Socialist Students. Photo: Mary Finch
Socialist Students. Photo: Mary Finch

Solidarity with students in Ireland – let’s walk out here too!

Socialist Students

Socialist Students extends its solidarity to the tens of thousands of students across Ireland who protested against the student cost-of-living and housing crisis on 13 October.

The large walkouts and rallies are a display of the huge anger that exists among students in Ireland, as sky-high fees and rents – compounded by an acute student accommodation shortage – have left many struggling to live.

Socialist Students supports the demands of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), that has called for rent caps, the abolition of fees and a publicly funded higher education system, among other demands.

The same crisis looms over students in the UK. During the summer, one in three students were left with £50 a month to live on after paying rent and bills. 11% of students now use food banks, up from 5% at the start of the year. Like in Ireland, some UK students have been forced to defer their studies due to a lack of accommodation, while others have had no option but to live miles from campus.

The president of the USI said that the protests were “just the start”. Socialist Students calls on the National Union of Students (NUS), as the confederation joining together millions of students in the UK, to follow the example of the USI and take the lead in organising walkouts in all universities and colleges across the country, as the first step in a mass fightback against the student cost-of-living crisis.

But if the NUS does not act, then Socialist Students will be calling for walkouts and demonstrations on every campus, as a step towards building democratic and open student organisations that can link up nationally to build a mass student movement – for living maintenance grants, rent controls, and fully publicly funded, free higher education.

By uniting with workers fighting back in the trade unions, students can force this weak and divided Tory government to concede to our demands. That’s why Socialist Students will be marching alongside the trade union movement at the TUC lobby of parliament on 2 November. We call on all students looking to link up with the growing strike wave to join us.

Young people’s experience of capitalism – poverty, crisis and austerity – has led many to search for a socialist alternative. Join Socialist Students to help build a movement against the student cost-of-living crisis, for free education, to campaign on campuses, and fight for socialism.

Socialist Students says:

  • No to price rises on campuses, early closure of libraries or other campus spaces, or any more cuts to our education, courses or jobs. No delays in access to student hardship funds for students in need
  • For third-party halls to be immediately taken into the ownership and control of the university, as a step towards introducing democratic rent controls for students. Councils should use their powers to compulsorily register landlords, to force action on dilapidated and overpriced student housing
  • Replace student loans with living grants tied to the rate of inflation – cancel student debt, scrap fees, and make the super-rich pay
  • Link up with striking workers – build a movement to demand that the bosses are made to pay for the cost-of-living crisis
  • Students and workers unite to kick out the Tories and fight for socialist change. For democratic public ownership of the banks, monopolies and major industry to provide us with a future