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Students from More Than 25 Universities Are Calling for Rent Strikes

Following a weekend of plotting, activists and NUS representatives want their mates to step up and stop paying rent.

by Biju Belinky
21 September 2016, 10:45am

Students plotting rent strikes on the weekend

An assembly of students from over 25 UK universities have called out for a nationwide coordinated rent strike, with action starting on the 19th October.

Joining this call to action are representatives from the NUS, previous successful strikers and UCL campaigners Cut The Rent, housing justice group the Radical Housing Network, and politically active collective Plan C, amongst others.

The call to action comes after NUS President Malia Bouattia spoke at a rent-stike weekend masterclass, where students from across the country learned about how to lead a successful rent strike.

In June, around 1,000 rent strikers at UCL won a £850,000 rent cut from the university after refusing to pay the hiked-up prices. By the end of the strike, strikers had accepted concessions totalling over £1.2 million.

The assembly calls student housing "a powerful enabler of the continued marketisation of higher education".

According to the assembly's press statement:

"The housing crisis is not specific to students – rent is everyone's problem, suffocating the lives of millions and disproportionately affecting women, the disabled and black and brown communities. We call on all students to offer immediate and consensual support all those struggling to simply exist.

"University managements' attempts to exploit us through high rents can be stopped. We are no longer interested in pursuing a defensive agenda. By rent striking we fight to win a meaningful life.

"We call for mobilisation towards coordinated rent strikes in January, with an initial day of action on Friday, 19th October. We call for all students looking to find a better world to join us.

"See you on the streets."

Seeya there guys!

Read our report about the rent strike-masterclass here

This article was corrected on the 23rd of September. An earlier version stated a higher figure for the concessions won by rent strikers at UCL.