Fighting for our future!

Mary Finch, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
National Youth and student meeting 9-10 February 2013, photo Suzanne Beishon

National Youth and student meeting 9-10 February 2013, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The Socialist Party held its 2013 national youth and students meeting on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 February, with around 80 people attending from across England and Wales.

The meeting opened with Socialist Party deputy general secretary Hannah Sell leading the discussion on the struggle for socialism around the world, including the most recent struggles in Greece and South Africa, and developing struggles in Britain.

The meeting split into separate political commissions, including: the need for a revolutionary party, how Marxist economics explain the current capitalist crisis, and what happened in Russia – could Stalinism rise again?

On Sunday, Claire Laker-Mansfield spoke about youth perspectives, and the work that young members in the party are supporting, particularly Youth Fight for Jobs and its ‘Sick of Your Boss?’ campaign, Socialist Students and Rape is No Joke.

Several people gave short reports of local successes with Socialist Students on campus, and in unionising their workplaces.

The meeting identified unemployment and underemployment, housing, sexism and education as some key issues currently surrounding and engaging youth.

The meeting ended with more commissions focussing on building the Socialist Party: writing for the Socialist, writing a leaflet, visiting a picket line, organising a demonstration, and attracting new members to the party.

We need fighting student unions

The youth and student meeting compared the anger of students with the lack of a fightback by the officialdom of the National Union of Students (NUS) and local student unions.

Socialist Students, as well as building campaigns among students, also demands a democratically accountable, fighting student leadership.

Edmund Schluessel spoke about why he is standing for Socialist Students in this year’s NUS executive elections, to be held at the NUS conference on 8-10 April.

Students occupy against job cuts

Students from Sussex Against Privatisation have occupied the Bramber House conference centre at Sussex University.

They are protesting against plans from the university management to privatise services which will affect 10% of staff.

Socialist Students also extended its full solidarity the recent occupation of the Finance and Human Resources department at Birmingham University over the sacking of lecturer Joseph Nafafe.

Socialist Students joins with Birmingham students in calling for his immediate reinstatement.

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