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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 March 2007

Lambeth Students and Community unite

A huge cheer went up as from dozens of Lambeth college students as Wednesday's SOS demonstration (see above) reached Lambeth Town Hall. Over 200 Lambeth students took to the streets that day (28/02/07) to protest against the withdrawal of English courses for migrant workers and the withdrawal and cutting of other courses for disabled adults at the college. They marched to Westminster and joined hundreds more students from around the country to lobby MPs over cuts in higher education. Later that evening the students returned to Lambeth with their banners and placards to lobby the full council meeting.

Over 170 colleges have reported budget shortfalls over 1 million (2.3 million in Lambeth). Courses could have fees increases of up to 15%. The most vulnerable are suffering with the latest attacks on English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL).

At Lambeth College the unions and students have shown the way forward, organising a series of mass demonstrations and a conference of over 100 activists at the Brixton Recreation centre.

Lecturers' union UCU has now launched a manifesto for FE education and a 'Save ESOL' campaign. We should mobilise around this and turn anger into mass action. Last Wednesday's action was a good example of how students, community groups and trade unions can link up to fight for the education and services our communities need.

Andy Tullis, Lambeth

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