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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 September 2018

Freshers fairs: socialist ideas chime with students

Socialist Students, along with Socialist Party members, have been engaging with students at this year's freshers fairs on a wide range of issues - how to build a movement to scrap tuition fees; how to link up students and workers to bring down the Tories; as well as explaining our broader socialist ideas. Below we carry a small selection of reports of these activities. More reports will be carried in future issues of the Socialist.

Manchester

Over three days, Socialist Students in Manchester held regular campaign stalls. Our demand - "Kick out the Tories" - resonated with many students who link May's government to a rise in poverty pay, insecure work and skyrocketing student debt.

The last few years have been marked by young people looking for radical answers. It has become common sense to look at the capitalist system as fundamentally broken. It is no surprise then that around 300 students signed up to Socialist Students and dozens of international students attended our meetings with enthusiasm.

One of our meetings was titled 'What is communism?' As well as continuing to feed the myth that dictatorial Stalinist regimes represent 'socialism' or 'communism', since the collapse of the Soviet Union, people have been fed the myth that the ideas of Marx and Engels are irrelevant in the 21st century. Our experience shows that young people are coming to see through the lies. Our generation is rediscovering Marxism, and Socialist Students is playing a leading role in that.

Tom Costello

Leeds Beckett

This year, Socialist Students had one of the best ever freshers fairs at Leeds Beckett University, with over 90 people giving their details for our mailing list.

Our 'Kick out the Tories' leaflets drew lots of positive comments from students, showing a keenness to see an end to this weak government of austerity.

But many students also wanted to discuss how socialist ideas can change the world. This was reflected in the sales of around 20 copies of the Socialist during the week, alongside sales of the Socialist Students magazine Megaphone, showing a thirst for socialist ideas.

Despite a deluge of rain before our 'What is Socialism?' meeting was due to start, several freshers braved the weather to find out more about getting active in Socialist Students.

Iain Dalton, Socialist Students Yorkshire organiser

Winchester

Winchester University freshers fair took place during a downpour. But that didn't stop Socialist Students making its mark in winning new, but drenched, students into our ranks.

I stood outside the entrance to the building containing the major political societies. There isn't an established Socialist Students group, but this is soon to change given the immensely positive response to our leaflets from students.

Unfortunately the rain made it difficult for students to stop and discuss. But nonetheless, six Megaphone magazines were sold and new contacts made! Chants of "Kick out the Tories," "Save our NHS from Tory privatisation," and "Destroy student debt!" were very popular. A personal highlight was shouting "Save our NHS, Tories out!" to local Tory MP Steve Brine's face!

Members of the Tory and Lib Dem societies spotted my success and started to leaflet on the other side of the entrance. However, the sight of a nearby bin overflowing with their leaflets made it perfectly clear that Socialist Students is destined for growth in Winchester.

Michelle Francis

Sussex

Sussex University Socialist Students freshers campaign stall 19 September 2018, photo Scott Jones

Sussex University Socialist Students freshers campaign stall 19 September 2018, photo Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)

Students from Brighton and Sussex had a successful stall at this year's Sussex University freshers fair. With a growing presence at both local universities, we were able to turn up in greater numbers than ever before.

Students were enthused by our petition to kick out the Tories, and others stopped to ask us about socialism. Several put their details down to help us re-affiliate to the students' union this year.

We are currently preparing for an introductory meeting of Socialist Students on 4 October to launch another successful year for the group.

It was clear from the discussions held on the stall that people recognised the need to build a campaigning organisation, with a presence both on and off the campuses, that can help wage a genuine struggle to change society.

Sussex Socialist Students

Portsmouth

No surprise there was interest in our stall at Portsmouth Freshers Fair, we were the only ones saying "Kick out the Tories!" and demanding an immediate general election to ensure tuition fees are scrapped and a socialist anti-austerity alternative is built. Our meeting after the fair discussed that and other questions like Brexit. Portsmouth Socialist Students is up and running and ready to play its part in the downfall of Maybot and the Tories.

Nick Chaffey

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In The Socialist 26 September 2018:


What we think

Militant was right - councils can fight cuts

Fight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party

Fighting for socialism amid capitalist chaos


Socialist Students

Students and workers unite and fight

Freshers fairs: socialist ideas chime with students


News

Private firms and toothless regulator to blame for trains chaos - nationalise rail now!

Fight plans for A&E appointment system - fight to save our NHS

Labour civil war rages in Enfield

Them & Us


Workplace

Who wants driver-only operation?

Hospitality workers coordinate historic strike

Strike vote: college staff want a pay rise

Compulsory redundancies stopped at Leicester University

Safety-critical airport workers continue strike

Glasgow workers striking for equal pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Victory for Sheffield Save Our NHS

Residents push back Barking estate landlords

Brilliant sales at Labour Party conference

Directors' contempt for repressed workers

Huddersfield campaigners keep their powder dry


International socialist news and analysis

Trump's tariffs raise international tensions


Opinion

Powerful defence of the welfare state

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleSouth East London Socialist Students & Socialist Party: After the election - perspectives for 2020

triangleStudents and workers united in struggle

triangleResist attacks against free speech on campus

triangleSwansea: students protest against Hillary Clinton hypocrisy

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Tories out! Corbyn in with socialist policies

Freshers fairs:

triangleFreshers fairs 2019: Impatience for change and determination to fight

triangleEnthusiasm for Socialist ideas at the freshers fairs

triangleWinning a new generation of students

triangleEnthusiasm for socialism at freshers fairs

Socialist:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Organising the Socialist Party fightback in 2020

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: NHS in crisis

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: A socialist programme for the Welsh Assembly

Students:

triangleYoung people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

triangleClimate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

Winchester:

triangleCollege cuts and funding chaos

Manchester:

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: What does the general election result mean for 2020?

Portsmouth:

triangleSouth Western Railway staff strike for safety

Sussex:

triangleNationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Tories:

triangleMassive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

Young people:

triangleStand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

Tuition Fees:

triangleTheresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

Universities:

triangleUni strike takes fight to bosses

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