Ella Doyle, Birmingham University Socialist Students
Students from across England and Wales came together in Birmingham for the 2019 Socialist Students national conference on Saturday 30 November.
Berkay from London Socialist Students chaired the 60-strong rally on fighting for a Corbyn victory with socialist policies.
Michael, Warwick Socialist Students, spoke about the need to fight the attacks on free speech on campus. Some student unions have banned general election campaigning on campus. Some universities threatened to penalise students supporting the UCU strike.
Sundar, a student activist in Pakistan, phoned in about the fight for student unions, banned by the Pakistani government since 1984.
Connie, a school student from Birmingham who has been involved in the climate strikes, called for nationalisation of the polluting industries. Connie also explained the important role that Socialist Students can play in assisting in setting up student unions at schools.
Lucy, a strike committee chair from the University and College Union, highlighted the shared struggle of students and workers under a management system that runs universities as businesses. Many contributions from the floor revealed the positive impact that student involvement has had on these movements.
After lunch Bea Gardner, Socialist Students national chair, introduced a really useful discussion on building our societies on campuses, which dealt with organising good political meetings, a focus on activity on campus, linking up with struggles in the wider area, standing for positions, and involving new people.
Andrea, a student from Chile, gave an inspiring report of the mass upheaval in her home country.
Finally, the Socialist Students steering committee was elected. Theo, national organiser, explained its role and candidates were invited to come forward. The conference prepared us for the battles to come – in this election, on the day after, and in 2020.