Socialist Worker

More action wanted over fees

Issue No. 1881

AROUND 200 students attended a lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week to protest against the government's plans to introduce university top-up fees.

The National Union of Students (NUS) called the lobby on the day that was originally set for the first reading of the bill to introduce the fees. However, faced with opposition from backbench MPs, Blair has moved the reading to January.

After demonstrating in Parliament Square for an hour, around 100 students joined a sit-down protest, blocking roads around central London. They then burned an effigy of education minister Charles Clarke at the gates of parliament.

Lucy attended the protest with a large delegation from Sussex University in Brighton. She said, 'We've come here today because it's unfair to charge students for their education. The system should be funded through income tax. But if we are going to win we need a mass movement. At the moment there is not enough happening.'

Many of the students echoed her frustration.

The leadership of the NUS, dominated by Labour Students and independent right wingers, has not organised a national demonstration or campaigned for direct action to fight New Labour's proposals.

Mike, a student who came with a delegation from Imperial College to the lobby, summed up the mood, saying, 'This lobby is too small. We need a more organised campaign.'

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Sat 13 Dec 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1881
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