The IWW Education Workers Industrial Union (IWW-EWIU) sends solidarity to all those involved in the recent uprisings against the attacks on education in the UK. Many of our members have been out on the streets with you all, facing police attacks and media hysteria, and we feel proud to be part of this growing movement. The IWW has long held high the slogan “Direct Action Gets the Goods”, and it is clear that the mass direct action that is springing up around the country, with occupations, blockades, and walk-outs – is sending ripples through the establishment, while so-called leaders such as Aaron Porter (NUS President) and Sally Hunt (UCU General Secretary) condemn and play down the courage of the people they claim to represent.
If the movement is to truly become a force for change then we must not look to ‘leaders’ who will inevitably make deals behind our backs, but to the collective power and intellect of direct democracy and accountability. This is already being shown in many of the occupations, and long may it continue. In creating structures and relationships that transcend both the education establishment and our unions’ leaderships, we are building a new education system in the shell of the old.
We in the IWW-EWIU are a militant network of workers, many active in the main education trade unions and of students, and are encouraging our members in education and across all industries in the IWW to get involved in this struggle and to fight to win it! Unity between the different roles we play – student, maintenance worker, lecturer, librarian, admin worker, cleaner, etc. – is an essential part not only of creating a movement capable of changing education and broader society, but also of working together without the need for bosses and unaccountable leaders. Decades of the collusion of these groups in dismantling both its material resources and fundamental values, have brought our education system to its knees. Conservatives and New Labourites, Vice Principals and bureaucrats: these are as much products of our society as the down-trodden workers and students over which they preside.
It is the ultimate goal of the IWW to do away with the dominance of a tiny minority over our lives, and to work collectively and co-operatively to build a better world. The emerging movement in the education sector is paving the way for broader struggles and showing us how we create a real alternative to government plans. We, as EWIU education workers across the sector, unreservedly salute all those who are risking life and limb to fight this struggle. We are with you both in spirit and in person.