On 10 November the anger at the Con-Dem government’s attacks spilled out onto the streets as 52,000 students and university workers marched through London. These attacks include trebling university fees, ending financial support for college students and slashing funding for university teaching.
Jack Poole, Brighton Socialist Students
Many had never been on a demonstration before and the size, strength and mood showed that we are taking the first steps of a massive movement. The protests at Millbank, where the Tory HQ was surrounded and occupied, were expressions of young people’s burning anger at the cuts.
A lot of this anger was directed at the Lib Dems. Placards and banners branded Liberal Democrats as “traitors” and Nick Clegg “a coward”. Loud chants of “Nick Clegg, shame on you, shame on you for turning blue” showed the fury and sense of betrayal of the large numbers of students who voted for the Lib Dems because of their pledge to abolish fees.
Socialist Students had a loud, vibrant bloc on the march as well as members who marched with their university and college blocs. We gave out thousands of leaflets calling for the anger of the demonstration to be channelled into a mass movement capable of stopping the cuts and increase in fees.
The building of a huge campaign linking students and workers against cuts and fees has never been more crucial. We need to organise at every university, college and school but also coordinate our action nationally. Only through mass collective action – walkouts, demonstrations, strikes and occupations – will we stop the government’s attacks in their tracks.
The fantastic march on 10 November is only the beginning; Socialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs have called a national day of action on Wednesday 24 November. This first demonstration showed that we will not take attacks on our education lying down. It is now crucial to organise for 24 November and beyond, with ambitious actions planned in very university and college. No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!
- Call a meeting now to organise a walkout from your school, college or university on Wednesday 24 November
- If you’re in London, join the demonstration at Horse Guards Avenue at 1pm, 24 November
- Plan and coordinate the next steps by coming to the Socialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs conferences on 4 and 5 December at 10am, University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
- Say no to victimisation. Get in touch to help campaign to defend the Millbank protesters.