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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2020

Socialist Students out on campus

Apprehension about Covid - anger at fees, costs and exploitation

Birmingham

Birmingham Socialist Students street meeting

Birmingham Socialist Students street meeting   (Click to enlarge)

The first street meeting of Socialist Students at the University of Birmingham was great. Students came together to discuss, plan and organise to fight the mountain of issues facing them and young workers - extortionate tuition fees and lifelong debt; contact time and use of facilities stripped to the bone; overpriced and overcrowded accommodation; low pay and insecure work.

Students concluded that they have no choice but to get organised and fight back. We're launching an 'open the books' campaign to see where the money from the uni is really being spent - huge vice-chancellor salaries and vanity projects.

Students and staff should democratically decide where resources are allocated. We think it should be on free education, subsidised housing and mental health services.

Kris O'Sullivan

Southampton

Socialist Students is out campaigning at Southampton and Solent universities. Many students signed up and were eager to help out straightaway.

Students described the apprehension of arriving in halls knowing how outbreaks have spread in other cities. They also described anger at the exploitative landlords and the cost of student accommodation run by Southampton University, which is in the top ten most expensive in the UK.

Nine students came to our meet-and-greet session. We spoke about launching campaigns on student housing and mental health. Everyone pointed to the need to change the material conditions of students and not look for individual solutions.

Students took away posters to put up in their halls of residence and bought copies of Socialist Students' magazine Megaphone to discuss with other students. Despite the limitations of no freshers' fair, we have had one of the strongest initial meetings to date which bodes well for an autumn of struggle.

Bea Gardner

Wolves

We were out talking to students, on 26 September, about the socialist plan to make sure that students and young people don't pay for the Covid crisis.

Teaching has largely moved online and campus social life is shut down, but students are still expected to pay 9,250 fees and thousands more in rent. There is no extra financial support to make up for the reduction in Saturday jobs or other costs.

Nick Hart

UCL

We had masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and wipes plus lots and lots of Socialist Student leaflets.

Lots of the people who signed up to Socialist Students, and put their name to our petition to scrap tuition fees and fund education, also thanked us for being out campaigning. Many were pleased to see young people talking about socialism during these trying Covid times.

We spoke to students about Covid, abolishing tuition fees, homes for all, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and building a Socialist Students group at UCL.

Ian Pattison

Donate to the Socialist Party

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 30 September 2020:


News

Tory scheme won't halt mass unemployment: mobilise the unions!

Job Support Scheme - too little, too late

Under the microscope

News in brief


International news

Trump's failure over western US wildfires

US: Police escape justice over Breonna Taylor killing

South Africa: Working class unity to stop violence against women


What we think

Covid restrictions expose Tory splits


Students

Students trapped on Covid campuses speak out

Apprehension about Covid - anger at fees, costs and exploitation


Black History Month

Still crawling at 60: Capitalism has failed Nigeria


Workplace news

Trade unions must fight to put their stamp on events

Usdaw elections: Defend members' right to participate

PCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action

NHS workers need 15% rise and full funding

Fight BT redundancies

Peterborough CWU have massively voted for strike action


Campaigns and party news

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Labour moved right and left me behind

71,522 raised: We've smashed our target again

Selling the Socialist

Newham: Closed and evicted

Campaign for new King George Hospital wing gets boost

Solidarity not charity


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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