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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2020

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

Visiting the Manchester Student occupation. photo: Manchester and Salford SP

Visiting the Manchester Student occupation. photo: Manchester and Salford SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sebastian Prior, Manchester and Salford Socialist Party

Socialist Party members in Manchester visited the 25 students occupying 'The Tower' at Manchester University to show our solidarity on 15 November. These students represent the discontent and anger of the whole student body. Like other institutions across the country, Manchester University has taken full payment of the 9,000 tuition fees, and 4,000 annual rent, with the promise of a high-quality education. A promise which has not been met.

Students have been exposed to dangerous living conditions, online education, and a rent increase, all while being isolated from their families and each other. The 'Tower' occupation was described as the result of a gradual fanning of the flames of student anger. Throughout this process the university has refused to meet with the students, and has even utilised police and private security to prevent supporters from joining them, or passing them food and vital supplies.

The mood on campus is one of betrayal, but most importantly of determination. Students spoke of continuing the rent strike, and their anger at the commodification and privatisation of universities, stating: "They're treating the university like a business, and we're sick of it, you can't prioritise education if you're prioritising profit."

The awareness of students is certainly rising, and the students we spoke to made this very apparent, stating that the effects of this strike could be a victory not just for Manchester, but for all students. They spoke of the need to remove the profiteers from university institutions, and take the accommodation and the university into the hands of the students and workers at the university.

We had a warm welcome and our ideas clearly enthused and resounded with the strikers and supporters. We will continue to act to support their demands, and help them achieve the goal of democratic workers' and student control of universities.

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In The Socialist 18 November 2020:


What we think

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party


News

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

System failing thousands of children in care

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all


Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism


Students

Tories student 'evacuation' plan will not work

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?


Schools

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue


Workplace news

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

Optare: Right to strike defended

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Hackney council parking services brought in-house


TUSC

After Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation


Campaigns

How will Socialism 2020 work?

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Stop Leicester hospital closure


Youth

Young Socialists organising for our future


Obituary

Obituary: Paul Chettle


Letters

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Manchester:

triangleManchester and Salford Socialist Party: COP26 - A socialist response

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: The Grenfell disaster

triangleManchester death rate caused by deprivation

triangleGo Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

triangleWith public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund

Student:

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs - why we're marching on 9 October

triangleSunak's student special

triangleNigeria: Comrade Omomeewa, student leader and socialist campaigner, killed by armed assailants

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

Occupation:

triangleThe 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders occupation and work-in

triangleStop war on Gaza demo, London 15.5.21. Socialist Party members were at the many protests across Britain

triangleRent strikers' victory in student halls

Education:

triangleSchool staff need a pay rise

triangleStrategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Students:

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

University:

triangleUniversity bosses' pay piles up while workers are forced to strike

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triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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