Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/458/5505
Campaigning in the schools and colleges
"Can I get other people I know involved too?" asked one of the college students who we met at Southwark college. At other colleges where International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Students have been meeting and discussing with students, we have met many people interested in getting involved, discussing socialist ideas and campaigning. And getting their friends involved too of course!
Ben Robinson ISR national co-ordimator
At Monoux College, we were greeted enthusiastically by young people who want to fight back and discuss socialist ideas with our members.
At Lambeth, where last year Socialist Student members led a demonstration of 500 students and lecturers protesting against cuts and privatisation, we have met around 50 people interested in finding out more, with several of those wanting to play a key role in building our society at the college. One person has already agreed to join the Socialist Party after discussing with members at the college.
We need to build on these successes and get ISR or Socialist Student groups going in schools and colleges. Now that the university freshers' fairs are finished in most areas, we need to get back out to the schools and colleges and meet people, start to campaign and get regular discussions going.
Where we are doing this, we have met young people keen to build support for the ideas of socialism, and enthusiastic about our campaigns. At Shrewsbury 6th form, the ISR Know your rights at work cards have had an impact, with one person we met quitting their poorly paid job and getting a better one after reading it!
Even where we do not have a group yet, young people are getting active and fighting back against attacks on their conditions. ISR was recently contacted by a campaigner against city academies, who said 'I applaud [ISR's] views on city academies. I am actually a former pupil of one of [right-wing Christian fundamentalist and used-car dealer] Vardy's academies. I have created a website against this privatisation scheme - it has caused quite some fuss with the powers!'
Of course, there are many issues that young people are interested in. University fees of £3,000 a year - with school students now having the prospect of paying even more than this after the 2010 'review' of fees (see above article for more details). The rise in racism, clampdown on democratic rights, occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, ASBOs, lack of youth facilities are all issues that could be tried out.
ISR and Socialist Students need to get out there now and meet those people who are becoming activists and looking for socialist ideas. We are aiming to get everyone who is thinking along these lines to get involved and join us in the fight for a socialist world. This won't happen if we aren't there to meet them though!
In The Socialist 12 October 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news