On Saturday 3rd March 2007 Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR) joined with Newcastle College Student Union and ESOL staff and students to organise a march and rally against the Labour government's proposed cuts to funding for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Under the proposed changes, from September 2007 asylum seekers will be totally excluded from English classes, and other will be expected to pay, effectively excluding many low paid migrant workers.
Along with denial of the right to work and a parallel and inferior welfare system, cuts to ESOL funding are another attempt by the Labour government to divide asylum seekers from others in Britain who are also under attack, and to prevent any united fightback.
Over 200 people joined the march, which was part of a national week of action called by the University and College Union (UCU). The rally in the centre of Newcastle heard from speakers from TCAR, the Revolutionary Communist Group, Newcastle College Student Union, UCU and Northern TUC, as well as many other speakers who took the opportunity of an open mic.
TCAR has already initiated discussion with other forces involved in the Save ESOL campaign on how the struggle can be taken forward.
Together We Are Stronger! Together WE WILL WIN!