Young Socialists press release for immediate use – 11/08/20
Protest at Downing Street, Saturday 15 August, 12 noon
Plus nearly 20 actions in 12 towns and cities across the country.
On Thursday 13 August thousands of young people will be receiving A-level results. It has been reported that a large proportion of these results – 60% of large entry A-Levels, will be based only on past performance and pupil rankings, ignoring teachers’ predicted grades. Similar measures by the SQA in Scotland last week saw the most deprived hit hardest by these adjustments to their grades downwards, which the Scottish government has now been forced to retreat on.
Young Socialists National Organiser Theo Sharieff says:
“The government is trying to make young people as a whole, but especially working class youth, pay a Covid penalty on our futures. Young people today are being forced to get into thousands of pounds of debt for university courses which are overcrowded and underfunded, even before the coronavirus crisis. We demand that universities are run in the interest of students and society – not big business. It looks to us like the lowering of grades will funnel working class students into bargain basement courses for which they’ll rack up a lifetime of debt. We demand that every course is of high quality, free, taught by well-paid staff and with a decent job at the end of it.
“We are facing mass youth unemployment, bogus training schemes and poverty pay. That’s what is ahead of us unless we organise and fight. That’s why we in Young Socialists have called nearly 20 actions in 12 cities with more to be announced to fight for our future. “
A-level student Oisin Mulholland who is expecting his results on Thursday says:
“These measures are going to hit working class students the hardest. It has been predicted that nearly 40% of A Level grades will be downgraded. This just highlights the unfairness already present in the education system. We want decent and quality university places and courses that young people want and need. We have called for action to say ‘don’t fail the class of covid’. We want any young people angry at being thrown on the scrapheap while those at the top are getting richer to join with us and fight back.”
Black Lives Matter and socialist activist Deji Olayinka says:
“The Black Lives Matter protests showed that racism and class oppression are interlinked. Young people understand this because it is their lives – and this results fiasco confirms that. The slogan on BLM protests, ‘Britain isn’t innocent’ refers to the institutional racism of the capitalist system that incorporates education and life chances. Young Socialists have participated in BLM protests across the country and now we’re going to be linking the fight against racism with the fight for a future for all young people. That means fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism which only promises poverty and inequality for the majority.”
The Young Socialists demand:
- Fully fund a high-quality university place for every applicant – scrap tuition fees, cancel student debt, and reverse marketisation of the universities
- For real jobs and training for school leavers
- Make the rich pay for the crisis, not working class youth! Take the banks and biggest businesses into democratic public ownership to fund decent education, jobs and training for young people!
For further comment from Theo, Oisin or Deji, contact the Young Socialists either by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 07747 174 833.
For more information on the London protest, contact Young Socialists organiser Isai on 07479 676 093.
Young Socialists involves young people who have been protesting with Black Lives Matter, defending the policies promised by Jeremy Corbyn against the Tories and Labour’s right wing – and are gearing up now to fight for our futures – real jobs, education and training.