North: Breakthrough for socialists in northern colleges

By Daniel Waldron, QUB Socialist Society

Students in the North today face huge debt, exploitation by profit-hungry landlords and a future of insecure, poor quality jobs. However, the Socialist Societies are building a radical alternative for students to organise to fight for a better future.

In Queen’s more than 50 people joined the Society. Already we have had lively discussions on issues like the mass movements in Latin America and the rebellion that has taken place in Burma, to draw out the lessons of these struggles, and more events are planned. In Coleraine, where we are an officially recognised society for the first time, a debate was held on the merits of fair trade. But the Societies are not just talking shops.

In Queen’s, we held a protest outside the Vice Chancellor’s office on the issue of student fees. Mr Gregson and his friends in the Russell Group of elite universities want fees to go as high as £10,000 per year as part of the agenda of making education profitable so it can be handed over to big business. We got an excellent response from students on the issue. Not surprisingly, the Vice Chancellor, who benefitted from free education, was not available to receive the bill we produced for how much his education would cost him if he were a student today!

This is an issue that the Socialist Societies are determined to fight to organise students on. Under pressure from a campaign initiated by Socialist Students in Britain, NUS/USI are organising a series of protests. One will take place at Stormont on 19th November. No doubt, they want this to be a token protest where they can cosy up to the politicians but we will be mobilising ordinary students from all campuses where we are organised to make sure the MLAs really get the message about what we think of fees!

In Queen’s and Coleraine, the Socialist Society is fast becoming established as the most active and combative political voice for students. Despite anti-free speech censorship against political groups in Jordanstown, activists went along to the Fresher’s Day and met with a number of students enthusiastic to fight for their right to organise and build a Socialist Society on campus.
If you are tired of the situation students face today and want to get involved in the fight against the capitalist system which breed poverty, war and discrimination, join the Socialist Society on your campus today! Contact 07821058319 for more details.

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