Online Socialist Students and Young Socialists rally says: We won’t pay with our futures

Socialist Students protest at the University of Birmingham, 21 October 2020

Theo Sharieff, Socialist Students national organiser

Over 80 students and young workers attended the Socialist Students and Young Socialists online rally on 25 October. The main theme running through the rally was the abject failure of capitalism to provide young people with a decent future, and why the fight for our future is the fight for a socialist alternative to capitalism.

“We’re paying £9,000 a year to get lied to, locked in and go insane with little to no mental health support and zero financial support” explained Michelle Francis, Bangor University Socialist Students

Michelle reflected the anger of students, lied to about what was waiting for them on campus. On the basis of bold campaigning for free education, Socialist Students at Bangor is a growing force.

Bea Gardner, Southampton University and College Union (UCU), put the case for staff and student unity to fight for democratic oversight of health and safety measures on campus to curb the spread of the virus.

Attendees also got a taste of Socialist Students international links. The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Nigeria gave solidarity greetings. DSM is participating in the mass youth movement against police brutality and for an end to the hated and corrupt Buhari regime (see solidarity protests in Britain on this page and an interview with activists on 15-16).

It isn’t only on campus that the futures of young people are under attack. Alex Hutchinson, Hull Trades Union Council, spoke about the Young Socialist campaign for trade union action to fight against the youth unemployment crisis.

Alex explained that if the bosses were putting up a fight to make young people pay for the crisis, then young people need to get organised and fight to make the 1% pay instead.

Firms threatening redundancies should be nationalised, and have their financial books opened to inspection by the workers, to save jobs. We need to fight for a mass programme of government investment in socially useful job creation.

Deji Olay, Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist, pointed to the massive explosion of working-class anger in the streets against police brutality and racism – proof that young people are up for a fightback. All the class inequality in society was magnified by the pandemic.

Deji said Young Socialists wants to help democratically organise the BLM movement and popularise socialist policies to end racism and all oppression – intrinsic parts of capitalism.

The short reports from students and young workers were a highlight of the meeting. From the A-Level protests in the summer to refund our fees protests now, Socialist Students and the Young Socialists have been to the fore organising the youth fightback.

There was enthusiasm to continue campaigning. Get out campaigning with Socialist Students and the Young Socialists in our week of action – starting 26 October – to demand that our generation is not made to pay for this crisis with our education, our jobs or our futures.

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