Why we are marching

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 2:09 Author: Ruaraidh Anderson
Student demonstration

Higher Education has been devastated by recent reforms. Further Education has been hit even harder.

We’re facing staff cuts, course cuts, rent hikes in halls, a student mental health crisis, institutions catering to the interests of big business at the expense of staff and students.

All of these have their roots in or have been exacerbated by rising fees, debt and marketisation. They all have their solution in a free, accessible and democratic education system. That’s why we’re marching on 15 November.

We could be on the verge of winning free education. On campuses across the country we’ve seen huge victories, like those for cleaners at LSE and SOAS. But these are just glimpses of what can happen when students and workers come together.

Right now the government are on the back foot. They saw know that students and young people made a huge difference in the general election. Free education is now a very popular idea in society. A show of strength from students this November will make sure this issue cannot be ignored when the next election comes around. The stronger the visible support, the more likely the Conservatives are to concede ground. It will also keep the pressure on Labour to not only to keep the policy for the next manifesto, but implement it in power.

We are marching to demand living grants for all students so that everyone can access education no matter how old they are, and regardless of background. We are demanding an end to tuition fees, which tie us down with debt and act as a tool for the marketisation of the education sector. We can fund all this very easily: we should tax the rich, those in society who can afford it.

But we are marching for more than just top-down reforms. We want to build a mass student movement. We want students and workers to come together for this demonstration, then go back to hundreds of campuses across the country and convince hundreds of others to become activists. United with staff and campus workers, we can transform our universities and colleges from the bottom-up. We can win pay rises, cut our rent, win properly funded mental health services, and free childcare on campus. We can challenge the oppression of marginalised groups that is intertwined with our current system. We can do this with a coherent and democratic national movement tying us all together.

Join us on the 15 November in London. Then join us in building a movement for a democratically run, accessible and liberated education.

Find out more here.