Socialist Worker

Students march through London for free education

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2140

Up to 800 students marched through central London on Wednesday to campaign for free education and to send a message to the government that privatisation will not be tolerated.

The march gathered to hear a short rally at Soas campus, the site of the first occupation over Gaza which kick started a wave of student protest.

The spirit of the occupation movement was well represented on the demonstration.

Kate from Soas told Socialist Worker, “It’s great to see so many people here at Soas. I really feel like a movement has begun that can start to tackle anything we come up against.”

Students came from all over Britain to attend the demonstration with coaches from Leeds, Sussex and Birmingham all converging on London.

Speaking at the opening rally, Mark Bergfeld from Essex University told the crowd, “We have a saying in Germany that 400 students in a road can bring traffic to a standstill, but 400 truck drivers can bring a whole country to a stop.

“We have to join together with workers in our struggle and change society together.” He was met with massive cheers and applause.

The march stopped outside the headquarters of the national body of Vice Chancellors – Universities UK. Chants of “Shame on you” came through the crowd as students expressed anger at the privatisation on campuses.

There was a strong anti-capitalist message on the protest, as students linked the current economic crisis to privatisation and imperialism.

This can be the start of a vibrant campaign for students in a renewed fight for free education and regaining control of our universities.

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