Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2005

Northumbria socialist students rock against racism

Socialist students at Northumbria University have been campaigning against racism and prejudice through our Unite Against Racism campaign this term.

Leah Jones, Northumbria Socialist Students

We began the year by petitioning against racism and for our local NUS to support campaigns against racist organisations such as the British National Party (BNP) and the National Front, as a part of the national campaign, No to terror, no to war, no to racism.

We began the campaign with the intention of building for the 2 November demonstration against the BNP in Leeds, at their leader Nick Griffin's court hearing for inciting racial hatred.

The demo had been called by the civil service union PCS. It was backed by the Yorkshire and Humber TUC and local community groups who had been subject to increased racism and violent attack since the BNP stepped up their campaign to profit from the mood of uncertainty and fear which has developed after the 7 July terrorist attacks on London.

The Students' Union wasn't interested in taking up the campaign, so Socialist Students decided to promote and raise money for the campaign by organising a Rock Against Racism gig at Northumbria University, supported by Tyne and Wear Anti-Fascist Action (TWAFA) and the PCS.

The gig was booked and six bands confirmed to play but two weeks before the date we still hadn't received our promotional material back from the societies' office and the Students' Union had double-booked our room! This cost us an extra 250 but despite the local NUS barring our progress at every turn the gig went well, with over 70 people attending and raising 135 for Northumbria Socialist Students.

The money raised from the gig allowed the society to pay for Zena Awad, national co-ordinator of Socialist Students, to speak at a What is socialism? meeting the day after the anti-fascist demo, which 14 people attended.

We are now building the campaign further and pushing the students' union to back the demonstration in Leeds on 16 January, when the trial will re-convene.

We are also supporting TWAFA in their campaign against the BNP in the coming Gateshead by-election and the Socialist Party branch in the council elections next year when we will be able to oppose the far right by offering a real political alternative to the vicious cuts and attacks of the political establishment.

FE students need a living income

The government are living in a different world to the one college students face every day. Education is becoming less and less of an affordable option, and many jobs available to us offer minimum wages, appalling conditions and no future.

Ben Robinson, Socialist Students FE organiser

Around 50% of FE students are forced to take on part-time jobs. The costs involved: books and notepads, transport and food, often add up to more than the government allows for. This doesn't cover FE students who live away from home or care for children. In addition, the occasional CD or night out is increasingly expensive.

Most students have to travel to get to college but there is no national provision for travel or even hardship funds, with individual colleges deciding their own policy. The provision for childcare is not much better.

The government's Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) provides 30 per week for those from families on less than 17,000, then on a sliding scale of amounts for those from families with incomes up to around 25,000 (after tax).

But even for those who are eligible, it is not a guaranteed income. Last year, around a third of those eligible did not receive it because of a combination of lack of awareness and the sheer level of bureaucracy involved. It is also used as a form of punishment, where missing one lesson, or even lateness, can result in its withdrawal for a week. A bonus of 100 is also available five times during a two-year course, but this is also limited by similar criteria.

EMA isn't enough as a sole income. Many students are forced to supplement it with low-paid jobs.

If college students attend all their lessons and spend the recommended time doing homework, reading around etc, it's a full week. For those who work a ten-hour week on top of that, it's 50 hours. When your income is the maximum EMA and the 16-17 minimum wage, that's 60 every week. So that's 60 a week, for 50 hours!

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown apparently see no problem forcing students into these conditions. They consider 60 a week to be an acceptable income for college students but they won't pay for it out of public funding. However, they are willing to pay over 3.1 billion on the war in Iraq. The estimated cost of increasing EMA to 60 a week for every college student is 150 million, pocket change in budgeting terms.

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Students are campaigning, anti-capitalist youth organisations. We call for our schools and colleges to be properly funded, for education, not for business! All college students and young people have the right to a decent life, and we fight for an EMA of 60 a week, towards an income that meets the needs of all students.

We call on the NUS to take up the issues facing college students, and campaign alongside trade unions for an end to the attacks on free education, and for colleges to be able to provide the services and courses that students need from them.

A government-commissioned report is proposing that private companies should come in and take over 'failing' FE colleges - making a profit out of education. More on this and how to fight it in future issues.

Lincoln University Hull campus

Fighting the bosses' lies

DOZENS OF students at the Hull Campus in the University of Lincoln protested on Monday 14 November against the proposed sell-off of the site to a local sixth-form college. The sale is expected to happen while the 1,000 students based there will be studying!

Luke Aylward, Lincoln Socialist Students

The students were also upset with a lack of investment in Hull, while the main Brayford campus in Lincoln is the focus of a 35m regeneration. One student spoke to the socialist explaining what's happening.

"As well as selling the site to Hull College, they're planning on sacking 28 technical teaching staff. They haven't invested in new facilities for four years. The bosses are just letting our facilities degrade, and now they're not suitable for our degrees."

Students are also angry about the painfully small budget allocated to Hull campus. One student even quoted a sum as little as 10,000 a year, despite the university's annual turnover of 78 million. Another student told us about how they were lied to by the university's bosses.

"The vice-chancellor (David Chiddick) said that they weren't investing 16m on the main campus, and that they were moving us to the main campus during the summer. They lied to us. They used underhand tactics".

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

In The Socialist 17 November 2005:

Time for a new workers' party

Socialism 2005: Building a socialist alternative

"Looking forward to changing the world"

Campaign for a new workers' party

Northumbria socialist students rock against racism

Selection and 'free market' threaten our schools

We want our buses back!

Reinstate Andy Beadle

Eighth strike for 8 an hour

SACKED for speaking out

PCS launches jobs campaign

Angry Commons cleaners fight back

A struggle for survival

Bush regime in crisis


Home   |   The Socialist 17 November 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleStriking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleSupporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'


triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleFreshers week campaigning reports

triangleFight for free education

triangleGoldsmiths Socialist Students & South London Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - How do we fight back?


triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleNasty party out the Tories


triangleFar-right thrown out of Newcastle


triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems


Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea


Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice