Students

Students are suffering — rent strikes are the solution

If you thought that the student mental health “crisis” was something of an exaggeration, let us start off with some fun statistics. According to recent research by the National Union of Students, 78% of students have experienced mental health problems in the last year. Around half of those who have experienced problems with mental health said they have difficulty completing daily tasks.

Overall, the number of students in need of… Continue reading

Only working-class self-organisation will kill the housing bill

The Aylesbury Estate

With the Housing Bill about to come into effect, conditions are looking bleak for the working class. The Bill follows a plethora of attacks on poor people, the most notable of which are the benefit cap and the bedroom tax, not to mention the 2012 ban of residential squatting. Last year saw a record number of tenant evictions (averaging  170 per day), unprecedented numbers of people… Continue reading

The #grantsnotdebt demonstration shows a way forward for the free education movement

Since the wrecking of Millbank in 2010 the free education movement has seen few instances of struggle, resistance and action. Protests such as Cops off Campus and the occupations of universities like Birmingham and the London School of Economics have been encouraging but ultimately these events either capitalised on a wave of general outrage from the wider student movement (for example the response the the violent eviction of Senate House)… Continue reading

Could the occupation of London Metropolitan signal the rise of a working-class student’s movement?

In Cameron’s adventurous second term, the privatisation of culture has continued on a dramatic scale. Everywhere cultural avenues for poor people are severed. Public museums, art galleries and libraries, particularly those in predominantly working-class Labour boroughs, have had their funding cut. As they demolish our estates to make for upmarket flats, centres of working-class culture are reduced to their market rate.

At London Metropolitan University’s Aldgate campus, management are completing… Continue reading

Students, Class and Wildcat Strikes: Why free education must have a basis in working-class struggle

Reaching its second day on Friday, the wildcat strike and picket at the School of Oriental and African Studies was successful in putting further pressure on management to lift the suspension of union representative Sandy Nicoll.

The suspension comes in response to Nicoll’s alleged support for the occupation there and its resilience against increasing repression from university management. Two days ago director and former cabinet member Valerie Amos escalated the… Continue reading

Police Violence Mars Free Education Demonstration

Jon Bigger, resident contributor at Freedom News, brings us his account of yesterday student demonstration in central London. Marred by vicious police violence and abandoned by the ever principled National Union of Students, the march went ahead and voiced its important and just message: free education is a right for all.

 

Photo: Jon Bigger

Sometimes things aren’t peaceful. The day had started loudly with a samba band marching from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. Stragglers marched with it to join the back of the demonstration for free education that was assembling a block away on Malet Street. It ended with police violence as the authorities snatched people off the street for having the nerve to march spontaneously through the streets of the capital. Here’s an account of the demonstration for free education that took place on Wednesday 19th November.

The demonstration itself was a wonderful, vibrant and good natured march through London on a dry and mild November day. The decision by the National Union of Students (NUS) committee to withdraw support for the march had not dwindled numbers and in fact may have made students even more determined. That decision could render the NUS an irrelevance in the years to come as students up and down the country look to alternative forms of organising which might bypass the careerists in the movement. Already there is talk of new organisations and further action, specifically occupations and local activities on 3rd and 6th December. Continue reading

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