Socialist Worker

Re-ignite the student movement - and deepen unity

by Hannah Dee
Issue No. 2237

Trade unionists join students in Manchester  (Pic: Andy Coles)

Trade unionists join students in Manchester (Pic: Andy Coles)


Last weekend’s protests have put the student movement back on the streets.

They were an important step in building unity between students and workers.

The London demonstration’s size proves that the Education Activist Network and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts were right to call a protest in the capital.

It also shows the importance of backing from major unions. This support was critical to ensuring the police were not confident to kettle the demonstrators.

It stopped them blocking the thousands who marched on to the Egyptian embassy.

Students can now translate the solidarity workers have shown into united action as the lecturers’ UCU union begins to ballot for strikes.

They should organise joint rallies, student union general meetings, mass petitioning and collections to build support for lecturers and help maximise the yes vote.

Budget

This can pave the way for an education shut down on the first strike day—which will hopefully be on budget day.

This is just three days before the TUC demonstration against the cuts on 26 March.

Students are planning to organise a militant block on the march which can use the education shut down to agitate for a general strike.

And it cannot be business as usual on our campuses while university managements are planning massive hikes in fees, restructuring and cuts.

The pressing question is how we build a national wave of occupations against this.

Last Sunday’s National Education Assembly called several initiatives to re-ignite the movement which shook the government before Christmas.

These include a march on the elite school Eton, which will head a series of protests on 17 February against Tory vandalism of education.

A national day of action against vice chancellors on 24 February will climax with a London-wide demonstration.

Go to educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com


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News
Tue 1 Feb 2011, 17:11 GMT
Issue No. 2237
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