueline, a mature student, said, "I'm worried about all the debt I'm in. I already owed money when I was working and now I'm paying fees. It's good that you are standing up for students and taking action - if there was something fighting back on this campus I would definitely join it".
Thames Valley Socialist Students members then held a meeting and agreed to set up a Socialist Students society and publicise a local protest on campus this week in the halls of residence and student bars.
Goldsmiths Socialist Students had an 'afternoon of action' outside their library using the CDF petitions and the Debt line. James Kerr, Goldsmiths Socialist Students organiser, was interviewed by the college radio about the CDF.
Many international students studying at the college want to get involved in the campaign in solidarity with British students and because they are often paying over £10,000 in fees themselves. One French student commented, "You need a mass movement to defeat a government - I want to help you build one here". Goldsmiths Socialist Students will be publicising a CDF protest on campus on Monday 11 December.
Protests, stunts and activities are also planned at King's College, Brunel University, University College London and various FE colleges. London Socialist Students is holding a London-wide public meeting on the CDF and planning a protest in central London.
In The Socialist 7 December 2006:
War and terrorism
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis