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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2019

Socialist Students conference shows potential for fighting leadership

Socialist Students conference sending solidarity to Birmingham home care workers, 9.2.19, photo by Corinthia Ward

Socialist Students conference sending solidarity to Birmingham home care workers, 9.2.19, photo by Corinthia Ward   (Click to enlarge)

Bea Gardner, Socialist Students national chair

Around 90 delegates and visitors from Socialist Students groups across Britain debated the student movement and its socialist potential on Saturday 9 February.

Socialist Students national organiser Theo Sharieff introduced the new national programme for Socialist Students, approved by the conference. He spoke about the potential role of the student movement in helping to kick out the decaying Tory government.

We welcomed Sam Morecroft from the Sheffield branch of the University and College Union (UCU). He highlighted the importance of Socialist Students' solidarity work during last year's pensions strike.

Mandy Buckley, a striking Birmingham home care worker, spoke about her union Unison's battle against Blairite Birmingham Labour council's cuts to jobs and pay. She thanked Socialist Students for our continued solidarity.

Commissions

In the afternoon, conference held separate commissions. Friedrich Engels' classic 'Socialism: Utopian and Scientific', just republished by Socialist Books. The lessons 100 years on from the German revolution.

And a commission on the very important upcoming strike for women's rights in the Spanish state. This was introduced by Marina Mata, visiting from the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Students' Union) and the Libres y Combativas (Free and Combative) socialist-feminist campaign.

A robust and political motions debate dealt with various pressing issues. We discussed our response to the capitalists' political crisis and growth of the far right. We resolved to support youth strikes for climate action, with our message that workers' struggle for socialist change is the only way of ending capitalist environmental destruction.

The UCU is again balloting for strike action on campus, this year over pay and conditions. Socialist Students continues to be an organisation with an enormous potential to bring about real change on campus and more widely.

In a year where the National Union of Students, controlled by the right, finds itself in an unprecedented financial crisis, the importance of building a fighting student leadership has never been more important.

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 February 2019:


News

Nationalise Airbus and other manufacturing plants to save jobs now!

NHS crisis deepens: Workers' and community action can save our health service

What we heard

What we saw


Youth climate strikes

"There's no planet B": Thousands of youth strike against climate change - we need socialist change!

Youth strike for the climate reports: "There's no planet B"


Opinion

TV: Les Misérables - Hugo's novel and this adaptation both offer a message of hope

The Socialist Inbox


What we think

Eight Blairites split - Now kick out the rest


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity must unite on pay and elections

Universal Credit staff ballot for action

Annoyed?! I'm annoyed to be on poverty wages

Nationalise to save jobs at Honda!

Birmingham bin strike against 'blacklisting'

Deliveroo riders strike against exploitative pay and conditions

Leicester college pay strike goes on

Cardiff Uni: urgent action needed to stop job cuts

Hackney: Unite fights racism and victimisation

Harrowing accounts of austerity at Unison women's conference

Unite GLL pay campaign


International socialist news and analysis

Spanish state: social polarisation and budget defeat force snap election


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Unite union London council workers back Enfield Labour no-cuts call

Leeds TUC presents a no-cuts alternative budget

Socialist Students conference shows potential for fighting leadership

London housing campaigners disrupt auction

Birmingham Uni: Standing up to racism is not harassment!

Leicester Socialists stand against Blairite mayor

Lincoln students back UCU ballot

Leicestershire needs NHS beds

Claimants and union slam Universal Credit

Energy retail firm collapse hits Tyneside


World economy

New recession fear stalks the world economy


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

triangleStudents in action: Protest on 21 April

trianglePolice invade student homes

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triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

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triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

triangleYouth under attack

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triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

triangleSocialist Party national youth meeting

Union:

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

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UCU:

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

Birmingham:

triangleSocialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign

University:

triangleFighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

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