Lecturers across Britain were backing mass protests this Thursday—and some called for walkouts.
Socialists played a key role in arguing for action to back the students.
The London region of the lecturers’ UCU union passed a motion urging members to support the union leaders’ call for protests, but also to back “the call from the student movement for walkouts” on Thursday.
It called upon UCU nationally to “back all members in maximising our involvement with students on 9 December by actions up to and including walkouts and to defend UCU members involved in such actions”.
Unfortunately, the UCU nationally has not followed London’s lead.
It backed a lobby of parliament on Thursday, along with the NUS, but not demonstrations or walkouts.
The London region also issued a statement supporting the students’ protests for others to sign. It said, “The student movement has inspired all those who wish to defend education for all.
“If the Coalition government get away with raising tuition fees and cutting EMA it will deny access to further and higher Education making it the preserve of the very wealthy.”
Dozens of trade unionists signed, as well as journalist John Pilger and three MPs.
Meanwhile, members of the UCU Left group in the union, which Socialist Workers Party members are part of, also issued a statement.
It backed Thursday’s protests and called on UCU branches “to work with students to book transport and to raise support for the demonstration and lobby.”
Some 30 members of the union’s national executive committee signed it, along with several regional and branch secretaries.
Socialist Workers Party members in the UCU, including 13 national executive members, have also issued a call to action. It says that UCU members “should be prepared to ‘walk out’ with our students.”
And it calls for lecturers to defy the anti-union laws and “unite and fight” with students.
To add your name to the statement ‘Our students are fighting to defend education for all—join them’ email firstname.lastname@example.org View signatures and full statement at educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com