there’s more to politics than westminster

Greg Brown asks what is the way forward for students’ struggles after last year’s defeat on fees and EMA

With the 9th November national demonstration rapidly approaching, apprehensions over the state of the ‘student movement’ naturally arise. To be sure, the planned march against fees, cuts, abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance, and the marketisation and privatisation of Higher Education will surely be the best measure of last year’s student mobilisations.

Millbank: winter 2010 saw militant student protests

The merits of a movement can only be judged in secondary terms by parliamentary manoeuvres, i.e. whether a particular bill passes or falls, a minister resigns or is promoted, etc. As libertarians we should understand that the true strength of a social movement is in its breadth (composition) and its sustainability (spanning multiple episodes of struggle): these qualities both feed and are fed by its potential to affect consciousness at large. Continue reading “there’s more to politics than westminster”


‘this could be heaven for everyone’

Public meeting on the student movement, hosted by the London Commune. From 7pm on Thursday 10th (the day after the NCAFC demo)

Last winter saw massive protests against the rise in tuition fees and cuts to EMA. We had the amazing riot at Millbank Tory HQ, school and college students marched and there were campus occupations and direct action up and down the country. But even all of this wasn’t enough to win.

The Lib Dems were wounded, the left groups picked up some new members, thousands of us could feel what solidarity means. But still students today face a harder position than ever. The cutters and privatisers are still on the offensive. Continue reading “‘this could be heaven for everyone’”

on violence against the police

by a participant in the Parliament Square demonstrations

The condemnations are as predictable as they are boring.  The public-school educated Sun hacks, who write like some coked up parodies of proletarian semi-literacy, refer to “louts” and “hooligans”.  The Daily Mail complains about someone urinating against Churchill’s statue, and the Telegraph is dismayed that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were “attacked”.  Probably by a “baying mob”.  Meanwhile, someone in a moustache on The Guardian talks about how, no doubt, this will provide a “distraction” from the “real issues”, whose repetition ad nauseam presumably has some intrinsic value for the solemn liberal contingent.

I can’t even be bothered to look up the precise terms of the condemnation this time.  It’s always the same.  A dash of the royal family, veneration for some long dead racist, shakes of the head from the banal but well intentioned.  Is anyone still listening?  Haven’t we read all this before? Continue reading “on violence against the police”

keep up the fight!

A leaflet given out by The Commune on Thursday’s fees demo in London

Today is the fourth major day of action against the government’s attack on education.

Much about this movement has been new and original, and that can only be a good thing. The aspiring politicians who lead NUS have been swept aside.

We have stood up for ourselves in spite of media condemnation. The protests and occupations have benefited from being lively and spontaneous. While suited NUS leaders wanted to debate politicians on friendly terms in TV studios, the movement has shown real militancy and anger at this government of millionaires trying to screw us over. Continue reading “keep up the fight!”

LSE occupies against fee rises and cuts

David Broder writes on this week’s student protests in London

a teach-in launched the LSE occupation

Tuesday 30th saw the latest major student protest against the planned attacks on further and higher education, the ConDem coalition planning to cut Education Maintenance Allowance and raise fees to as much as £9,000 a year. Continue reading “LSE occupies against fee rises and cuts”

the battle for free education begins

by Nathan Coombs

After occupations and sit-ins at the University of California Santa Cruz, Fresno State and an ongoing tussle between students and administrators at the New School, New York, there is now an equally large student occupation movement underway in the University of Fine Arts and the University of Vienna, in Austria.

As can be seen on this YouTube video from inside the occupation, there are hundreds involved. Against the Europe wide, neo-liberal Bologna Process, the unifying demand is for free education; the battle for education as a common good. Continue reading “the battle for free education begins”