Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/833/19672

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2014

Students march on 19 November...

Build the education fightback

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

Four years ago, on 10 November 2010, London's streets thronged with over 50,000 young people.

The mood was angry, but it was also electric. This was the start of a movement which gave thousands their first taste of struggle.

Two weeks later, up to 100,000 students walked out of schools and colleges. Austerity's bitter medicine, in this case the tripling of tuition fees and snatching of education maintenance allowance, was angrily rejected.

Students marching on 19 November 2014 will rightly be asking what the next steps are for our movement today. How can we rebuild an effective movement to challenge the government and end austerity in education?

The immediate task will be solidarity with university staff participating in a marking boycott and potential strike action over pay and conditions. Their fight is ours too.

But there is also the question of our leadership.

Traitors

Outrageously, in the run up to the march, the right wing leadership of the National Union of Students (NUS) attempted to pull the plug. In an online statement, NUS president Toni Pearce announced she and other full time officers were overturning a decision by the union's national executive council to support the protest. "Safety concerns" were the given reason.

This is a disgraceful dereliction of duty. In the run up to a general election, with further attacks on education threatened, failing to organise or even support a national demonstration is criminal.

Should the NUS have genuine concerns about safety, its attitude should be to provide resources and expertise to assist organisers in resolving them. Better still, if official student leaders had organised the demonstration in the first place, they could easily have prevented any such difficulties.

We must not be prepared to wait for 'permission' from right wingers like Toni Pearce to organise the desperately needed fightback.

Looking back, the magnificent 2010 student movement can seem distant. It too was betrayed by the leadership of the NUS, who abandoned the fight after the first demonstration.

Combined with this, the working class - with its huge economic power - had yet to enter the arena of struggle. Despite boiling anger and a strong sense of solidarity with students, workers were being held back by a 'block at the top' of the trade unions.

These factors meant round one in the battle against sky high fees and cuts ended in defeat.

Fightback

But no defeats are final. Following on from the march, we need to return to our campuses and continue to organise against cuts. This means strikes, protests and occupations to keep the pressure up on university management and students' union leaders to resist attacks.

It also means fighting for a political alternative. None of the main parties can be trusted with our education. Sitting tight and hoping for a Labour government - the party who introduced fees in the first place - is not a viable strategy.

The energy and vitality of the student movement, when linked with the muscle of organised workers - the trade union movement - makes a formidable force. The scenes of resistance in 2010 were just the beginning.

Students and workers unite!


National student demo

Free Education - no cuts, no fees, no debt!

Wednesday 19 November, central London

Assembles 12noon, Malet Street, near Euston


Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 12 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win 10 an hour

Socialism '14: infused with contagious confidence

'A magical fairyland' of corporate tax avoiders

What recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Afghanistan war: A legacy of death and destruction

Mid-term elections do not mean shift to right in US


Socialist history

25 years after the Berlin Wall fell


Socialist Party youth and students

Build the education fightback

Fight for our future!


Socialist Party workplace news

St Mungo's strikers celebrate victory

Care UK workers to ballot on 2% pay deal

Sheffield recycling: 'We're out until the boss is out'

Crane drivers tell HTC: It's time to pay up!

Fight JCB's 150 job cuts

London RMT: Vote John Reid


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leading Scottish trade unionists back TUSC

Leicester party building school


Reviews and readers' comments

Exhibition review: Disobedient Objects

Theatre Review: United We Stand

Little charity from high paid care bosses

Labour - the singer or the song?

Flawed maths of the bedroom tax


Obituary

Heulwen Davies 1960-2014


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 November 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

triangleStudents in action: Protest on 21 April

trianglePolice invade student homes

Education:

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

triangleBrighton: Moulsecoomb strike against academisation

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

triangleRedbridge school walkout over victimised union rep

Students:

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

trianglePimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

Union:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

NUS:

triangleHow students can fight and win

University:

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

Tuition Fees:

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/7/21

Unison

New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

22/7/21

Pay

Public sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

21/7/21

PCS

Government departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

16/7/21

Football

Football: Smash racism

14/7/21

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party

14/7/21

Pride

Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

14/7/21

Bin workers

Workplace round-up

14/7/21

Strike

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

14/7/21

BT

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

14/7/21

Birmingham

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

14/7/21

TUSC

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

14/7/21

Council

Stop Pimlico gentrification

14/7/21

Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

14/7/21

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign

14/7/21

Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999