Socialist Students groups are now up and running across Coventry with regular meetings taking place at:
and many schools across the city
Video of Day X protests in Coventry on 9th December against escalating fees
Warwick University Students Condemn Escalating Fees
Over 100 students and workers at Warwick university came to an emergency protest on the steps of the university piazza, called and mobilised for by Socialist Students.
Lenny Shail, Warwick socialist students
The protest was in response to Lord Browne's proposals for - in effect - a two tier education system that will leave working class people out in the cold.
I spoke during the protest, along with Dan Crowter from Coventry FE college Socialist Students and Coventry Socialist Party ex-councillor and leading anti-poll tax campaigner Rob Windsor. Rob reminded the crowd that it was New Labour that brought in university fees and pointed to the lessons of the anti poll tax struggle.
The poll tax wasn't defeated by moaning, or lobbying MPs, or even by riots, but by over 18 million people getting organised, standing united and refusing to pay. The crowd screamed with cheers as Rob pointed out that it was the bankers and capitalist system that got us into this mess so it should be them, not us, who pay for it.
FE student Dan admitted that like many others he will be virtually excluded from a university education simply because he won't be able to afford it. He urged the students to get organised along with workers on campus but also to link up with the wider struggle against the con-dems' attacks on the living standards of ordinary working class people locally and nationally.
I pointed out that only the richest in society will be able to afford a decent education while the rest of us will have the door slammed in our faces, even before we hear next week about the next round of massive cuts planned.
A fight back is both necessary and winnable. I reminded the crowd of the victorious student protests in 1984 against Thatcher's proposals for a type of student fee, and I linked the effect the miners' strike had then with the effect the fight back against attacks on all working people can have today.
I urged all students to go to London on 10 November for the national demonstration that has been called and to put pressure on the Students Union to mobilise for it. I ended by saying that the immediate task is to defeat the current attacks and fee increases, but until ordinary working people take democratic control of the economy, of society as a whole, putting it into the hands of the millions not the millionaires, we will always be left at the mercy of the free market.
I urged all students to join the campaign to defeat fees and cuts but to also join the fight for socialism.
Coventry Uni Students' Protest Over Fees.............
Backing up the protest at Warwick Uni, socialist students at Coventry University organised a protest involving over 60 students outside Coventry cathedral on Thurs 14 Oct.
It was the biggest protest at Coventry Uni for many years. Many said they’d attend the NUS national demo on November 10th and in the words of Ben Packington, ‘this was only going to be the start of the campaign.’
Dan from Blue Coat School reports on how a Socialist students society was set up in his school:
Since October I’ve been running a Socialist Students branch at my sixth form. I decided to start running it after seeing local comrades running successful branches at universities, and also seeing how many people were angry after Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time.
I did the first meeting on ‘How to Stop the BNP’. It was a slow start, but over the hour a total of 14 people came. My lead-off was about 10 minutes, and a ‘robust debate’ followed – i.e. an argument! People had agreed with what I said about how to stop them, but wanted to pick up on the smaller detail of immigration. I was quite disheartened, but a couple of people told me I’d done well.
For the second I chose ‘Uni Fees and Youth Unemployment’ – I thought I’d get less opposition! Only 5 people came, but it was a lot more orderly and the debate was better. I also noticed that of those 5, 4 were genuine socialists and one was centre-left. I had some interest in people attending the YFJ march on the 28th as well. It was definitely a better meeting and I thought that socialists becoming regulars was a good thing. Getting people along wasn’t as hard as I thought – I picked topics which I knew would interest people, and let them know about the meetings by announcing them in assembly, sticking up posters and reminding people every few days!
Obviously it has worked to some extent, as 19 people attended the meeting on Discrimination – a topic they chose. The debate was good despite the numbers, and I noticed the same 5 regulars.
I recommend any comrades who know other socialists at their college or sixth form try and establish a Socialist Students meeting, even if it’s only for a few of you. Inviting someone to a party branch meeting can be quite intimidating, which is why it’s definitely worth doing.
Visit the Socialist Students national website by clicking HERE