Solidarity with students in Nigeria shot and killed protesting against fees

Socialist Students sends solidarity to students campaigning against fee increases in Nigeria who have been shot at and murdered while protesting. Below is a statement from the Education Rights Campaign, a fighting youth organisation in Nigeria:

WE CONDEMN THE SHOOTING/KILLING OF PROTESTING STUDENTS OF KADUNA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

WE DEMAND JUSTICE AND HOLD THE EL-RUFAI-LED GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ATTACK AND DEATH.

WE DEMAND REVERSAL OF INCREMENT IN FEES AT THE KADUNA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND THE KADUNA STATE UNIVERSITY

FOR A UNITED STRUGGLE OF STUDENTS AND THE WORKING PEOPLE IN KADUNA BACKED UP WITH A LABOUR-LED NATIONAL STRIKE!

The Education Rights Campaign(ERC) strongly condemns the brutal shooting and murder of students of Kaduna State College of Education who were protesting the unjust and outrageous increment in their school fees. The management of the institution at the behest of the Kaduna State government had increased the fees of around 25,000 naira to about 75,000 naira. We recall that a similar obnoxious increment was carried out at the Kaduna State University within the same period.

According to media reports, one student was killed by security operatives while another student is currently in critical condition from the injuries sustained from gunshots. It is crystal clear that the security operatives acted on the order of the Kaduna State Government and the management of Kaduna State College of Education.

For us in the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna state and the Provost of Kaduna State College of Education, Professor Alexander Kure must be held responsible for this callous shooting and killing of unarmed protesters.

Nothing justifies the killing and shooting of innocent and unarmed  protesting students who were simply protesting to demand a reversal of a fee hike policy that has the potential to undermine their aspiration for education.

We hereby demand an immediate, open, and democratic investigation led by a probe panel comprising elected representatives of students, workers unions especially NBA and NUJ to fish out the killer of students and other police officers involved in the killing and shooting of students.

This latest attack on students shows Governor El-Rufai is at war with all segment of the oppressed masses. Recall that the same Governor had gone ahead to sack some workers including lecturers at the Kaduna State University for joining a labour strike against mass sack. At the moment, the governor has jettisoned the MOU signed between it and the NLC under the supervision of the Minister of Labour and is now threatening new attacks on the labour movement if it continues to demand the recall of all sacked workers.

Together with its attack on workers in the state, the anti-people administration led by El-Rufai has also embarked on a spree of fraudulent and unjust increment in fees of students. This may result in students dropping out of school while prospective ones may be unable to step foot into the walls tertiary institution in Kaduna.

We oppose the increment in fees of Students in Kaduna state University and Kaduna state college of Education. We hold that there is no justification for the inhumane increment, especially at a period the working masses are suffering from an economic downturn as a result of anti-people policies of pro-capitalist politicians at all levels of Government. We demand an immediate reversal of the increased fees and improved funding of public public education in Kaduna state. We condemn the decision of the Kaduna government to force innocent students of Kaduna State University to sign an undertaking not to participate in any protest to oppose the criminal policies of the El-Rufai government. We also demand the recall of all unjustly sacked lecturers and workers from the Kaduna stage civil service.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) while condoling with students on the sad loss, charges students not to be deterred by the criminal antics of the El-Rufai government. What must be done now is to mobilize for a united struggle involving students, education workers, working masses in Kaduna to confront the brutal lawlessness of the pro-capitalist government of El-Rufai which is hell-bent on stripping people of their democratic rights through repressive measures. We also charge the Labour movement, NLC, and TUC, not to maintain silence. Rather, they should link the struggle of workers in the state against mass sack and attacks on conditions to that of students against obnoxious fee increment and repression and  thereby call for a general strike to mobilize Nigerians to the street against the El-Rufai-led Government and the whole rotten and anti-poor capitalist system.

Signed;

Ogunjimi Isaac,

Deputy National Coordinator (ERC)

Adaramoye Michael Lenin,

National Mobilization Officer (ERC

Come to the Socialist Students election rally – Birmingham, Saturday November 30

On Saturday 30 November in Birmingham, Socialist Students will be hosting the country’s biggest and boldest student election rally. We want to bring together campaigners and activists from campuses across the country to discuss how we can build a mass student movement that fights for a Corbyn led government armed with a socialist programme, and how we prepare now to defend such a government from capitalist sabotage.

Full agenda for day;

12pm – 2pm: Socialist general election rally – speakers from UCU, CWU and climate strikers to be confirmed

2pm – 2:30pm: Lunch

2:30pm – 5pm: Building Socialist Students, steering committee elections, and closing

Location

BOURNBROOK AND SELLY OAK SOCIAL CLUB, 13A HUBERT ROAD, B29 6DXThe social club is located just off the Bristol Road (the A38). There is free parking outside the venue if you are arriving by car or by minibus.

How to get there

There may not be trains running that Saturday from Birmingham New Street Station and Selly Oak station which is near to the venue due to a possible train strike. The best way to get to the venue if you are arriving at New Street station is to get the 61/63 route bus which leaves outside the Bullring opposite New Street station’s main entrance. There will be a team there at New Street station in the morning to help get you to the venue on time. As the journey from New Street to the venue takes approximately half an hour, it’s recommended that you try and arrive at New Street station for 11am to get there on time.

Socialist Students exclusive: Resist attacks against free speech on campus – fight for democratic students’ unions!

At a time when a general election is taking place, and students are discussing how to fight for free education, affordable student housing, and a decent quality of life after university, serious attacks on democratic rights on campuses across the country are being perpetrated.

This includes the outrageous scandal of the blanket banning at Bradford University of all political societies by the Students’ Union.

This is in addition to news that at Sussex University the Student Union has banned students and societies from either campaigning or canvassing on campus during the election period.

Meanwhile at Southampton University, the Students’ Union has instructed societies that they will have to abide by a decision of the SU’s AGM on whether or not to support UCU strikers, or face being de-recognised as official societies.

These represent nothing other than a blatant attack against the right to free speech and the rights of students to organise, campaign and protest on campus.

These attacks come at a time when the salaries of university vice chancellors are at an all-time high – the average VC pay rose by 3.5% last year, from £245,000 to £253,000, while nearly half of VC’s were paid over £300,000!

At the same time, there is a huge fight back taking place in our society. University staff on campus are taking eight days of strike action between 25 November and 4 December against the bosses attacks on their pay, workload and pensions.

Meanwhile, students on campuses, as well as in schools and colleges, and young workers also, are discussing what is the best way to kick out the Tories at this election, and what kind of policies and programme a Corbyn led government needs to adopt to end austerity once and for all and fight for a future for young people.

These attacks against democratic rights are designed to undermine the efforts of staff striking back against austerity and marketisation on campus as well as students looking to fight to kick out the Tories.

Socialist Students demands that all of these anti-democratic attacks banning students from campaigning on campus are immediately reversed.

We also demand and campaign for the transformation of students’ unions into organisations which fight for students’ rights, alongside the restoration of democracy within all Students Unions, including the re-establishment of regular, all student general meetings organised by the local students union.

UCU strike dates announced – students prepare to strike back alongside campus staff

Socialist Students statement

Socialist Students welcomes the announcement from the University and Colleges Union (UCU) that staff from 60 universities will be taking eight days of strike action from Monday 25 November until Wednesday 4 December. This fantastic result demonstrates the potential for unions to smash the draconian Tory anti-union laws.

Socialist Students will not only be out on the picket lines supporting our striking university staff, but will be reaching out to local UCU branches on campus over the approaching weeks to build joint student and staff meetings to discuss with the UCU how we can best build student solidarity with the strikes.

In 2018, management of universities tried to weaken and demoralise strikers by pitting students against them. We say that staff are going on strike not only to fight against vicious attacks to their pay, conditions, and pensions but to defend our education from Tory cuts and attacks! That’s why it’s vital students support the UCU in their struggle.

Socialist Students says that Students’ Unions should themselves issue statements in support of the upcoming UCU strikes, and use their resources to build campaigns on campus to mobilise students in support of the strikers.

These strikes, alongside the upcoming industrial action to be taken by CWU members working for Royal Mail, come at an extremely important time. Falling in the middle of the general election campaign period, these strikes have the potential to lead the way in the struggle against the Tories, and embolden students and workers to fight for a Corbyn led government with a socialist programme which will fight the bosses to the end and end austerity.