Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2010

Workers and students unite!

Cuts can be stopped

Students protest outside parliament on Day X as tuition fees debated, photo Suzanne Beishon

Students protest outside parliament on Day X as tuition fees debated, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

The student protests against fees and cuts have marked a watershed. On 9 December the atmosphere was electric. Rough and ready placards pulled no punches. The chants were exhilarating. While students dared to hope that their efforts would bring victory, most knew the 9,000 tuition fee vote would go against them.

Linda Taaffe, Secretary, National Shop Stewards Network

As Con-Dem coalition MPs, on their very handsome salaries, sat securely in the hallowed Palace of Westminster cobbling together a vote to trap young people in a future of eternal debt or low wages, students outside raged in anger.

No wonder the anger spilled over when the vote was announced. As one young protester said: "We've come up from the slums of London. Where do they think we are going to get 9,000 from?"

As Treasury windows were smashed some were heard chanting "give us back our money". In the attack on the royal car a mischievous character was reportedly heard shouting "off with their heads".

The day had all the elements of a real turning point in society. But once the dust has settled, rocketing fees remain. Education Maintenance Allowance is still wiped out. Teaching budgets will be decimated. The fight goes on!

9,000-a-year fees and devastating cuts are a problem for everyone. Teachers and lecturers, often on casual contracts, will be unceremoniously 'let go', college cleaners and canteen staff will be thrown out. Simultaneously, thousands of workers in local authorities are facing the axe. Public services are being decimated.

Shop Stewards Network supporters working and living in Manchester lobbied outside the Manchester city council meeting on Wednesday 8 December, photo Hugh Caffrey

Shop Stewards Network supporters working and living in Manchester lobbied outside the Manchester city council meeting on Wednesday 8 December, photo Hugh Caffrey   (Click to enlarge)

Students will now be mulling over what to do next. An important place to debate this issue will be at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) anti-cuts conference on 22 January. Hundreds of rank and file trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners from across the country will be there. Activists and leaders from trade unions that have shown a fighting lead, including PCS, FBU and RMT, will participate.

Socialists and trades unionists will be arguing that students should join up with organised workers to create a mass force.

Those living with uncertainty about jobs, homes and public services have watched students come from nowhere to present the government with its biggest challenge so far - and dare to wonder if they can do the same.

If an appeal was made to all unions in education for a total one-day education shutdown, that could ratchet up the opposition.

If students demonstrate on a Saturday, and made a call to all unions, and all parents to join them, that too could result in a mammoth show of strength, and prepare the ground for serious coordinated strike action.

Such strike action could rock this government. The Con-Dem coalition could break.

This NSSN anti-cuts conference can play a part in making these things happen. We urge students, workers and all who oppose these cuts to attend.

National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts conference

Saturday 22 January 2011

11.30am - 3.30pm

South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1 1RG. (by Euston station)

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

In The Socialist 15 December 2010:

Anti-cuts campaign

Workers and students unite!

National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts conference

Prepare to build the fight against all cuts in 2011

Fighting back against council cuts

Swansea: Council cuts must be fought

Hands off the Forest of Dean!

Workplace news in brief

Salford Against Cuts gets organised

Come to the TUSC conference

Socialist Party feature

Europe: Working class enters the struggle

Socialist Party news and analysis

US government turns the screws on WikiLeaks

Tommy Sheridan trial: Cameron's spin doctor let off the hook

Raking in the cash

Garment workers demand a living wage in Bangladesh

Socialist Party youth and students

Condemn brutal policing of students

Tories to legalise tax cheating

Interview with 24 November protesters

London students vote to coordinate with workers

Reports of 'Day X' fees protests

Save EMA day!

Youth democratic rights campaign: defend all victimised protesters

No more the 'apathetic generation'

Medirest workers on strike


Education white paper: A threat to schools and teachers


Home   |   The Socialist 15 December 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCollege protest against job losses

triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

triangleBristol and Bath students join detained asylum seekers' protest

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleNSSN conference moves

triangleNSSN pre-TUC rally

triangleNSSN conference

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting


triangleSouthampton: the cuts or no cuts election

triangleCoventry TUSC: Council cuts - how can we fight back?

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?


triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay


triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Journalists' union leaders defeat call for political fund, but potential for left grows



Retail union backs zero-hour ban, leaders oppose rank-and-file coordination



McDonald's strikers: "We demand a living wage and decent conditions"



Sheffield and South Yorkshire: no to closures - defend our NHS



Southampton: the cuts or no cuts election



School strike forces head to say privatisation will stop



College protest against job losses



Bromley library workers win strike campaign



UCU members vote to end pensions dispute



Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism



Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist



Hull says no to war, no to austerity


The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper


Socialist Party

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!


Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018