SIPTU activists mobilised at Belfast City Hall today (Thursday 9th December) joining with over 1000 students from across the city protesting against education cuts and the ending of EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) for Secondary School Students.
The Student Demo lasted for over an hour at lunch time, with College students and Secondary School Students alike thronging the street to make a stand against ‘regressive and ultimately cruel cuts.’
SIPTU Organiser Niall McNally who was at the student demonstration said,
“It is an absolute disgrace that the Tory government are savagely attacking those most in need, including the students here today. SIPTU believe in a knowledge economy, we believe that our young people should be encouraged and facilitated in getting an education at every level. The savage cuts to education, whether that be withdrawing the EMA or implementing tuition fees in excess of £9000 creates a two tier education system, prohibiting many from working class backgrounds from seeking higher education.”
“The consensus for cuts continues to tell us that there is no alternative that these cuts need to be made, that is nothing but rubbish. There is an alternative, the Trade Unions have spelt out that alternative, if the Tory government spent less time bailing out the very instigators in this financial crisis, the Bankers, and a bit more time chasing those big tax dodging companies that can well afford to pay a fair cut, then we wouldn’t need all these regressive and ultimately cruel cuts.”
“We applaud the students today and we in SIPTU would like to see enhanced co-operation between students, and trade unions in working together against the cuts.”