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From: The Socialist issue 331, 24 January 2004: No Fees!

Search site for keywords: Fees - Waltham Forest - Students - Top-up fees - Socialist

No Fees!

"WE SHOULD go on strike about this!" was a frequent comment made by young people signing our 'No to top-up fees' petition just before Christmas. Now they've got their chance with protests coming up on Tuesday 27 January, the day parliament votes on top-up fees.

Paula Mitchell, Waltham Forest, London

Although many young people have exams at the moment, they are furious at government ministers. Everyone says: "They had a free education, now they expect us to pay!" International Socialist Resistance (ISR), Socialist Students and the Socialist Party have campaigned hard and we think that thousands of young people could descend on Parliament Square. There will also be local protests on the day.

As soon as students were back in January we started leafletting and campaigning at schools and colleges across London. With an enthusiasm that reminds me of when tuition fees were first introduced, young people have snatched up the material and pledged to take action.

We've signed up tens of school, college and university students on every campaign stall we have organised. At Monoux college in Walthamstow, the stall was stripped of all material in half an hour. Outside Stratford tube in East London, students from at least five different universities, as well as from schools and colleges, took fistfuls of leaflets to give out. All our ballot results have been unanimously against top-up fees!

Because of this response, Socialist Party members are doing everything we can to build for a big turnout on Tuesday. We hope to take crowds with us to Parliament.

And the campaign doesn't stop then. We will continue to fight for an end to all tuition fees and for a system that will guarantee free education for all.

Why not join us in that fight?

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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.

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