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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2007

Build for national action against fees

Join the Campaign to Defeat Fees 27 April day of action

Fight for a national demonstration

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

Students live in a world of soaring debt, unaffordable or condemned housing, low-paid jobs with poor quality working conditions, course cuts and department closures. With vice-chancellors saying they want course fees to increase to 10,000 a year, the need for a coordinated national fight-back is more and more evident.

Suzanne Beishon, Brighton University Socialist Students

We need to show the scale of opposition to fees by building national action that leads to a mass campaign. The Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF), launched by Socialist Students, has been organising and campaigning against fees at campuses and colleges across the country, showing how a mass campaign could be built.

We are organising for a national day of action on Friday 27 April to campaign for the NUS to call a national demonstration against all fees in the first term of next year.

We want a national weekday demonstration in London called under the slogans "no to all fees, cuts, closures and privatisation". This could be publicised during and after freshers' fairs and when FE colleges start the new term. This is what the NUS should be doing, so why is the leadership not acting?

The failure of the NUS leadership to fight for students' rights was shown at the NUS annual conference in March. The leadership told us that "demonstrations will not aid our cause".

Instead of a campaigning strategy based on mass action involving students uniting with workers, NUS proposed lobbying Parliament and compiling facts to give to the decision makers.

Southampton Socialist Students campaigning

Southampton Socialist Students campaigning

However, politely asking Parliament to stop making attacks on education and other parts of the public sector is a tactic doomed to failure, just as it failed when tuition fees and then top-up fees were introduced.

But we will not wait for the NUS leadership to act! Building for the second CDF day of action on 27 April has already begun in many universities. Action will include a protest outside Exeter College, stunts and stalls in Bournemouth and Bristol universities, and possibly a debate with Bristol University's management.

The feeble New Labour excuse that they cannot afford to scrap fees and fund free education is hypocrisy if they can commit 76 billion to the renewal of nuclear weapons, while continuing to fund the occupation of Iraq.

Socialist Students recognise that the only way to defeat fees for good is to fight for publicly-run free education and a system that does not strive to profit from public services but is run for the benefit of society. This is why we actively support socialist candidates standing against big business parties in the elections on 3 May.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2007:

Kick big business out of the NHS

Nurses' fury at cuts and attacks on jobs

NHS London - delivering private health


Socialist Students

Build for national action against fees


Socialist Party election campaign

Election manifesto 2007

Leicester: A principled stand against opportunists

Young socialist standing for Save Huddersfield NHS

Wales manifesto launch

Save our NHS campaign fields five candidates in South Lakes

Nursery cuts campaign launch

Making a difference in Lincoln

Vote Socialist Alternative on 3 May


Socialist Party editorial

RMT victory: Union militancy pays


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Wanted - a new mass party for workers

Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference


Socialist Party workplace news

Tube workers win big victory over Metronet

Campaigning for a 26,000 minimum wage

Young trade unionists reject New Labour

Greenwich UNISON steps up fight against pay cuts


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela: Will the trade unions give up their independence?

Bush's man at the World Bank in corruption scandal


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bosses' Pension

Blockading Britain's warhead factory

Fighting for the right to walk in the countryside

Cuts reduce advice for the people who most need help

Bank that only serves the rich


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleSocialist Students day of action

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

triangleFees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

Students:

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

trianglePimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

NUS:

triangleHow students can fight and win

triangleLincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

triangle'Reforms' hollow out the NUS

Socialist Students:

triangleStudents in action: Protest on 21 April

Education:

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

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