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Sheffield Labour Left  - For Socialism

A bulletin for Labour Party Members who supported the direction the party moved towards under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
Opposing racism, antisemitism and political Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.

SLL E-Bulletin #45 - 29 January 2021

Student rent strike challenges universities’ exploitation


Students across Sheffield’s two universities are withholding their rent payments in a growing national row about how universities are exploiting students to protect their finances.
 
Part of a campaign to challenge the funding model of higher education which puts a premium on maximising income over teaching and research, students in Sheffield have already forced a partial climbdown.
 
The University of Sheffield abandoned rent charges to students for empty accommodation from the beginning of January to late February but students are campaigning for a lot more than a six week amnesty.
 
Campaigners say “students today are facing many crises. A mental health crisis, a crisis of capitalism - resulting in the creation of the first generation poorer than their parents, a crisis of debt, a crisis in housing to name but a few.”
 
The national rent strike campaign sees the rent strike as the tip of the iceberg: “Without a full-blown movement for a free and democratic education these campaigns act at most as a bulwark to the full marketisation of universities. 
 
“Universities running as businesses mean that students are seen as numbers, staff are put on more precarious contracts and pay, and money is diverted to expensive PR, advertising and management salaries - the aim of which is to make the university look good, rather than actually be good.”

This quote from a Sheffield student sums up the hardship students are facing: “A lot of us left our university cities in the December travel gap, being promised a staggered return across January. Now we’re being told not to come back until mid- February.
That’s two and a half months of paying for a room we’re not living in.
Students are not made of money, most of us can’t depend on the support of our parents financially and ALL of us should have the ability to cancel our rent contracts and move home for our mental and financial benefit.
The Rent Strike is an opportunity for students to rightfully keep their money whilst also rebelling against the universities that continue to compete for our finances for their own gain.”

A petition has already gathered hundreds of signatures across the city and an immediate demand of a minimum 30 per cent reduction in rents charged over the year has been lodged.

The Covid crisis is exposing the naked underbelly of the neoliberal project with universities just one of many “institutions” formerly set up for the public good now adopting practices usually seen in the seediest elements of the private sector.

So far the Labour Party has called on the Government to address “this injustice” but fell short of supporting the rent strike simply calling for Government intervention to find a solution without any view as to what that might be.

'Support the Rent Strikes'

Open Meeting


Wednesday 3 February @ 7.30pm.

Students in Sheffield have joined over 45 other Universities in going on Rent Strike, making this potentially the biggest student-led movement in a decade.

The meeting will discuss the issues behind the strike, why it is important for the labour movement and how can the left support it.

There will be plenty of time for contributions and questions.

Speakers:

Charlie - Student Striker - University of Sheffield

Zac - Student Striker - Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield UCU Activist

Dylan Cope - Sheffield Labour Left

To be chaired by Martin Mayer, Secretary of Sheffield Trades Union Council and Chair of Sheffield Labour Left.

us02web.zoom.us
 

Sheffield Labour Left


Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) is a network to help co-ordinate the genuine Labour Party left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield.

We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 35 bulletins.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.  In July 2019 we affiliated to the Labour Left Alliance:  
https://labourleft.org

Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Local labour movement meetings and events in February:

Monday 1st February:  Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign.  Cuba now faces the most serious challenges since the revolution. Meeting with a member of the Cuban Embassy, Aristedes Hechavarria, who will talk about these challenges and how the Cuban people are dealing with them.  Starts at 7.30pm.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83926636412

Tuesday 2 February:  Sheffield ACORN quarterly meeting.  6pm start.

Wednesday 3 February:  'Support the Rent Strikes'.  See box above on right.  us02web.zoom.us

Tuesday 9 February: Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine (SLFP) AGM.  Starts at 6.30pm.To access meeting please connect to Zoom. To join meeting enter password then the host will let you in.  Meeting ID: 835 2892 9531  Password: 186269.

Tuesday 23 February:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC).  All trade union members welcome.  Only delegates can vote.  7pm start.



Labour Party Meetings:

Thursday 4 February:  Brightside & Hillsborough CLP monthly meeting.

Tuesday 9 February:  LCF monthly meeting.  Only delegates can vote.  7.00pm start.

Friday 19 February:  South East CLP monthly meeting.

Thursday 25 February:  Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meeting.  7pm start.

Thursday 25 February:  Central CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 25 Febuary:  Heeley CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 25 Febuary:  Hallam CLP monthly meeting.  7.30pm start.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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