The struggle for education continues – demonstrate 29th January in London and Manchester
December 22, 2010 Leave a comment
Sign up to the demonstration http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186143168067779&ref=ts
PLUS ACTIVIST DIARY BELOW- don’t forget Cleggs birthday Jan 7
The statements made in support of the student movement by Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey and GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny in recent days are to be welcomed.
(see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/20/students-trade-union-support-protest and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/new-tuition-fees-protest-aims-to-attract-thousands-2165202.html )
They reflect the growing support for our fight across the movement and signal that our fight to defend education and defeat this unprecedented attack on our welfare state is only the beginning.
The Coalition may have forced the vote on tuition fees through but as the slogan on recent demonstrations in France said “what Parliament does, the streets can undo”. The poll tax in Britain was defeated after politicians had voted for it and Thatcher was bought down in the process.
The TUC initiated youth rally in Manchester on 29 January and the calls by student campaign groups including Education Activist Network and National Campaign Against Cuts and Fees for a demonstration in London on the same day have now both been backed by the UCU at its recent national executive meeting. (see http://www.uculeft.devisland.net/report-nec-meeting-171210.html)
These demonstrations in London and Manchester on the 29th must now be taken up as a rallying call for all students, community activists and trade unionists.
The student movement has shaken the government, but students cannot win this fight on their own. We have made it very clear from the beginning that we are fighting for each and every person under attack by the Coalition and our resistance seeks to unite them all.
Many trade unionists have in turn shown real solidarity in support of the student mobilizations and university occupations, and in some cases education workers walked out to join their students on the protests. The size and strength of the demonstration on November 10th, organized by NUS and UCU, gives an idea of what is possible when trade unions throw their weight behind the students.
The coalition of trade unions, student organisations and community organisations agreeing to build for the demonstrations in Manchester and London on the 29th January has provided the movement against the governments attacks a real opportunity to demonstrate the determination of students and workers to continue the fight for education for all.
Students have been brutally attacked in the streets of London by the police who have attempted to beat the movement back through violence and intimidation. In this context we welcome the decision by the UCU to march side by side with students in London as well as Manchester. This is a major step forward towards building the kind of movement that can win, and ensuring that the police do not feel confident to carry out the kind of attacks we have seen on students such as Alfie Meadows, Jodie Mcintyre and Tahmeena Bax.
The Coalition may have forced the vote through, but they are also very weak. That is why they have resorted to such heavy handed policing. Now is the time for us to unite for education. The protests that have taken place in the wake of the 10th November have shown the capacity of our movement to turn out in our thousands simultaneously across major cities. The 29th January can be an important stepping stone to ensure that we get a million people on the streets on the TUC ‘s demonstration in defence of public services on the 26th March.
Friday 7th January: Nick Clegg’s surprise party
It’s Nick Clegg’s birthday in the first week of term. We wouldn’t want him to think that we’d forgotten about him on his special day! We are throwing Nick a surprise party and getting him a present too. Many Education Activist Network supporters have suggested that he might need a new kettle, having used so many of them on the student protestors his party has betrayed.
Can you help us throw a special birthday bash for Nick? Do you have any musical talent to bring to the kettle orchestra? Have you a skill for arts and crafts you could put into Nick’s present? We’d love to hear your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 26th January: Day X4 to defend EMA
Sunday 30th January: National assembly for education
Central London, to bring together and coordinate action between students and workers resisting attacks on education.
Report from coordination meeting for a national assembly: https://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/report-from-the-coordination-meeting-of-a-national-assembly-of-education/