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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2011

Students demand - 'save our EMA'

Join the demos on 29 January

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

AS STUDENTS restart their protest action in the New Year over the rise in fees and cutting of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), a poll has revealed the extent of the impact that the attack on EMA will have on working class young people.

Suzanne Beishon

Of 160 colleges surveyed from across the country 94% thought the abolition of EMA would have a significant effect on students' ability to get to college. This is a damning indictment of the government's vicious proposal to scrap a grant that will only save a measly £500 million.

The 'Save EMA' days of action this month on 19 and 26 January will build towards two demonstrations on 29 January in London and Manchester. These student demonstrations will be the first to take place on a weekend with the aim of drawing in more support and linking the fight for a free and decent education to the broader anti-cuts movement.

The student protests have been seen by many to be the tip of the iceberg. As the cuts to public services and jobs begin to take effect there will be waves of demonstrations, protests and strikes on a scale not seen since the anti-poll tax movement of the early 1990s (see page 11).

Students have shown spontaneity and ability to organise and have won concessions in Scotland and Wales - saving EMA and defending the cap on fees.

However students will not be able to defeat the government alone; it will only be through the weight of the working class and trade union movement joining the students that we will be able to see a lasting victory. A glimpse of the power of the working class is shown when the RMT and TSSA rail unions strike and bring the 'all powerful' city of London to a standstill.

The demonstrations on 29 January have, for the first time in this struggle, won official support from a number of trade unions including the Trades Union Congress, the lecturers' union UCU and the civil servants' union PCS. Using this support to build for a huge turnout on the demonstrations and future protests and mobilising students for the TUC national demonstration in March will be the next challenge for the movement.

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In The Socialist 19 January 2011:


National Shop Stewards Network

Unite against all the cuts

Discussing an NSSN anti-cuts campaign


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Save our NHS!


International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia in revolt


Socialist Party news and analysis

MPs' expenses scam continues: for workers' MPs on a worker's wage

Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election: A left-wing workers' alternative needed

Wales referendum: Vote Yes on 3 March - Defend public services in Wales

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Fighting cuts in Somerset


Socialist Party youth and students

Student receives draconian sentence

Students demand - 'save our EMA'

Education Maintenance Allowance: 11 January day of action

Urgent action needed to end youth unemployment


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS members vote for battle against cuts

Strike at sweatshop DWP centres

Teachers strike against redundancies

Heinz strikes force improved offer

Cameron 'thanks' postal workers by axing their jobs and pensions

Workplace news in brief


 

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