Another day, another rebellion against fees and cuts
as thousands march
School, college and university students marched across the country again yesterday, undeterred by the worst weather so far this winter on the second national day of action against fees and cuts and to save E.M.A.
Across the country thousands marched. In Bristol, 2,000 students took to streets, in Brighton and Manchester 1,000 marched again, whilst up to 600 protested on the streets of Liverpool and Leeds.
In Oxford and Birmingham, council offices were stormed. Universities were occupied at Kings College London, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bath, Cardiff and Cambridge – whilst many more stayed in occupation too.
In London, 5,000 students were due to march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square on what was a freezing cold and snowy day, but with riot police pouring into the area protesters were adamant that they would not be trapped.
Last week, thousands of people, including school students were trapped in Whitehall for as much as ten hours, deprived of food, water, shelter and their freedom.
As police attempted to form lines, demonstrators time and time again moved nimbly to avoid them.
As a result, the lies of the Met police, who told protesters that they ‘would not be kettled’ led to a winding march which raced down Oxford Circus, carried through to the City of London, and then back to Trafalgar Square for a several thousand strong rally.
Cheers went up as we reached Trafalgar Square, knowing that we had secured the mother of all march routes, to the shouts of “one solution – revolution!” Speaker after speaker called for strikes in education, up to a general strike to bring down the government. REVOLUTION flags shimmered in the snow flakes.
Along the demonstration, vans and cars honked for their support. There were reports of teaching staff joining protests, and REVOLUTION marched past UCU President Alan Whittaker who had joined the students in solidarity.
At Nelson’s Column, Simon Hardy, from REVOLUTION and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts said, “everything now is building up to ‘Day X’, when parliament votes on raising tuition fees. There will be a huge mobilisation of people from all over the country – called by the lecturers union the UCU, backed by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the NUs. I say to workers all over the country – this is your fight. Walkout of work with us, join us on the streets of London, and let’s unite and defeat the whole programme of public sector cuts.”
John Bowman, REVOLUTION National Organiser, added, “we need a united movement, taking direct action, civil disobedience and strike action – school students, teachers, lecturers, public sector workers. If we unite and fight together in an almighty strike wave, we will defeat this whole programme of cuts and bring down the government.”
This is key. The coalition is starting to falter on education reform, and the Lib Dems are wavering. But young people on the demonstration were clear. This is not just about about fees. It’s not even just about cuts to education.
This is about bringing the whole working class into a mass movement to crush the Tories on every aspect of their cuts package – and to drive them from office.
To do that means mass protests and strikes across the board, drawing in millions of people who are already suffering under this government. The days of action we have taken so far need to be the start of that mass movement – one which can turn the economic crisis on the bosses. “We won’t pay for their crisis!”
By John Bowman, Revolution Socialist youth
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