Socialist Party
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18 March 2020

Socialist Students speaking tour - students and workers unite to fightback

Theo Sharieff, Socialist Students national organiser

The first week of the Socialist Students national speaking tour has been a massive success - bringing together students, workers and trade union members both on and off campus.

The coronavirus crisis threatens to prompt university management to launch a new round of austerity attacks.

The meetings have featured wide- ranging discussion on how students and workers can fight further government cuts and defend students' right to organise on campus.

University campuses are in chaos, as a result of years of Tory driven cuts and marketisaton.

Staff face spiralling workload and attacks on pay and pensions. Students face overcrowded lectures and libraries, extortionate rents, cuts and 'centralisation' of student services.

At Southampton University, the University and College Union (UCU) co-hosted one if its weekly teach outs alongside Socialist Students. We discussed building student solidarity with the campus strikes.

Swansea Trade Union Council sponsored Socialist Students' meeting on campus. The branch secretary of public sector union Unison in Camarthenshire spoke about the importance of joining a trade union and the need to build a united student and worker fightback.

In Leeds, students gathered to hear speakers from Socialist Students the UCU and transport union RMT. The latter faces a huge battle against Tory attacks on the right of rail workers to strike.

These meetings are a very important opportunity for students and workers to discuss the ideas and methods necessary to defeat Tory austerity.