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.

Solidarity with youth, students and workers in Nigeria fighting against police brutality and the Buhari regime – #EndSWAT

To hear from socialist activists in Nigeria about the struggle against police brutality and for a socialist future, come to this Sunday’s Socialist Students and Young Socialists national rally over Zoom! Register for free over Event Brite here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socialist-students-and-young-socialists-national-rally-tickets-119810687993?fbclid=IwAR0YtQbsl63cs7kuaSoCRgbdI6nAz1o9xexlarlxwEJW_mT6jm9BGaJwV34

Socialist Students wishes to send solidarity to the ongoing mass movement in Nigeria against the Buhari government, which began nearly two weeks ago against police brutality and the hated, corrupt and murderous SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad). After announcing the disbanding of SARS following days of spontaneous youth protests, the Nigerian government has moved to replace it with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units – essentially the SARS by another name!

Young people have built this marvellous movement in the face of further violence and repression from the Nigerian police backed up by the army – Amnesty International estimates that 10 protesters were killed over last weekend, while further shootings against protesters by police have taken place in Lagos yesterday.

Since it began, the movement has quickly developed into a struggle against the corrupt Nigerian government itself. The current President Buhari and his All Progressive Congress party were elected by just 15.2 million people out of a population of over 200 million! Additionally his election took place on a promise to put an end to the corruption and inequality which has plagued Nigeria for decades. Five years on, nothing has changed for the millions of workers, youth and poor across the country.

The inequality gap between the rich and poor has reached new heights. 102 million now live in ‘extreme poverty’ – close to 50% of the population! Young and working class people in Nigeria face widespread poverty and unemployment, and additionally are now being threatened with fuel and electricity price increases by the Buhari regime. Now tens of millions of youth are mobilised in the streets demanding the end to the Buhari regime.
60 years after independence was won in Nigeria from British colonial rule, capitalism has failed to provide the very basics for the vast majority.

Meanwhile, a tiny minority at the head of a corrupt system get filthy rich. Oxfam in 2017 pointed out that while 112 million live in poverty, the richest Nigerian man would take 42 years to spend all of his wealth at $1 million per day.

Youth to the fore internationally in the fight against capitalism
In Britain and internationally, young people are being forced into a struggle against the system of capitalism for their rights and futures. Earlier in the year, we saw the development of a huge youth movement in Britain around Black Lives Matter. Thousands of working class youth poured into the streets across the country, demanding an end to police racism and violence, as well as an end to the huge class inequalities in society which were magnified by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Socialist Students stands in full solidarity with the movement in Nigeria and with socialists who are fighting to end the system of capitalism which relies on police violence and brutality to maintain the rule of the rich. Please send messages of solidarity to the Youth Rights Campaign at youth_rights@yahoo.com.

“It’s not fair” – lockdown students demand free education

Come to Socialist Students’ national zoom rally on Sunday October 25 at 1pm – register for zoom details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socialist-students-and-young-socialists-national-rally-tickets-119810687993?fbclid=IwAR0ag5J4zqt1amyOIngjQ234VKnKAlHJa594j2h_GJXojdBLSP4Vja62mhM

Below is an edited letter from Peggy Owens, Cardiff Socialist Students to Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford

I am writing to you to express my concern regarding the treatment of students and the prospects they face following the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have been unfairly blamed for the recent surge in cases, urged to go back to university – moving away from home – only to find themselves in an isolated and dangerous position. With rising debts and insecure housing, they are also left most vulnerable to the financial consequences of the pandemic.

There has been a complete lack of planning in the way the government has coped with coronavirus. First, we were locked down, then, in order to restart the economy, they decided to offer ‘Eat out to help out’. It is no wonder students took advantage of this. Is it their fault that they took the opportunity to meet up after a long time of isolation? No. But alas, they are being tormented for it. With multiple U-turns from the government it is no surprise that people are now confused about what they can and cannot do. However, the singling out of students feels particularly cruel and frankly discriminatory. Government rhetoric has unfairly blamed students for the recent surge in cases when in fact it is government mismanagement which has led to one of the worst death tolls in the world.

Students have been coaxed into moving into halls or student accommodation with the lure of ‘in person seminars and lectures’ only to find all of their education will be delivered online. They could have stayed at home and stayed safe but instead are forced into a busy student environment where viruses spread like wildfire. Not only this but they are now being threatened with a Christmas away from their families quarantined in Halls of Residence. It’s not fair.

For some, higher education is now similar to being in prison. Locked in halls in Manchester and Swansea, students are having to spend their first weeks of university in confinement with no emotional or educational support. They are left wondering what higher education can offer them – predicting a future of joblessness, with the hospitality industry in shreds and no job prospects in sight. Manchester university have suspended face to face teaching and Aberystwyth have also suspended all face to face contact. With this quality of teaching and experience available, students have a right to be angry, I think.

Being locked in halls or other student accommodation is particularly stressful for students with health problems at risk from COVID. I currently live with a man who is shielding and was almost faced with eviction after he was promised a no detriment policy on his course, only to find out this only applied to third year students. This is not just.

The current global pandemic was unprecedented. However it is not fair for students to have to shoulder so much of the burden. I have a number of requests on behalf of students from across the country to address the unfortunate situation in which we have been placed:

1.) I propose that tuition fees are refunded completely because we are not getting the education and university experience we hoped for and, most importantly, were promised. The Tories have shown that the money is there, why can’t we take after countries like Germany and Norway where higher education is free for all?

2.) I propose that there should be mass testing for students.

3.) There should be free accommodation for those who are isolating and students rights as tenants need to be strengthened. Contracts should not be terminated early and eviction should not be lawful.

4.) There should not be cuts to courses, jobs or staff pay as these should be funded by the government.

I think the education system needs to change drastically, this was true before COVID but is now more prescient than ever. Student debt is a deterrent to students from lower income backgrounds especially in the current climate where job prospects are so poor. Meanwhile we have a shortage of many essential staff – shouldn’t we be encouraging young people to go to university to become teachers and nurses of the future?

Socialist Students demands:

• Refund tuition fees – this year and every year! Cancel student debt
• End the rent rip off
• No cuts to courses, jobs or staff pay
• No trust in the Tories and VCs! For democratic trade union and student oversight of all measures taken on the campus to stop the spread of the virus
• Make the 1% pay – take the banks and 125 biggest businesses into democratic public ownership – for socialist planning to provide free, high quality education and jobs for all

Where next for the Black Lives Matter movement?

Come to Socialist Students’ national zoom rally on Sunday October 25 at 1pm – register for zoom details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socialist-students-and-young-socialists-national-rally-tickets-119810687993?fbclid=IwAR0ag5J4zqt1amyOIngjQ234VKnKAlHJa594j2h_GJXojdBLSP4Vja62mhM

Deji Olay, socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

This summer the Black Lives Matter movement reignited, following the police murder of George Floyd. Millions of people in the US, UK and across the world took to the streets to fight against racism and police violence.
The protests over the last several months have drawn attention to racism but, if we want change, the movement has to go beyond raising awareness. The question that needs to be asked now is – how can we turn this energy for change into effective action?

Seeing the popular support for the movement, corporate PR departments raced to tell the world that they also believed ‘Black Lives Matter’. However, these empty gestures often backfired when employees described their own experiences of racism at these companies. Never mind that these companies continued to profit from the capitalist exploitation of working class and poor black people across the globe.

The Tory government has attempted to quell the protests by launching another inquiry into racial inequality, with this one being set up by someone who doesn’t believe in institutional racism. They have also deliberately attempted to divert attention away from the real issue of police brutality and racism by stoking fears about helpless refugees. The BBC and capitalist media have supported this and created hysteria around ‘cancel culture’ – but not a single protestor or organisation called for BBC Proms to stop the singalongs of Rule Britannia!

Rather than promote the aims of the movement, as the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer called some of demands “nonsense”, a statement Nigel Farage “heartily agrees” with. Months after leaks revealed racism from some Labour Party officials towards Diane Abbott, the party has still done nothing. This is all well in line with Starmer’s aims to reverse the changes made under Jeremy Corbyn and move the party back to the right.

It’s clear that corporations – and the politicians they own – are not going to fight against racism as long as they can profit from division and imperialism. All they can offer are empty gestures. To get the changes we demand, the Black Lives Matter movement must move beyond raising just awareness and demonstrations.

Following the shooting of Jacob Blake, sports athletes and teams organised wildcat strikes in the US. This is a huge step up in the movement and a significant opportunity for the Black Lives Matter movement to increase its strength. While protests and boycotts can be ignored, the economic impact of a strike forces the ruling class to make concessions. Disappointingly, the initial strikes ended early in the NBA due to harmful advice from former President Barack Obama, but a day of action still had the billionaire owners scrambling to the negotiating table. Imagine what could be achieved if workers took strike action?

The battle needs to be continued by students and young workers organising where they are strongest.

Socialist Students demands protection for workers from racism in the workplace; however, if we want an effective way to fight racism we must be better organised at work. Trade unions are still powerful organisations. Black people and young people can no longer afford to be underrepresented in the unions, especially in this economic climate, considering that the 2010 recession resulted in half of young black men in the UK facing unemployment. We say all workers into the unions, all unions into the struggle!

The GCSE and A-level algorithm has shown that the government still wants to maintain racial and class inequality. When I speak to teachers in the education unions about the effects of racism in education, they support change. Teachers and communities need to be empowered to make changes. Socialist Students calls for democratic control by workers, unions and the community of education.

The spontaneous Black Lives Matter protests this summer were a sign of the energy and potential of the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racism and police brutality. However, to get substantive change students and young workers must organise at work, schools and universities.

Socialist Students fights to;

  • End discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, and all other forms of prejudice. For the building of a mass movement which unites all young and working-class people around a socialist programme to end oppression and austerity.
  • End police harassment. For the democratic accountability of the police overseen by local committees, made up of democratically elected representatives of trade unionists, local community organisations, young people and local authorities.
  • A democratic socialist plan of production and distribution to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority in society and to provide a future for young workers. Nationalise the top 125 monopolies, banks and finance houses in Britain under democratic workers’ control and management so we can make the decisions about what is needed. Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need.


Class of Covid vs capitalism

Socialist Students says:

  • Our campuses are not safe in Tory and VC hands – fight for student and trade union democratic oversight of all measures to stop the spread of the virus
  • Cancel the fees – government investment not student debt
  • End marketisation – for decent free education and living grants for all
  • No cuts on campus – end low pay and privatisation
  • End inequality, racism, sexism and all forms of oppression
  • Take the wealth off the 1%, fight for socialism
University of Birmingham Socialist Students street meeting

Come to Socialist Students’ national zoom rally on Sunday October 25 at 1pm – register for zoom details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socialist-students-and-young-socialists-national-rally-tickets-119810687993?fbclid=IwAR0ag5J4zqt1amyOIngjQ234VKnKAlHJa594j2h_GJXojdBLSP4Vja62mhM

To the surprise of absolutely no one, given the Tories’ rubbish response to the pandemic, Covid is spreading through our campuses. The Tories are already blaming students for outbreaks, when it was their push for people to get back into offices, pubs and restaurants that put profits before health & safety.

The Tories and VCs pushed to re-open universities without investing in the measures needed to protect students and staff. Now students are being forced to stay locked in cell-like halls with barely any teaching – maybe without being allowed home at Christmas. In whose interest were students brought back to campuses to face these prison-like conditions? Not theirs!

It’s not surprising that students are demanding a fee refund. It’s been estimated that a year of tuition fees and re-introduction of a grant for all students would cost £11.2bn. We need a mass movement to fight for that now – as well as investment in safe campuses.

A testing system is necessary for us to be able to work, study, socialise and see our family safely. One which is fit for purpose must have enough resources and be run for our benefit, as opposed to making a profit for the Tories’ big business friends.

Socialist Students demands that universities provide free accommodation for students needing to isolate and no charge to terminate contracts early.
University management can’t be trusted to put staff or students, health or access to high-quality education, before their budget sheets. For years they have said the money doesn’t exist for more teaching, resources, etc. Let staff and students inspect the university finances and see that big business isn’t getting rich off our education!

Let’s fight the Tories for the necessary funds for a decent, free, high-quality education for all.

They have shown the money is there when big business or the banks need a bail-out – why not our education system?!

The recent government U-Turn on exam results show the Tories can be beaten. We need to build a mass democratic student movement with a fighting programme for our education and our futures.

For years, universities have been in crisis. It stems from the Blairite and Tory-backed tuition fee funding model, leading to a funding crisis and cuts on campus. This has been exacerbated by Covid – including fewer international students who universities have ripped off with even higher fees.

On top of our campuses being overcrowded and underfunded, the teaching and support staff have been overworked and underpaid. Staff have faced attacks on terms and conditions, and their pensions.

An attack on staff is an attack on our education and Socialist Students has supported the UCU lecturers’ trade union when taking action. Only a united movement of staff and students can challenge university management and make our universities a decent place to live, study and work.

If capitalism can’t afford us a future…

Covid has exposed the class division in society. Capitalist attacks – NHS privatisation, low pay, high rents, student fees and education marketisation – have meant that it’s the working class, young and poor who have suffered most in the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the rich get richer. In fact, America’s 643 billionaires gained $845 billion since March while millions of workers lose their jobs and join foodbank queues.

Capitalism is a system in crisis. From the pandemic, to war, climate change and economic crashes – it’s a system based on the needs of profit for a tiny few and exploitation and misery for the majority of people.

As the rich have gotten richer, working-class and young people have experienced growing poverty, are faced with a lifetime of debt from sky-high fees, and seen growing unemployment and a housing crisis. Now all of this is set to get worse – and young people will be expected to pay for the Covid crisis with our futures.

…Then we can’t afford capitalism
At the same time, working-class and young people have struggled against this rotten system. There was the huge explosion of anger around the Black Lives Matter movement and then A-levels protests which won a U-turn from the Tories.

Both these movements express a desire to fight for change. We need a completely different kind of world, without poverty, war, racism, oppression and inequality; a world which works for the majority in society rather than the 1%. That has to be a socialist world.

This means taking the 125 biggest businesses and banks that dominate the economy in Britain into democratic public ownership. Then society’s wealth and resources can be used to provide a decent future for all, through a democratic socialist plan.

Coventry: Socialist Students is back – come to our outside meet-ups

Michael Morgan, Coventry Socialist Students

Photo: Coventry Socialist Students

At Coventry University, we talked to students angry about the crisis gripping universities.

Coventry Socialist Students put up posters and had a stall on campus. It was received positively by students, who took leaflets, read material, and discussed with us.

This summer students experienced the A-level fiasco, Black Lives Matter and the continuing environmental crisis, so political engagement was high – many people stopped to talk to us.

Where students disagreed, we debated with them. Where they agreed, we encouraged them to sign up to Socialist Students. We got over 50 signups.

Eleven came to our outdoor meeting, at a social distance, by Coventry university library. Students from Ireland to Colombia discussed the issues facing them.

The meeting gave freshers the opportunity to ask questions about our programme. We asked them: “Do you feel you’re getting your money’s worth?” and what they thought we should campaign on – housing and tuition fees were key.

Socialist Students campaigns for tution fees to be scrapped, for living grants, and for student debt to be cancelled.

As Bea Gardner says on pages 8-9: “Socialist Students fights for a programme to unite staff, students and local communities – for the resources for all.”

We will follow this up with a campaign stall and meeting each week, and a Socialist Students Zoom meeting for the West Midlands. Online communication is crucial for the student movement. But Socialist Students does not neglect face-to-face campaigning, and we do so safely.

Students are angry. Many are prepared to join a political fight against the injustices they face.

Socialist Students can provide a radical alternative to young people. Now we need it the most.

Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

London Socialist Students

Following the killing on 25 May of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police, there has been on outpouring of anger against systemic racism and widening inequalities in the USA.

It was only after widespread anger erupted that one of the sacked police officers involved in the killing was charged, sending a message to many that justice will have to be fought for.

The US protests have spread internationally, with thousands marching through central London to the US embassy on 31 May, and more protests being planned throughout the UK.

In US cities, peaceful protesters have been fired on by police and National Guard using rubber bullets, tear gas and flashbangs, in an attempt to make people disperse. None of this has deterred protests from taking place.

Donald Trump has also addressed these anti-racism protesters very differently to the recent gun-toting, right-wing, mainly white, “reopen” protests opposing lockdowns to control the spread of coronavirus. Then, Trump called on this right-wing armed rabble to “liberate” states controlled by his political opponents. Now, he tweets in favour of the military firing on the anti-racism protesters who he describes as “thugs”.

In the middle of this pandemic, with people adhering to strict lockdowns imposed by states to save people’s lives, it is stark that a black man would then be killed in the street by police.

As the health and economic crisis deepens, it’s the poorest, working-class areas which are hit hardest, along with the chance of any sort of decent future.

A new wave of struggle could grow out of these protests. Such a movement would need to take up both the issue of justice for those killed at the hands of police and the wider issues of poverty, inequality and oppression.

Already there are the beginnings of solidarity actions by trade unionists in the US – there have even been reports of some police refusing to curtail protests! All this should be built on.

By forging a united working-class movement with a fighting socialist programme, it will be possible to challenge the rotten system of capitalism in which racism, oppression and exploitation are rooted.

Solidarity with workers, parents and pupils fighting Johnson’s reckless back to school plan

photo by vperemen.com/CC

Socialist Students statement

Socialist Students stands in solidarity with school staff unions, workers, parents and pupils who are fighting to halt the government’s reckless drive towards the reopening of schools in England before it is safe to do so. The premature further opening of schools in the absence of wide scale national testing, tracing and isolation systems endangers the health and safety of pupils and staff, as well as their families.

The government announcement about the further opening of the schools came at the same time that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that workers, particularly in manufacturing and construction, should return to work. The Tory strategy to deal with covid so far – including the lateness of the initial lockdown – has always been based on what is most profitable for their big business bankrollers, not what is best for ordinary people.

The Tory drive to further open the schools then has nothing to do with helping children or parents – its about providing childcare so the bosses have an easier time of telling working class people to get back to work to restart the bosses’ profits.

One of the school worker unions, the National Education Union (NEU) has produced ‘five tests’ for the safe further opening of schools, including a much lower count of new covid cases and comprehensive access to testing for staff and students.

Socialist Students demands that these five tests are met before the discussion of a timetable to return students and staff to schools is begun. Wherever school staff or students are being forced to attend school in unsafe conditions, Socialist Students calls for the building of campaign groups to draw together school workers, parents and pupils alongside the school unions to take collective action to refuse to send pupils and workers back to schools in unsafe conditions.

Plymouth rent strikes win concessions – but the fight isn’t over

Sioned Freer, Plymouth Student Rent Strike Coordinator

A month in, the Plymouth student rent strike now has 750 group members, with over 230 pledged to withhold. The subject of student rent has quickly become a massive national talking point – we have had coverage from international media and TV coverage from the BBC. Famous faces and MP’s are also coming out in support of student rent strikes despite the government doing little to address the issue. We’ve received a huge amount of support nationally for the massive amount of people affected by this issue.

In response to a national rent strike effort, The Student Housing Company – who own Beckley Point in Plymouth – have now offered 50% reductions for those who don’t rebook and a 100% reduction for those who do. Although TSHC tenants are still fighting for a fairer resolution for final year students, this is a massive win for rent strikers – proving that rent strikes work and companies can and will meet our demands if we stand together.

We have received very little communication from other landlords and letting agencies in Plymouth. Some companies choose to simply ignore their tenants’ struggles, while others have been outright rude – a Pencraig Developments (StudentRooms) tenant received a devastating email in response to her pleas for rent reduction where the company told her “You won’t be receiving any sympathy from us.” If landlords and letting agents continue to ignore their tenants – insisting that they’re entitled to what in many cases is our only source of income and pointing us towards government guidelines that weren’t written with students in mind – it could have a massive detrimental impact on the student population as a whole. A recent survey by Ipsos Mori has shown that young people (18 – 30) are being disproportionately financially impacted by the pandemic, but despite this, there is very little government help for students. At a time when many of us and our families have lost jobs, fallen sick, or lost loved ones, we simply cannot throw thousands of pounds at accommodation we can’t even use.

Socialist Students demands;

  • For universities to provide rent free accommodation for students and international students who are unable to get home because of self-isolation, transport cancellations etc. No evictions of any students who are unable to pay the rent.
  • For the right of students who have been forced to move home because of the coronavirus to withdraw from their housing contracts early without the loss of any deposit.
  • For universities to provide affordable and decent accommodation for students. For rents capped at no higher than a quarter of the average student maintenance loan – end the driving of students into the arms of rip off landlords and letting agencies. Ban all agency and contract fees.
  • For the establishment of democratic student rent strike committees across accommodation to organise mass collective non-payment of rent campaigns when necessary. 

Coronavirus – a students’ charter

Housing

  • For universities to provide rent free accommodation for students and international students who are unable to get home because of self-isolation, transport cancellations etc. No evictions of any students who are unable to pay the rent.
  • For the right of students who have been forced to move home because of the coronavirus to withdraw from their housing contracts early without the loss of any deposit.
  • For universities to provide affordable and decent accommodation for students. For rents capped at no higher than a quarter of the average student maintenance loan – end the driving of students into the arms of rip off landlords and letting agencies. Ban all agency and contract fees.
  • For the establishment of democratic student rent strike committees across accommodation to organise mass collective non-payment of rent campaigns when necessary. 

Health and safety

  • For adequate PPE for all medical students who have been drafted into the NHS to treat people with coronavirus – cancel their student debt and provide nursing students with bursaries they can live on! For the right of any students prematurely called into the health service to return to university with full access to learning resources and at no extra financial expense.
  • No trust in the university bosses to handle to crisis! For democratic trade union and student oversight of all measures taken on the campus to stop the spread of the virus. Establish an all-union health and safety committee on every campus, with democratic representation of staff and students.
  • Take all privatised cleaning and other services back in-house to ensure democratic oversight and decent pay, safety and conditions for all workers on campus.
  • For universities to produce emergency funding for the provision of support services for students who are forced to self-isolate, including the equipment needed for home study, health provision and food delivery where necessary.
  • For full funding for doctors surgeries and mental health clinics on campuses. For adequate numbers of GPs and other health workers to be determined by campus health workers unions and students. For universities to provide remote counselling services for students who require them.

Campus cuts and free education

  • No cuts to jobs or services on campus because of the coronavirus slowdown! If there is a funding shortfall, open the books to democratic inspection by the campus unions and to democratically elected committees of students. Show us where the money has gone.
  • Cut vice chancellor pay, not jobs and workers’ pay! For democratically elected campus remuneration committees.
  • Immediately scrap all zero hours contracts on campus and replace them with guaranteed hours on a real living wage. Bring all outsourced work back in-house.
  • For the right of students who have suffered disruption to their teaching because of the coronavirus to retake the year without academic or financial penalisation.
  • End overcrowding on the university campuses! Vice chancellors and university bosses are chasing profits – for democratic trade union and student oversight over the applications process to ensure decent education for students and manageable workload for campus workers. Any increase in student numbers to be met with at least a proportionate increase in funding for teaching resources, services on campus, and affordable accommodation for students.
  • Fight for fully funded and free education! For a university education system which is run for the benefit of society, not for profit – reverse all cuts and marketisation on campus, replace student loans with student living grants, and cancel all outstanding student debt.
  • Fight for a socialist alternative to capitalism. Bring the 150 biggest banks and monopolies into democratic public ownership, under the management and control of the working class, with compensation to be paid to the shareholders only on the basis of proven need. Introduce a democratic socialist plan of production to provide free education and a decent future for all.