10 January 2021
Anti*Capitalist Resistance reports on the student action sweeping the campuses.
It is the biggest student revolt since the 2010 uprising against tuition fee increases. With students across Britain locked down – and sometimes caged in – corporate university managements and rip-off landlords are trying to rake in full-rate fees, rents, and other charges.
They have been pushed back by a wave of rent strikes, occupations, and other protests affecting at least 20 colleges, with students chalking up a series of major victories, leading to rent cuts of up to 50% on college accommodation bills and in one case a 50% tuition fee cut.
Even with a successful vaccine roll-out and virus suppression – neither guaranteed – we are heading into dark times. Under the Brexit Tories and their corporate allies, we face renewed austerity with millions losing their jobs and hundreds of thousands getting evicted from their homes.
Students, and young people more generally, will take the full impact of economic crisis and social collapse. We are going to need mass collective resistance – a full-on fight for jobs for all, basic income for all, homes for all, free education for all.
On the campuses right now, students are organising, striking, and protesting. This could be the start of a new, radical, militant student movement.
There is an organising group called rent-strike.org with a comprehensive campaign website, and many students involved in campus struggles have set up their own social media outlets. The next step might be some sort of national co-ordination and an agreed set of national demands.
The National Union of Students is running a #StudentsDeserveBetter campaign which says:
- Uphold students’ basic legal rights.
- Give students the right to leave without financial detriment.
- Ensure fair treatment during accommodation lockdowns.
- Provide an effective strategy for education now and for a post-covid strategy.
But this is nowhere near enough. The demands should be much more concrete and radical, and the NUS should be co-ordinating and spreading the action on the ground, especially with the pandemic and the social crisis set to worsen.
If you are a student, here’s what you can do:
- Share this article and its table of actions with as many people as you can.
- Send us news of actions you know about that we have not yet listed: we want to ensure we share the most detailed information we can get.
- If there is action on your campus, send us a short article about what’s going on: we will post it on this website.
- If there is no action on your campus, talk to others about formulating your own demands and launching your own campus campaign.
List of Campus Actions