Reports and Campaigns
Reports and campaigns:
Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now
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.
16 Jun Sparks win victory!
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Email: [email protected]
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 075 4018 9052
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793