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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2009

University freshers fairs: Students seek out socialism

Coventry University

Without doubt Socialist Students made a great start in establishing ourselves as a vehicle and voice for students to fight for free education for all.

Socialist Students were out even before the fair, handing out well over a thousand leaflets. We were the only left group with a stall at the fair.

Many students expressed their disgust at the hypocrisy of the government and big business, saying: "the taxpayers bailed out the banks, but they won't even give us basic things like a decent free education."

Several students came along to find out more at a Socialist Students 'meet and greet' session in the evening including international students from Nigeria and Cyprus. We discussed the role of the Committee for a Workers' International.

Lenny Shail and Sunara Begum

University of Hertfordshire

Socialist Students are trying to establish a group at the Hertfordshire University. While it is very easy for companies trying to sell products to get official stalls at the freshers events, it appears to be much harder for students to act politically on campus. Nevertheless we set up nearby the freshers tent and attracted over 30 supporters, sold ten papers and received a very enthusiastic response.

Many students, having studied socialism on politics courses, had seen the value in these ideas when they had gone to work over the summer. Students wanted to know our position on many crucial issues such as women's rights and the USSR. We met students from Nigeria and Egypt, and some who had been involved in the protests against the war in Sri Lanka who were keen to take up the issue of the detention camps which hold thousands of Tamil-speaking people.

South east

This year Socialist Students in the south east had a presence at a record seven freshers fairs. We met almost 400 people interested in joining Socialist Students and sold 42 copies of the Student Socialist across the two weeks. People were particularly interested to hear about our record of dedicated campaigning such as with 'save linguistics' at Sussex last year.

There was also a lot of enthusiasm for the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign with lots of people expressing an interest in coming to the demo on Saturday 28 November. Each freshers fair is being followed up with a 'what is socialism?' meeting.

Sarah Wrack

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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 click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 7 October 2009:

Needed a party for workers, not bosses


War and occupation

Afghanistan stop the war

Afghanistan - Bring the troops home now


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs

University accommodation scandal: Students must defend rights

University freshers fairs: Students seek out socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Wirral anti-cuts victory: 'If you fight, you can win'

Young parents need support, not attacks

Fight for a living wage

Not to Darling's pay freeze

Fast news

Campaign forces health Trust to save Crowlin House


Workplace news and analysis

An autumn of discontent in South Yorkshire

Leeds council calls for talks with unions

Fighting against outsourcing, defending working conditions at British Telecom

NUT vice president: Elect Martin Powell-Davies

Cambridge post workers strike

North Wales shop stewards network


Socialist Party feature

Social care in crisis


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Lisbon Treaty vote is not an endorsement for hated government

Portugal: Voters turn to the left

Foreign aid - chaining the world to capitalism

Fish Tank directed by Andrea Arnold

I speak Fula by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba


 

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Related links:

Freshers fairs:

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triangleEnthusiasm for Socialist ideas at the freshers fairs

triangleFreshers fairs: socialist ideas chime with students

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triangleSocialist Party summer camp

Socialist Students:

triangleStudents and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March

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