Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2012

No cuts, No fees, Bring back EMA

Walkout 14 March

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

The Con-Dems' cuts represent a potential death blow to the idea of education as a right for all. This includes the axing of EMA student payments for college students, the tripling of unviersity fees, vicious cuts and privatisation programmes across all aspects of education, including the free school and academy scam.

But students are fighting back. Now Socialist Students is building for the biggest possible action on the NUS-called walkout on 14 March. Where the NUS has not put its full weight into campaigning for this, it is unlikely to reflect the scale of students' anger. This must be just the start!

Strike 28 March

Unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers, including lecturers, are planning to strike to defend their pensions on 28 March. Students should join the picket lines at their colleges and universities and refuse to go to classes if they take place. Mass action by trade unions has the power to stop the government's attacks. Workers and students, unite and fight!

What can students do to defend education?

Ian Pattison, Socialist Students
November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Students arriving at university in September will be the first to pay the new 9,000 tuition fees and by that time, EMA student payments could be a thing of the past. Can students do anything to change things?

On Wednesday 14 March, students will walk out as part of the National Union of Students (NUS) national student walkout. NUS has called the walkout over privatisation. But students aren't just walking out to stop the selling off and profiteering of our education by big business.

Quite rightly, students are angry over a whole host of issues - the crippling rise in tuition fees to 9,000, the scrapping of EMA, cuts. Students are also being denied access to healthy food or liveable accommodation on many university campuses. That is why Socialist Students has been campaigning to make sure the demands of the walkout reflect the broad range of issues that students are angry about.

2010 student movement

Massive student demo called by the NUS expresses anger against cuts, photo T.U. Senan

Massive student demo called by the NUS expresses anger against cuts, photo T.U. Senan   (Click to enlarge)

On 10 November 2010, 52,000 students marched through the streets of London in defence of our education on the NUS-organised demonstration. This gave confidence to students that they weren't alone in fighting back.

Socialist Students gave out 10,000 leaflets on the day calling for mass student walkouts to defend education. Two weeks later, 120,000 school, college, and university students responded to the call. This was despite the fact the right-wing NUS leadership refused to support the walkout.

It was school and college students who organised some of the most successful walkouts in 2010. But these students haven't been included in this year's walkout by the NUS leadership, even though they have as much, if not more, to lose from the attacks on our education.

Schools and colleges

School and college students need to get organised. Activists should look to set up school and college student unions and fight for NUS affiliation. Where this isn't possible, Youth Fight for Education groups could play a similar role of democratically organising the fightback against cuts and to bring back EMA.

When the date of the walkout was announced a month ago NUS president, Liam Burns, said "let's clear out the lecture theatres, the seminar rooms, the ITC suites and the libraries and demonstrate clearly that without students, universities are just empty buildings. Let's work hard together to show that students care and make the national walkout count."

Liam Burns talked 'left' when he stood for election and used anti-fees rhetoric, but has since betrayed all of his campaign promises. The problem with the NUS leadership is that they are tied to New Labour, and are more concerned with pursuing their own careers than properly representing students.

The NUS leadership has not built for the walkout effectively and the numbers who take part on the day are likely to reflect this. But this is not the last chance.

National demonstration

We need a national demonstration in the autumn term with coaches booked from every university in the country. This demonstration should demand free education, the reinstatement of EMA, no cuts and no privatisation. It should be used as a launch pad for a mass movement demanding the right to a decent education.

Mass movements of students and workers can force this millionaire government into retreat. On 28 March, just a fortnight after the walkout, teachers, lecturers, and civil servants are planning to strike together in defence of pensions. Ideally, these two events should have been on the same day.

The pensions sell-out by some of the right-wing trade union leaders means that fewer people will take strike action on 28 March than on 30 November 2011. Regrettably, some striking public sector workers will see this as a step back for their campaign. However, if tens of thousands of students join striking workers' demonstrations, it will give confidence to public sector trade unionists that their fight is not over.

We have to coordinate our action in the future. This will broaden out the student walkout and the public sector strikes to be not just about education and pensions but all cuts. We're already forcing the government and big business back on workfare.

A determined and sustained struggle of students, workers, and the unemployed can stop the attacks on our education, rights and services dead in their tracks.

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

In The Socialist 7 March 2012:

Fighting the government's attacks

On 28 March: Strike back against the Con-Dems

Trade unions must build mass party

NHS: Axe Lansley's bill!

International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2012

Socialist Party International Women's Day schools

Socialist Party youth and students


No cuts, No fees, Bring back EMA

NUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kirklees marches to save child centres

Leeds Tenants Federation opposes Welfare Reform Bill

Become Coventry deputy mayor? Thanks, but no thanks!

Attack on pay defeated at Manchester's NHS Trust

Stop prison guards housing asylum seekers - stop G4S!

Party/campaigns news in brief

Socialist Party workplace news

MMP workers step up action

Unison: Delegates gagged

Anti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites

London election candidate named in employers' blacklist

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Quebec: Students engage in 'indefinite' general strike action

Spain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts

Revolution through Arab eyes - the Factory

Socialist Party news and analysis

A4e - The inside story

Cops and big business robbers

Them & Us


Home   |   The Socialist 7 March 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

triangleScene set for TUSC conference electoral debate

triangleHaringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

triangleNorthern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback


triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

triangleLecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Fighting for free education


triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

triangleManchester Socialist Students: 200 years of Marxism

triangleFat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students


triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!


triangleCorbyn's alternative for young people


triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students


triangleLeeds college pay protests

Socialist Students:

triangleSouthampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers

Tuition Fees:

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice


Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity



Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections



What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in



Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!


Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands



We can win the fight for the NHS



NHS - build the fightback



Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war



Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council



90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes



Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house



Trump v NHS



NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement



Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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: 0191 421 6230

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

February 2018

January 2018