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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2016

Students and workers unite and fight!

Socialist Students marching for free education, photo Johnny Dickens

Socialist Students marching for free education, photo Johnny Dickens   (Click to enlarge)

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

"Students and workers: unite and fight!" This chant will ring out on London's streets on 19 November.

The 'United for Education' march taking place that day is the first national demo organised jointly by the National Union of Students (NUS) and University and Colleges Union (UCU) since 2010.

Back then, a 50,000-strong protest sparked a mass movement against the tripling of tuition fees. Six years on, as students and education workers again march side by side, we continue that struggle.

Since Theresa May took office, we have witnessed fresh attempts to segregate young people and label them failures. The clearest example is the plan to turn the clocks back and reintroduce grammar schools.

But the blueprints for segregation don't stop there. The Higher Education and Research Bill also threatens to create a 'bronze, silver or gold' tiered universities system. Meanwhile, viciously cruel cuts to further education will leave thousands of working class people out in the cold.

Despite their rhetoric of 'aspiration', the Tories' real aim is to smash young people's expectations. They want us to blame ourselves for the failings of their capitalist system. By labelling swathes of us second-rate, they hope to predispose us towards accepting a life of low pay, insecurity and poverty.

But this march will show that young people do not accept austerity Britain's paltry offerings. We say education is a right, not a privilege. So as well as declaring our intention to fight every fresh attack the Tories have planned, we are also demanding an education system that works for all, not just the sons and daughters of the rich.

We are demanding a system that will nurture the talent and potential of every young person, whatever their background. A system that is fully funded, publicly owned, democratically run and universally free at all levels.

So when we chant "students and workers: unite and fight", we will not be referring to any single demonstration. This must be a slogan that is taken back to every college, school and university. The 'United for Education' march must act as a launch for a mass campaign, organised on every campus across the country.

As the march rallies, Darletta Scruggs, a member of Socialist Alternative - co-thinkers of the Socialist Party in the US - will address the crowd. She will describe the huge protests already developing against the hated Donald Trump across America.

This gives a glimpse of the kinds of movements that can develop all over the world in the next months and years. Socialist Students is organising to help build a mass education fightback all over the country. Join us and get involved.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 16 November 2016:


It's Socialism or Trumpism

Trump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

Lessons for Britain: Trump victory shows the right can't beat the right


Socialism 2016

Socialism 2016: Electrifying and powerful weekend puts socialism on the agenda


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Mass prison officer walkout over health and safety

Durham teaching assistants strike: 2,000 walk out

London Underground: RMT wins victory

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Support the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Secret hospital closures: bosses must come clean

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Students and workers unite and fight!


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