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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2008

Republic of Ireland: Student fightback

Following large regional demonstrations around the country, including 6,000 students on the streets of Cork, up to 15,000 Dublin students took to the streets on Wednesday 22 October.

Laura Fitzgerald, Socialist Party, Ireland South

Students were opposing the doubling of the registration fee to 1,500, and the continued threat of the re-introduction of full fees. Students carried signs such as "I need a bail-out, not the banks" and shouted angry slogans against the cutbacks in education.

The Socialist Party (sister organisation to the Socialist Party in England and Wales) and Socialist Youth gave out over 2,000 leaflets. We also distributed over 3,000 leaflets with others from a campaign we're involved in called FEE - free education for everyone.

FEE held a meeting after the demonstration which agreed to spread the campaign to all the Dublin colleges urgently. FEE pointed out the need for grassroots campaigns to pressure the student unions and the USI (Union of Students of Ireland) to take a more serious approach to fighting fees.

In UCD (the biggest third-level institution in the country) FEE organised a blockade of Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, on the Monday before the huge USI demonstration of all the Dublin colleges. This action not only forced the students union to support more radical action than they usually advocate, but also served to boost the attendance at the Wednesday demonstration by raising student awareness about the necessity to campaign against fees.

About 200 students blockaded a building that the minister was due to attend a meeting in, forcing him to make an embarrassing back-door entrance, literally scuttling in after emerging from a UCD services van with protesting students running after him.

Exactly one week after the huge student demonstration in Dublin, thousands took to the streets again in protest against the draconian education cuts contained in the budget that include making class sizes the biggest in Europe and cutting back on language support and support for special needs children and young people.

The 12,000 in attendance included hundreds of school students. Socialist Youth is now taking an initiative with school students who want to get active against education cuts, in an effort to link campaigns of school students, college students, teachers and other education workers against the efforts of the government to attack the right to education.

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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.
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  • 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.
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In The Socialist 5 November 2008:

Striking against low pay


US election

Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections

George Bush's toxic legacy

If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble


Socialist Party campaigns

Labour bashes lone parents

Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners

Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression

What recession?

Fast news


Marxist analysis: history

1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history


Socialist Students

New Labour retreats on promises to students

Victory over Tory school closure plan

Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities

Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!

Republic of Ireland: Student fightback


Socialist Party workplace news

Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs

Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry

Shipyard strike for fair wage

Striking for trade union rights

Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'


 

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Related links:

Ireland:

triangleFurther protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

triangleBosses concede to walkouts in Northern Ireland

triangleNorthern Ireland's strike wave

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Behind the Sinn Fein surge in Ireland

Students:

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

triangleCoronavirus - a students' charter

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

Education:

triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

triangleNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Education and exams

Socialist:

triangleMick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2020 episodes

Dublin:

triangleSouthern Ireland elections

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