In Birmingham, we held a meeting on 3 February to coordinate work for the upcoming UCU strikes and NUS walkout. The meeting was attended by student activists from both the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University. Dozens of people have already agreed to help mobilise for the walkout.
We discussed the political background to the strike, making a case for linking the UCU and student struggles together, and emphasising the need to build a mass base of support amongst both students and staff.
In order to highlight the need for linking the struggles together, a UCU representative was also invited to speak about their demands.
At the end of this meeting, we unanimously decided to hold a rally around the student walkout and its demands. This is scheduled for 2 March: the day of the NUS walkout, and also the final day of the UCU strike. Importantly, this action has the support of the local UCU and Unison branches.
We noticed that very few students actually know about the student walkout, so raising awareness is going to be a key task.
Most importantly, Marxist activists will be campaigning to politically convince students of the need to take action, fight for free education, and support the UCU strikes.
There is going to be a further strike solidarity meeting on 11 February, in order to make final preparations before the UCU pickets begin the following Monday.