South Africa: Rising Anger as Mass Student Protests Return

South Africa Student ProtestsOn Tuesday, September 20, mass student protests erupted across South Africa after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that universities can raise tuition fees by up to 8% next year.

The Insanity of the Unpaid Internship

Unpaid InternsIn the United States, unpaid internships are gradually becoming a rite of passage for any college student who aspires to a white-collar job. According to Pro Publica, up to one million residents of the US work at an unpaid internship every year. The interns are not only completely deprived of the obvious wealth they’ve created for their employers, but are also deprived of basic legal rights as a worker, such as paid time off, adequate protection against sexual harassment, or the right to form a union. Moreover, interns often lose money during their internships, as they are expected to pay for their own housing, transportation, and food. The only way in which interns are treated like “real” workers is the Department of Labor’s insistent lack of interest in resolving disputes and complaints against employers.

Quebec: Thousands in the Streets as Student Strike Kicks Off

quebec-students-protest3On March 21, thousands of students took to the streets of Montreal to protest austerity. The demonstration was part of the “Spring 2015” anti-austerity movement, organized by various student associations. On Monday, March 23, the student strike was officially kicked off with over 50,000 students commencing strike action which will continue for the next two weeks, leading up to a big demonstration on April 2. Another 150,000 students will vote for strike actions in the coming days. Many people believe this is the beginning of another “Maple Spring” as was seen during 2012 with hundreds of thousands in the streets for several months.

The Poverty of the Democrats’ Student Relief Plan

studentdebtcartoon1Like a glass of water to a traveler stuck in the desert, Barack Obama’s recent student debt relief plan is seen by many college graduates as a saving grace after so much heartache caused by crippling student loans. However, although a few drops of water is refreshing and alleviates the most dire, short-term effects of dehydration, it doesn’t solve the fundamental issue of being stuck in the desert. Like the glass of water, the recent plan can only take the edge off the pain of large student debt bills for those who cannot pay them, but it does not change the fact that student debt stands at over $1.2 trillion and is set to increase ever higher.

The Youth and the Socialist Future

sa83featuredEditorial for Socialist Appeal 83 - Today’s youth, the so-called millennials, face a bleak future under capitalism. They carry the highest student debt in history and have entered “adulthood” at a time when housing prices have skyrocketed and the labor market has imploded. More than half of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed, often in low-wage jobs having nothing to do with their degrees. Nonetheless, they must make monthly payments on an average of $20,000 in student loans.