We’re not seeing a lot of this on the teevee, because they wouldn’t want us to get ideas. Looks like courage really is contagious:
Thousands of university, college and school students – joined by workers – are marching in London and Manchester against Tory cuts to education, fee rises and attacks on jobs and services.
The revolution in Tunisia and uprising in Egypt have clearly inspired the marches. Marchers have chanted, “Egypt, Egypt everywhere.”
A student in Manchester has made a placard reading, “Egypt, Tunisia thank you for the inspiration”. In London one said, “Walk like an Egyptian.
Socialist Worker spoke to protesters in London as they assembled to march.
Aisha, an FE student from Camden in north London said, “I’ve been on all the demonstrations, but some of my friends are here who haven’t been out on the protests before.
“I like the slogan ‘This is only the beginning’, because it’s going to be a long fight against this government.”
Theo, a school student from south east London, took part in the Day X walkouts last year.
He said, “Lots of people who want to go to university won’t be able to and people will definitely be affected by the cuts to EMA [Education Maintenance Allowance]. The government is making the wrong people pay – the bankers are getting hundreds of thousands in bonuses.”
For workers, the student protests have been an inspiration.
A GMB rep joining the protest in London told Socialist Worker, “I’m here to show solidarity with the students. I’ve got a daughter who has just gone through university and there is no way she would have been able to afford £9,000 a year fees.
“I’m also here to say that I don’t believe in these cuts. We’ve got to stick together workers and students. I think that the TUC demo on the 26 March can give people confidence to fight.”
UCU lecturer Vicky Margree works at the University of Brighton. She said, “We face 100 percent cut in arts and humanities funding which will hit universities hard. And the new fees will make university unaffordable for the majority of people.”
Kelly Rogers, a Unison organiser, told Socialist Worker, “Unless we show solidarity with younger people we may as well give up. Students have led the way and enthused workers, showing us how to fight.”