Friday, 12 October 2012

Why socialist students is an important component of fighting austerity

I have been really encouraged by the positive reports of the socialist student’s societies being set up and refounded across the UK. As a member of the socialist party I feel we haven’t paid nearly enough attention to student politics in the past. All that is starting to change though and I’m really pleased to hear such positive moves from new comrades coming on board and long standing ones paying more attention to such work. It’s no wonder we are finding a really strong support for our ideas on campus’s up and down the lands. I’m pretty sure we could have had a bigger student activist section of our party if we’d done the ground work in the previous decade just gone. Sadly work has been mainly focused on trade union battles, electoral challenges and the anti war movement. Student work and youth work more generally is a key component of any revolutionary party and I am glad to see the socialist party now taking this aspect of our work far more seriously than possibly in the past. Not belittling comrade’s work but it seems to now be stepping up a gear at long last. A concerted effort to reach out for those disenfranchised students who are facing the new £9,000 tuition fees for the first time and the rising cots of student living will create a groundswell of anger which we can match with our key demands we have as a party and societies up and down the land. Students need a voice since the lib dems who promised not to raise tuition fees broke their promises so catastrophically students have been looking for an alternative ever since. We as socialists should be looking to bridge that gap in consciousness and to linking up struggles including linking to the workers movement including joining the October 20th TUC demonstration in London and helping students join calls for a 24 hour general strike popularised by the National Shops Stewards network who lobbied the TUC on the 9th of September in Brighton. We are entering if we haven’t already a explosive period of class struggle which students who first showed us the way back in 2010 can play a key role in the struggle. We have had a good reception on freshers stalls in universities across the UK. At well-attended meetings we have discussed topics ranging from economics and theory to how we can take the lead in campaigns across campus such as Rape Is No Joke and the TUC demo on 20 October. Recently two Spanish members volunteered to lead a discussion on the situation in Spain laying the foundations for Socialist Students to launch a solidarity campaign for young people across Europe fighting back against government austerity. It is always key to link our struggles in this country to those around the globe Socialist students meetings where international topics have been discussed including the successful Quebec students strike of earlier this year and the huge battle of the South African miners will inspire many. Having an internationalist theme keeps our struggles linked to the wider battle to change the world to end capitalism and bring about a democratic socialist society which will benefit all not just the 1%. Clearly we will be facing many difficult questions by new attendees on stalls and socialist student meetings which are why the party and the youth department must support socialist students and new societies in particular to feel supported and linked in to the wider movement and the party. Most of all we must be starting to gear students and new recruits towards the 21st November NUS national day of action and mobilising as many students as we can. Contacting local Student unions and student bodies to gain support and transport is a must. Socialist students will be doing all it can to make the turnout for that day as big and as militant as possible. With socialist demands at the front of any action. Clearly the student movements leadership is still not up to leading a serious fight back against fees and cuts to education and youth services we must also while fighting our own local campus issues link this with the need to transform the leadership of the student movement with fighting left leaders who are prepared to take the battle on and win. Students makeup a big size of people in this country they must not be ignored their anger must be channelled in a constructive way into linking with the labour movement in removing capitalism the root of all exploitation from society once and for all.

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