Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/181/7979
Build mass non-payment of fees
SAVE FREE Education (SFE) are building a mass movement of resistance against tuition fees, the abolition of the grant and oppose universities that try and enforce sanctions against students who do not pay their fees.
Above all we are building a campaign of mass non-payment of the fees. The possibility of success for a mass movement against tuition fees and for a grant are looking stronger than ever. The Scottish Parliament was forced to abolish up-front fees last year.
Now the possibility of the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies following suit has been raised. If upfront fees are abolished in Wales and Northern Ireland, tuition fees will be dealt a mortal blow.
However, we can not rely on the politicians in either parliament to do this. We must build a mass movement based around non-payment of the fees to ensure that.
A mass movement of students and workers is the only way of ensuring we win genuine free education, and go beyond the concessions granted in Scotland.
The strategy of mass non-payment of the fees is the most likely to force the government to retreat. But to be successful we have to organise.
After the NUS demonstration, students need to go back to their colleges and organise their own non-payment campaigns. We need to inspire and give confidence to as many students as possible to withhold their fees. Only through sheer numbers of non-payers will we make fees unworkable.
SFE have called a day of action against tuition fees in December, so that simultaneous protests around the country will send a message to students, the government and management alike that students are fighting back for our right for free education.
In The Socialist 10 November 2000: