Statement of Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance May 22, 2014
The struggle against education cuts has exploded onto the national stage in the lead up to and following the budget announcement by the Abbott Liberal-National Coalition government, a budget set to massively increase student debt. With a series of political stunts and protests against individual Liberal Party politicians, there has been a serious political response to these fee increases and cuts, not just by students but by all young people. It is these sorts of stunts and actions that have been raising consciousness around the threat to students and need to continue, forcing the liberals to run with their tails between their legs as increasingly empowered students chase them from the campuses.
As well as this, students supported staff at the University of Technology Sydney when the National Tertiary Education Union called a strike in support of a sacked staff member. It is vital that students and staff, as well as members of broader community, support the demands of university workers in order to defend our education system from Coalition attacks. We are also encouraged to see workers from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) joining the staff and students on the picket.
This was followed by an explosion of anger at the May 21 National Day of Action, called by the National Union of Students, against the attacks on students. Thousands of students marched in the major cities, with clashes with police ensuing in Sydney and Melbourne when police violently disrupted peaceful demonstrators, arresting at least 13 people in Melbourne and 2 people in Sydney.
We condemn the police attacks on peaceful protests and student activists and demand that all students arrested be released and the charges dropped! Students need to stand strong against attacks, from the parliament or on the streets, if we are going to stop the cuts and win free education for all.
The National Day of Action is the start of a lesson for the Coalition government. Students are teaching the regime that they are not to be messed with and they will not take attacks on their living standards lightly. We need to take this struggle into the universities and into the suburbs, reach out to involve all young people who have been affected by these attacks and build democratic coalitions uniting all students against the attacks on our education.
Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance is the youth wing of the Socialist Alliance, and comprises all members of the Socialist Alliance aged 26 or younger.
Young people — students, young workers and the unemployed — play a vital role in building movements to make fundamental social change. Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance seeks to engage, educate and involve young people in getting active to change the world.