Socialist Appeal - British section of the International Marxist Tendency

A solid number of students including the QM Marxists joined staff from the UCU and Unison in solidarity with their struggle against pension reforms. From as early as 7am, students gathered at the main gate to help set up picket lines. All entrances to campus were covered. Students played a significant role in boosting the strength of the pickets, and helped effectively close off several of the main entrances.

Queen Mary University

QM Marxists

Students and staff united in struggle.

A solid number of students including the QM Marxists joined staff from the UCU and Unison in solidarity with their struggle against pension reforms. From as early as 7am, students gathered at the main gate to help set up picket lines. All entrances to campus were covered. Students played a significant role in boosting the strength of the pickets, and helped effectively close off several of the main entrances.

Following a campaign on campus, and the widespread publicity surrounding the strike, far fewer students showed up to attend classes than on a normal day. Those that did were encouraged to not cross the pickets, and to boycott their lectures and classes in solidarity with those on strike. The importance of standing together in struggle was stressed, so as to present a united resistance to the government’s attacks.

There was widespread support for the strike, with many motorists beeping and cheering. Even the police, usually one of the most reactionary layers of society stopped to give their support, citing their own impending struggle against job cuts as a reason. This exposes the government’s mistake in attacking all sectors of society at the same time, and highlights their weakness.

Around midday, students and staff travelled on mass to Lincolns Inn Fields, where the march through central London was assembling. Those who were on the march will have easily seen through the lies of David Cameron and the media, who attempted to pass it off as a ‘damp squib’. In fact as many as 100,000 workers were out in force, in what marks a massive step forward in the labour movement.

The question now is ‘what’s next?’ We must mobilise for a 24 hour strike involving all workers, public and private sector, and put pressure on the Labour bureaucracy to support the working class. At Queen Mary, we have learned valuable lessons in organisation, and will be better prepared for the future. Importantly, the staff have seen they have the backing of the students, who they can rely on to support them in future actions.

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