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Posted on 22 October 2015 at 14:29 GMT

Marching for free education in Leeds, March 2015, photo by Tanis Belsham-Wray

Marching for free education in Leeds, March 2015, photo by Tanis Belsham-Wray   (Click to enlarge)

YFJ to join Leeds free education demo

This Saturday, 24th October, hundreds of students and supporters will take to the streets to protest against education cuts and call for free education.

The demonstration will assemble at 12 noon outside the Leeds university students union and march into Leeds finishing at City Square around 1.30pm.

Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs will be joining the demonstration and helping to organise a post-demonstration meeting on how to continue the fight against austerity.

This demonstration follows calls for support for free education from the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn during his campaign for election to that position over the summer. It also follows a national free education demo in 2014 and a 150-strong demonstration in Leeds earlier this year.

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire organiser of Youth Fight for Jobs commented: "Youth Fight for Jobs is primarily a campaign against low pay and poor working conditions many young people face, but this for us has always been linked to the wider situation facing young people including in education. We've joined students to campaign against tuition fee rises and the scraping of EMA in 2010/11 and when we organised protests in Leeds that contributed to the government dropping plans to privatise student loans in 2014".

"We are delighted to work with the Leeds for Free Education campaign in helping organise young people to fight for a future they deserve and that society is wealthy enough to afford. The obstacle that we have to challenge, as with issues like zero-hour contracts, is a political will that puts the interests of big business before ordinary people."

19,000 students in Leeds alone have been affected by the Conservative government's announcement that it will be discontinuing maintenance grants to students from the poorest families.

Many of these students rely on such grants to be able to afford essentials like food and housing while at university.

Maddy Steeds, Leeds for Free Education press officer, said: "Young people are bearing the brunt of the latest announced austerity measures of the new Tory government.

"Alongside the scrapping of grants which thousands of students in Leeds depend on, there are also huge cuts that have been announced to funding for Further Education courses.

"Alongside this are plans to restrict housing benefit and the government's proposed 'living wage' won't benefit anyone under 25."

"But Britain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world; with the 120 billion that is evaded and avoided in tax from corporations and the wealthy we could fund a top quality education system.

"That's why myself and hundreds of students will be marching for free education on Saturday."

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) was launched in 2009 by young workers, students and unemployed youth to campaign for a future for young people of either a real job, quality training or free education.
It is supported by 8 national trade unions, PCS, RMT, UCU, CWU, TSSA, UNITE, BECTU and BFAWU as well as many individual trade union branches.
YFJ has organised numerous demonstrations highlighting the lack of a future for young people around issues of unemployment, education cuts and the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance and organised the Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 on the 75th anniversary of the original march.
YFJ took part in and organised protests in 2012 that forced Tesco to backtrack on its support for the government's workfare schemes.

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