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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2020

9,000 for education by Netflix

Now is the time to join Socialist Students

Birmingham Socialist Students street meeting

Birmingham Socialist Students street meeting   (Click to enlarge)

Warwick

After two days of leafleting on a path towards a local supermarket, Warwick Socialist Students lead a successful introductory open-air meeting. We discussed the attacks on students from profiteering landlords and university management, and the Tories who blame students and young workers for the failings of the profiteering capitalist class.

Attendees understood young people are being used for profit, with their physical and mental wellbeing fallen by the wayside due to poor funding for mental health services and little test-and-trace facilities.

We asked, 'who would fight for students?' Some wanted to give Labour leader Keir Starmer the benefit of the doubt. But another fresher said: "He only seems to get worse."

We will meet next week to discuss 'What is Marxism' and hope to start a series of campaigns to fight for students. Fees and rent refunds will be key demands.

But we also want better funding for mental health, better access to academic resources and study spaces - an issue which affects working-class students most - and no cuts to university workers' wages or teaching time for students.

As was stated at the meeting, university management and landlords have organised to get our money, we need to organise to fight back.

Michael Morgan

Cardiff

Over 100 students gave their contact details to find out more from Socialist Students in Cardiff over four days of campaign stalls. Students who had never taken an interest in campaigning before, signed up to fight for a refund of rent and tuition fees.

"We're getting mainly recorded lessons by our lecturers. I could have watched them at home, instead of shelling out for a crap room in a tower block and another 9,000 for education by Netflix", quipped one student.

We shot out emails, texts and phone calls to build for the all-Wales joint Socialist Students and Socialist Party online meeting on 1 October. 50 members and students gathered to hear Socialist Students national organiser Theo Sharieff on how youth can fight back.

By the morning, we'd already had an application to join the Socialist Party come through the website - a good start to the term.

Cardiff Socialist Students got its teeth into building for a protest to scrap fees on 4 October.

Birmingham

University of Birmingham Socialist Students organised our second street meeting on 30 September. The determination and interest of students overcame the challenge of organising safe, outdoor meetings during Covid.

This week's street meeting was 'What is socialism?' We also discussed the worry and anger of many students, who are disappointed at the mismanagement of campus return, and the carelessness and cynicism of government and bosses in planning it.

This was not a theoretical discussion, but practical. For young students today, an alternative to capitalism is not merely a fancy thought experiment, but rather a sharp necessity.

Socialist Students has met first-year students who instinctually want a political alternative to austerity and cuts, and are willing to organise to make that a reality.

Lluis Bertolin

Leicester

Socialist Students was at both uni campuses in Leicester, campaigning for free education and signing up people. The mood was dominated by anger at tuition fees and a desire to fight.

Working-class students talked to us about the problems of being cooped up in halls with little face-to-face time. Several people are interested in finding out more about the Socialist Party, and even more want to get involved in Socialist Students and our campaign against tuition fees.

While the campuses were quieter - freshers was mainly online - we had longer conversations with students who have grown up with austerity, now being blamed for Covid spreading.

Lindsey Morgan

Middlesex

At Middlesex University, Students were angry. Many told Socialist Students they felt like unis were opened to make high rents.

We need to build unity between students and staff. University management, vice-chancellors, landlords and the Tories can't be trusted with our health and education.

Helen Pattison

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 7 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope


Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


News

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Students

Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment


Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


International

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


Campaigns

9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services


Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleRent strikers' victory in student halls

triangleWales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?

triangleSolidarity with Manchester students - fight for democratic control of campus safety

triangleBuilding Bangor Socialist Students

triangleWe won't pay with our futures

Education:

triangleHackney: Stop plan to halve school support staff!

triangle

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

triangleWhat will the spending review mean for me?

triangleManchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

Students:

triangleTories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

triangleSchools need union action for safety

triangleMaybe now they will listen - Refund the fees!

Socialist:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Exposing political policing

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: India - Fighting for workers' rights against right-wing Modi government

University:

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Fees:

triangleBirmingham: 'Refund our fees' protests

Tuition Fees:

triangleFight for your future at the online rally

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