Socialist Worker

Wave of solidarity with the Millbank student protesters

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2228

The police, the media and most politicians are carrying out an offensive against student protesters who occupied the Tories’ Millbank HQ.

Some 58 students had been arrested as Socialist Worker went to press.

But ordinary people are refusing to let students be victimised—and have rightly rushed to defend them.

More than 2,400 people had signed a statement supporting student protesters within days of it being issued.

Another 5,000 have joined a Facebook group backing the statement.

It reads, “We reject any attempt to characterise the Millbank protest as small, ‘extremist’ or unrepresentative of our movement.

“We celebrate the fact that thousands of students were willing to send a message to the Tories that we will fight to win.

“We stand with the protesters, and anyone who is victimised as a result of the protest.”

Trade unionists wasted no time in defending the students.

The day after Wednesday’s demonstration, an RMT union member on the London Underground began collecting signatures for the defence statement.

So far more than 35 tube and rail workers have signed it. They include Alex Gordon, president of the RMT, Steve Hedley, regional organiser for London Transport RMT, and Oliver New from the RMT’s national executive.

On the same day, teachers at Islington Sixth Form Centre in north London unanimously passed a motion supporting and congratulating the students for their actions on Wednesday.

They said the real violence is being done to the lives of future generations.

Lecturers on the UCU union’s national executive produced a statement backing the students. More than 20 have signed it.

“We call upon all in the labour movement, and those affiliated to the NUS, to rally behind all who were arrested for fighting to defend their education,” it says.

Workers have also challenged media distortion of the Millbank protest, writing letters and articles in local newspapers.

The Tories are taking the axe to millions of working class lives. That’s why many are standing shoulder to shoulder with the students.

Sign the statement at

For more information go to

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.