Support the Student Strike

Ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion against punitive rents and tuition fees during lockdown

Students are facing huge rent costs for accommodation they can’t use during lockdown and don’t need because courses have been moved online, with no reduction in tuition fees.

Please copy the blue text below, then enter your postcode in the form below and click through to send the letter to your MP. Don’t forget to edit the names, date and address!

Important: make some changes to the wording before hitting ‘send’, to make sure that doesn’t block it for being a cloned message.

As my Member of Parliament I am writing to ask you to support EDM 1321.

According to the University College Union, there have been over 52,000 positive cases of Covid-19 in the UK higher and further education institutions. Therefore, I support the Government’s shift to online learning unless face-to-face teaching is absolutely essential.

The National Union of Students found that 20% of students will not be able to pay their rents and essential bills this term with a further 3 in 4 students anxious about paying their rents.

It seems unreasonable to expect students to pay the same rent rates during the lockdown. Why are we punishing young people for seeking an education? The UCU warned against students returning to universities as far back as August 2020.

Students in our constituency and across the UK, are experiencing a hard hit to their mental health and are also incurring an average of £57,000 worth of debt. Our universities should not function as profit-seeking businesses!

EDM 1321 makes three main conclusions:

– Refund rents
– Scrap tuition fees
– Cancel student debt for good

I urge you to make clear your support to students by signing EDM 1321 and speaking up about these issues in parliament.

Like many in your constituency, I hope we can rely on your support.

Warmest wishes,

Thank you!

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  1. Ordinarily, I would ask/expect my MP to support the strike…

    But my MP is the godawful and worse-than-useless ‘dame’ angela (ill)eagle. The same dame angela (ill)eagle who went on Tv several times stating she would oppose tuition fees…Then voted to raise tuiton fees.

  2. This was published 30Nov20. The article is too long to reproduce in full but the following extracts will give you the gist of it. Follow the link to read the rest.

    The biggest student uprising in a decade is forming. Where is Labour?

    Across the country, the biggest student uprising in a decade is forming – but so far the Labour Party has been almost completely absent from the fight. At the University of Manchester, we’re proud to have just won our first major victor, with a 30% rent cut in the first semester for all students in halls, making it the biggest rent strike victory at a university in history.
    Organising began within weeks of us moving into halls. Fallowfield, the largest student halls at the university had become the top Covid hotspot in the entirety of the UK, and persistent flooding, break-ins, leaks and rat infestations plagued us. By the time the first instalment of rent was due, hundreds simply refused to pay.
    This movement is not led by the student’s union or by experienced student activists, but almost entirely comprised of first-year undergraduates. For most, this is their first experience of direct and collective action. They have been radicalised by the A-Level fiasco of the summer and the cattle-like herding of thousands of students into unsafe and inadequate accommodation in the midst of a global pandemic.
    This environment seems to have all the perfect conditions for Labour to stand in solidarity with the student movement in their fight: unfiltered rage towards a Tory government, successful strike action, support from the trade union movement, thousands of young voters calling for a better standard of living. Yet the party feels invisible at the moment.
    In Manchester, we are lucky enough to have the incredible support of our local MP, Afzal Khan, meeting regularly with students and acting as a productive conduit between protestors and the university. ………Afzal has embodied the very best of what the Labour Party means – solidarity in the fight against the violence of greed.
    Trade unions such as the UCU, UNISON and PCS have given unwavering and vital support to the protests, creating a powerful alliance of students and staff enough to scare any fat-cat vice-chancellor.
    If the Labour Party wants to stay true to its values and original purpose, now more than ever it must start to take a leading role in this fight nationally, helping to organise students through its youth wings and ensuring all its MPs are vocal and unrelenting in their support for students over profit-driven university managements.
    If the party chooses not to do so, it risks losing an entire generation of politicised and radical students. Where Labour is not proactive, there will always be another left-wing organisation ready to seize the opportunity – and such complacency is a gift to groups such as the SWP.

    The party has now gone over a year without an organised student wing. Whatever comes of Labour Students, if done effectively its replacement has the potential to give much-needed energy, funding and coordination to Labour clubs everywhere. It would put our party where it should rightly be: at the forefront of profoundly socialist student struggles.
    We cannot turn our back on student movements, especially not one that can, with support, change the face of our higher education system for the better even before the next Labour government. Being in opposition only makes these wins more imperative. With millions of young voters in 2024 who are too young to remember what a Labour government can do, Labour owes it to them to prove that they’re by their side if we’re to win the next election.

    1. When did British universities start calling terms “semesters?”
      Proms and stretch limos were vulgarian enough. City mayors are another useless Americanism.
      How long before another Kinnock embarrasses us all by holding a fucking flag-waving convention?

  3. Where is Labour you ask… DEAD. Or did you mean the cult of new Labour 2.0 that has infested Labour like a cancer and destroy any trace of socialism or interest in anything that isn’t Tory-lite blairite BS. So your be waiting a long long time before you see any help from this cult.

    Until we have a socialist Labour party with left MP’s that care and want to help not just ask what’s in it for me? We have no opposition we just have Tory fluffers and abstainers masquerading as opposition while they play cheerleader for the Tory scum. Where are all the so called left socialist MP’s bleeding silent as usual it’s a joke what once proud and helpful the Labour party has sunk to and I am glad my socialist parents and Grandparents didn’t get to see this second betrayal of all their principles and everything they fought so long to prevent.

    I am beyond disgusted at Labour party.

    1. ….. the writer of the LabourList article that I have quoted from speaks very highly of the active support that they have received from their local Labour MP and the Unions.

    2. DG, yet again you are spouting your poisonous and fake B/S about socialist MPs. You really DO have an agenda to discredit them every-which-way you can, don’t you, and never tire of doing so! Needless to say, it goes without saying that they are on the side of the students, and were of course completely on board with Jeremy’s plan to scrap student fees.

  4. Allan, you’ve broken new ground using “needless to say” and “it goes without saying” in combination.
    I wish you’d start using in on as many US websites as possible – we need to get our own back for semesters and proms and all the other shitty Americanisms.

  5. “There ain’t half been some clever bar-stewards”………..but not in the Dept. Education & not University Vice Chancellors. Nobody saw this crisis coming? No-one thought about the consequences of tens of thousands of young students attending cramped Halls of Residence or multi-occupier student flats during the pandemic? They only thought about loss of revenue from student fees.
    The Open University specialises in distance learning & could advise Schools; Colleges & Universities, but this would take planning; for-thought & a degree of intelligence………..or is there another agenda, nobody is that stupid are they?

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