Updated leaflet for UK student protests! Also available as a pdf – with space left for upcoming protests and contact details of local groups. Email theviolentminority [at] riseup.net for a copy of the original files.
Fuck debt! Fuck rent! Fuck Austerity! Decent, free education for everyone!
University has become a scheme to get us to pay for our own job training. Courses are advertised for “transferable skills” and job prospects, while corporations even get a say in course content. The rich are the ones who benefit from this. They profit from trained-up, compliant workers while we foot the bill: it comes out of our wage packets each month as student loan repayments.
If this wasn’t bad enough – a huge amount of student loan money goes to crooks calling themselves landlords. Our rent pays off their mortgages while they sit on their arses watching the money roll in.
Most recently, we’ve seen the introduction of £9k fees, part of the Tory “austerity” programme. They say it is about clearing the deficit – but really it’s about taking money from us and giving it to the rich. The new fees actually cost them more than the old ones!
If we do nothing about it this is going to get worse. We’ll see hikes in the interest on student loans, even bigger rents, and more cuts to our public services. The rich get richer and we get poorer. SO LET’S FIGHT BACK!
There have been many protests against austerity in the past few years. Doing something is better than doing nothing, but passive marches haven’t really achieved much. A walk along a pre-planned route with full permission from the police isn’t going to scare the government into being nicer. If we want to win we need to go further. That means strikes that last weeks, not days, and protests that actually kick off. Plans for a student strike in 2016 are promising – but it won’t achieve anything if it’s just a one-day walkout!
Target the Rich
We may get to vote for politicians – but money is power too, and we have no say over who has it. Bosses, bankers, and other fat cats have a huge influence over our lives. They are the ones behind fees and cuts, and they were the ones who caused the financial crisis in the first place. While many of us have got poorer since then, the rich have carried on getting richer at our expense. The only way to get their attention is to hit them where it hurts – profit margins. In the short term we can do this by making our protests more lively: occupying shops, blocking roads, even damaging property.
We need to work together and have each others’ backs if we’re going to beat the bosses and the politicians. The first step is finding other people who want to resist. That might be through your student union, a local anti-cuts group, or just talking to people on your course. Watch out for self-appointed leaders – it’s better when everyone involved makes the decisions, not just a few people on a committee. The best way to build resistance is to start by winning small battles over issues that affect us personally, then building from that. If we use direct action such as going on strike or withholding rent, we can win.
This is only the beginning…
It’s right to fight back against cuts, debt and other bullshit. But why stop there? Good education has always been for the very rich (who can afford private schools) and the quite rich (who can afford to live in ‘nice’ areas with better state schools, and private tutors). Workers have always had worse pay and conditions than they deserve. Fuck that! We need to create a new system altogether, not defend the old one.
The root of our problems is that the places we work, live, and study are owned by rich and powerful. Because of this, our education and everything else is run in a way that serves their interests instead of ours. The answer is to take back control of the places we work and study!
Staff and students should have the only and final say in how our universities are run. Houses should be managed and looked after by residents, not landlords. Schools should be run by teachers, students, and parents, not government bureaucrats. Only then will we be treated as people rather than as things to be employed or sacked, charged rent or evicted, whenever the rich desire.
Resources & Contacts
- The Student Organiser’s Handbook: http://v.gd/kh9OZc
- The Occupation Cookbook: http://v.gd/4bV0J8
- Fighting Back – Police, Protests and the Law: http://v.gd/JOSxEL
- International Students Movement: http://ism-global.net/
- Anarchist Federation: http://afed.org.uk
- Solidarity Federation: http://solfed.org.uk