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18 November 2020

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

Visiting the Manchester Student occupation. photo: Manchester and Salford SP

Visiting the Manchester Student occupation. photo: Manchester and Salford SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sebastian Prior, Manchester and Salford Socialist Party

Socialist Party members in Manchester visited the 25 students occupying 'The Tower' at Manchester University to show our solidarity on 15 November. These students represent the discontent and anger of the whole student body. Like other institutions across the country, Manchester University has taken full payment of the 9,000 tuition fees, and 4,000 annual rent, with the promise of a high-quality education. A promise which has not been met.

Students have been exposed to dangerous living conditions, online education, and a rent increase, all while being isolated from their families and each other. The 'Tower' occupation was described as the result of a gradual fanning of the flames of student anger. Throughout this process the university has refused to meet with the students, and has even utilised police and private security to prevent supporters from joining them, or passing them food and vital supplies.

The mood on campus is one of betrayal, but most importantly of determination. Students spoke of continuing the rent strike, and their anger at the commodification and privatisation of universities, stating: "They're treating the university like a business, and we're sick of it, you can't prioritise education if you're prioritising profit."

The awareness of students is certainly rising, and the students we spoke to made this very apparent, stating that the effects of this strike could be a victory not just for Manchester, but for all students. They spoke of the need to remove the profiteers from university institutions, and take the accommodation and the university into the hands of the students and workers at the university.

We had a warm welcome and our ideas clearly enthused and resounded with the strikers and supporters. We will continue to act to support their demands, and help them achieve the goal of democratic workers' and student control of universities.

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In The Socialist 18 November 2020:

What we think

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party


Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

System failing thousands of children in care

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all


Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism


Tories student 'evacuation' plan will not work

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?


Campaign for school Covid safety must continue

Workplace news

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

Optare: Right to strike defended

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Hackney council parking services brought in-house


After Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation


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

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Selling the Socialist

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Young Socialists organising for our future


Obituary: Paul Chettle


The Socialist Inbox


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Related links:


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

triangleWorking-class based campaign needed

triangleHealth before profit - Work or full pay

triangleBeware the billionaires bearing gifts

triangleManctopia: billion pound property boom


triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

triangleTories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

triangleA lockdown that doesn't include education?

triangleDisabled students let down by "rotten education system"


triangleIreland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The occupation of St Benedict's Hospital in 1979

triangleNottingham uni occupation ends


triangleCampaign for school Covid safety must continue

triangleWales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?


triangleSchools need union action for safety


triangleMaybe now they will listen - Refund the fees!

Article dated 18 November 2020

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triangle25 Nov Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: A report from Socialism 2020

triangle25 Nov Cardiff West Socialist Party: For a socialist Green New Deal

triangle26 Nov Cardiff East Socialist Party: Are co-ops the answer to capitalist exploitation?


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Hugo Pierre, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020

Hugo Pierre, a candidate in Unison's general secretary election, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020. Click here for a report in the Socialist. Videos will be posted soon.

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