British students join 30 June workers’ strike


From British daily The Guardian:

School walkouts planned to coincide with public sector strikes

Thousands of school and college students prepare to join public sector strikes against cuts on 30 June

Matthew Taylor

Monday 20 June 2011 10.22 BST

Thousands of school and college students are expected to stage walkouts this month as part of a growing wave of occupations and demonstrations planned to support the co-ordinated strike action organised by trade unions.

Students behind last year’s demonstrations against cuts to post-16 education are mobilising in schools and further education colleges as part of a wider campaign to turn 30 June into a national day of action against the government’s austerity programme.

The move follows the announcement this week by the direct action group UK Uncut that it would be joining picket lines and staging a “public spectacular” in London to coincide with the industrial action.

Michael Chessum from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, one of the student groups behind last year’s protests, said: “It was the student movement before Christmas that really kicked many of the major unions into action, and we’ll be there again in force on 30 June. One of the successes of the student movement was that we abandoned passive, A-to-B marches in favour of direct action in the streets and on campuses. Mass strike action is the logical extension of that. We’re not here to protest; we’re here to actively resist.”

More than 750,000 public sector workers from major unions including the Public and Commercial Services Union, the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lectures are expected to take part in this month’s industrial action. The strike, which will be the largest in the UK for several years, is expected to bring schools, colleges, universities, courts, ports and jobcentres to a standstill, and comes as millions of staff face pay freezes, job losses and pension reforms.

Activists say the wider campaign of demonstrations, occupations and walkouts will build a broad coalition of people opposed to the government’s programme of cuts and has been inspired, in part, by protests across Europe over recent months – particularly those in Spain and Greece.

As part of the preparations, anti-cuts groups have held a series of “J30 assemblies” across the country under the “generalise the strike” slogan, to plan events and mobilise support.

Over the next few weeks, assemblies will be held in Birmingham, London, Leeds, Newcastle, Norwich, Sheffield and Sunderland. Another group, Right to Work, says it has organised more than 40 events to coincide with the strikes.

One of the organisers of the J30 assemblies, Alex Long, said they had been strongly influenced by protests held in Spain last month. “We want to approach this whole 30 June strike day in a more general way, to use it as a general day of action against the cuts,” he said.

In London, activists say they are planning a number of direct action campaigns on 30 June, with events in the City of London and Westminster, including Oxford Street. …

Tens of thousands of students from further education colleges and schools took part in last year’s demonstrations against the rise in tuition fees and the scrapping of the education maintenance allowance, and activists hope many will walk out of classes at the end of this month.

Campaigners have been leafleting colleges and schools, calling on students to hold meetings, make contact with teachers who are union reps and organise walkouts on the day.

When our 30,000 Scottish PCS members take part in the nationwide national industrial action on June 30, they will be striking for the alternative to the Con-Dem government’s savage cuts in public services and jobs, and an imposed pay freeze – as well as the raid on pensions: here.

The UK government’s plans to increase the state pension age (SPA) for women from 60 to 65 will take another step forward with the second reading of the Pensions Bill in parliament today: here.

Elderly people cared for in their homes were told today to prepare for ever-worsening neglect because of brutal government cuts: here.

Britain: A Nicaraguan trade unionist told Unison local government delegates today that the capitalist system must be brought down in favour of social justice: here.

Britain: Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class by Owen Jones (Verso, £14.99); review: here.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Congress was held in Athens from 15 to 19 May, and focused on European economic governance. The ETUC is to send an urgent message to European decision-makers by organising a Euro-demonstration in Luxembourg City an Action and Information day in Europe on 21 June. The message of the European trade unions is clear: European governance means strengthening – not attacking – its social model: here.

Danny Schechter, Consortium News: “It’s been a month now since Real Democracy Now!, a grassroots ‘platform,’ began a march that initially attracted only a relative handful of activists. However, by the time it reached the shopping district at Puerta del Sol, it had swelled to over 25,000, surprising its organizers, participants and politicians from the two major parties. This march turned into a movement when many of its supporters decided to stay in the square, no doubt inspired by events in Egypt”: here.

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against austerity measures in 50 cities across Spain on Sunday: here.

1 thought on “British students join 30 June workers’ strike

  1. Pingback: Facebook censors British strike news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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