Sheffield – By Wylie Hume
Students from both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University walked out of lectures in protest of rising tuition fees, the scrapping of EMA and all the cuts to education. This was part of the NUS called national walkout. Sheffield Youth Fight for Education and Socialist Students put pressure on the Student Unions at both universities but was unsuccessful in getting them to support for the walkout. However, Youth Fight for Education along with other groups organised a demonstration of 50 people in Sheffield city centre regardless of the lack of support from the student union executives who were unwilling to fight for the living, studying and working conditions of students. Students marched through the city centre to the City Hall were a rally took place with speakers from Socialist Students, Youth Fight for Education, Unite and the NUS. The students also passed McDonalds where they paused on their march to protest against the company’s shameful participation in the ConDem government’s Workfare scheme which forces young people to work for their benefits. The March gave a real presence in the city centre and many people expressed their support for students in their fight back against the government’s attempts to make students and workers to pay for the crisis of the rich. During the march many students showed interest in joining Sheffield Socialist Students and joining the fight that will continue against education cuts and putting pressure on the NUS to call further action.
Exeter – By Jake Kellecher
Youth Fight for Education organised the student walkout and march today in Exeter. Pretty much over 100 students (primarily from College) turned out on the day at 11.30am, we then marched from the college down to Bedford Square and had a rally and chants going, before heading back up to College to deliver our demands to the SU. Sadly the bulk of the march disappeared by the time we got to College so we didn’t have the numbers (or legitimacy since the uni turnout was poor) to occupy ExeterUniversity’s Guild.
I think we have a lot of potential from building YFJE and Socialist Students branches in FE colleges, on top of that I think we should build for a massive walkout sometime in November. We acted as soon as we were aware of the lacklustre Come Clean walkout was announced and 2-3 regular leaf letters managed to generate over 100 students on the march, so the potential is there to build for something more effective.
Nottingham – by Helen Pattison
YFJE/Socialist Students called a small demo at 11 which attracted a lot of attention, including from the campus security who tried to tell students it was against the law for them to hand out leaflets. Because it was an open day there were not only lots of students taking leaflets, but lots of future students who would be paying the fees who welcomed the action. The walkout got a good response and showed that the students were keen to keep up the pressure against the fees and cuts being proposed to universities. But there was also a lot of anger and the lack of support from both the NUS and the SU who were disappointed that they hadn’t heard about the action and it hadn’t been built for more widely.
Leicester – by Rebecca Christiensen
Around 20-30 engaged activists gathered at the steps outside Leicester Student Union protesting against privatisation of the university, educations fees and also the cuts in general. We handed out a large amount of leaflets and got quite a few new contacts. Of course, a protest is not enough for Leicester Socialist Students so we are following up with a public meeting about the education cuts and privatisation to provide the political alternative and how we can fight it. Hopefully some of our new contacts will come along so that we can build a stronger Leicester Socialist Students.
Lincoln – by Alex Moore
40 students marched noisily around the campus of theUniversity of Lincolnin protest against the rising of tuition fees and the cuts to education. After the rally which featured speakers from Socialist Students Lincoln, Youth Fight for Jobs Lincoln and Lincoln and District Trades Council, a teach-in was held in the university. Students listened to and discussed different topics such as Housing, Black Panther movement, Attacks on Public Sector pensions, and young people and politics. Socialist students organised and built for the demonstration and teach-in and were able to push the Student’sUnioninto helping organise the demonstration. These shows the key role active socialist students can have on campus. The Student’sUnionhave also agreed to call an emergency meeting and build support for the March 28th public sector strikes, a clear sign that students unions can be pushed into action!