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17 March 2021

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Build for the Socialist Students day of action on 21 April

Photo: Socialist Party Wales

Photo: Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Green, Birmingham Socialist Students

This academic year has exposed the greed at the centre of higher education institutions, and many students have been radicalised by the blatant exploitation that has taken place during the pandemic.

When students were invited to campuses across the country in September, the university management knew that teaching would be forced online, and students would be confined in their accommodation or even have to resort to learning remotely from home. Despite this knowledge, management intentionally lied to students about the opportunities for teaching to take place in-person to order to secure students' tuition and rent money.

This alone would be cause for action. However, this is paired with the misuse of student money to fund vice-chancellors' bonuses and university vanity projects. There has been no evidence of the investment of fees into enriching student experience, and vital resources like use of libraries and mental health services have been restricted despite the desperate need for access to these amenities.

It is clear that we have not received the experience we were promised, and now is the time to express our frustration and anger through a national day of action. However, as a movement fighting for student justice, we must broaden our agenda. It is not just a movement for the refunding of tuition fees this year, because this is not the only year that students have been taken advantage of. For as long as tuition fees have been charged, students have been seen as a means to make money. It is vital that we address this with a fight for free education, because inherent in a marketised university system is the exploitation of students.

Students are already taking action through rent strikes, protests and online campaigns addressing issues specific to this year. But as Socialist Students, we must link these struggles to a broader agenda that fights for publicly funded, democratically run universities.

To achieve student justice, we must unite and organise a mass student movement based on the principles of free education for all. That's why Socialist Students is calling for a day of action on 21 April, the week after students return to campus, as part of building for a national student strike to take on the university bosses and the government.

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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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In The Socialist 17 March 2021:


End violence against women

Violence against women - we will not be silenced


NHS

Rich pickings for private companies - peanuts for health workers

NHS workers map out strategy to win 15% pay rise


Review

Judas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today


Media

Can the capitalist media prevent socialist change?


Workplace news

British Gas strike at crucial stage

Electricians protest against deskilling and lower wages

Goodlord workers continue strike against 'fire and rehire'

Thousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

Government's bus plans fall short of making up for the cuts

Reinstate Moe - stop trade union-busting at Abellio!

PCS members at Swansea DVLA to strike for safety


Elections

Council funding crisis - We need a workers' programme to restore the stolen millions

We need a fighting strategy to win funding from the government - why I'm standing for TUSC

Standing for TUSC in Worcester

Help fund the Socialist Party's election campaign as part of TUSC


Campaigns news

Build for the Socialist Students day of action on 21 April

I couldn't just stand and watch! - Why I joined the Socialist Party

Socialist Party LGBTQ+ members meeting

Selling the Socialist


International news

Myanmar: workers brave brutal military crackdown


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

triangleStudents in action: Protest on 21 April

trianglePolice invade student homes

The Socialist:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Building the membership of the Socialist Party

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleWe cannot trust this government over Covid

Socialist:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Arguments against socialism ...

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Nationality & borders bill - A socialist response

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: 20 years since 9/11

Students:

triangleSheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

Student:

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

Article dated 17 March 2021

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