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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 April 2016

Portsmouth: Campaigning for scholarships for refugees - and free education for all

Refugees in Calais, photo by Paul Mattsson

Refugees in Calais, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Vladimir Bortun, Portsmouth Socialist Students

One of the issues getting students most angry and active recently has been the refugee crisis.

Portsmouth Socialist Students, together with activists from other student societies, have launched a petition asking the University of Portsmouth to offer 20 scholarships to refugees. 26 British universities have already done this.

We already have over 1,000 signatures and our petition has been endorsed by the student union. We are preparing an open letter to the governing body of the university to support the petition.

However, not all of our fellow students have lived up to this display of solidarity.

Some have launched an online counter-petition asking the university not to grant any scholarships to refugees. Their argument (which they refused to defend in an open debate) is that refugees should not get scholarships as long as domestic students have to pay for their education.

We replied to them - both in the local press and on the student union website - that we support free education for all and are also actively campaigning against fees, cuts and privatisation of education. Education should be a fundamental right rather than a privilege reserved to fewer and fewer people.

Our support for refugees goes hand in hand with opposing cuts in public services and putting forward a real alternative to austerity. All these issues are connected to one another as they ultimately have the same root cause - capitalism.

So it is us - socialists - who support refugees while also genuinely fighting for people's needs in this country on a daily basis and not only when it fits a petty, xenophobic agenda.

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In The Socialist 13 April 2016:


Panama Papers

Panama Papers reveal corrupt system of the 1%

Austerity not needed

Reactionary EU campaigners implicated by Panama Papers

Another Fifa corruption scandal

Houses for offshore investment, we're stuck at home


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise to save all Steel jobs

Save BIS Sheffield: we won't be a Northern Poorhouse!

RMT branch calls for TUSC backing to continue

Doctors fight on against imposed contracts

Construction workers defend jobs and pay

Workplace news in brief


Review: Militant by Michael Crick

Review: 'Militant' by Michael Crick


Refugees

Solidarity with refugees: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

Campaigning for scholarships for refugees - and free education for all


International socialist news and analysis

France: full-scale struggle with government is erupting

Bangladesh: stop the Rampal power project

Brazil: solidarity with attacked civil servants

International Panama Papers protests


EU referendum

Bosses back EU to boost NHS sell-offs


Socialist Party campaigns

Library occupation ends with march on cutting council

Sales of the Socialist on the rise, read all about it!

No A-level courses in Knowsley thanks to 'academies' system

Workers and youth unite to defend vital services

"Not the church, not the state - women must decide their fate!"


Defend the NHS

Huddersfield A&E fightback grows

Demonstration to defend the NHS in Leicester

Worcestershire: hands off our health service!


Comment

Letter: Women and work


 

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