I joined the Socialist Party during a student occupation, which I led. As this government got elected, I was a mature student and having studied sociology and social policy could not understand a government stupid enough to think that reducing the access to education to so many people through the cuts to EMA and the increase in tuition fees. We decided to occupy after the student demo on 10.11 and in the face of further cuts affecting the working class.
I joined the Socialist Party on the second day of our first occupation and was immediately glad I did. We got some great support from Socialist Students, which resulted in our occupation being one of very few to have any demands met. This has to come in part due to the offer of assistance in tactics and the adoption of the previously formed demands by Leeds University Occupation, which the Socialist Party played a part in writing.
I was in the middle of restarting my life and recovering from a very serious mental health condition, which I still suffer with today. I had decided to go back into education and witnessed the difference initiatives like the access course were making for people trying to lift themselves out of poverty and hopelessness. After a few months back in education, the condem govt. got elected and all of that instantly came under attack, despite the Lib Dems having stated outright that education would be exempt from cuts, if they were elected.
I realised more and more that people looking for a second chance like myself and millions of people still waiting for their first chance were going to be robbed of any opportunity by a government of millionaires, whose only aim was to keep the rich, rich. I had to do something to fight back.
As I got more involved in the student movement, I began to get further informed as to the insidious nature of capitalism and its effect on everybody’s life. I stood in several elections as it became apparent there was no political opposition to these devastating cuts that were robbing an entire generation of hope and joining the Socialist Party has given me the opportunity to educate myself in how to fight back and also given me the best way to fight back and play a part in a movement achieving victories constantly, helping to improving the living standards and hopes of the working class.