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Occupy everywhere: joining the dots in the student struggle

November 23rd, 2010 · post by Fred Goodsell · 3 Comments

After the success of the November 20th demonstration, students and workers are already gearing up for another day of mass action and walkouts, to take place on November 24th. Student activists have called for a national demonstration in London gathering in Trafalgar Square. The focus is again direct action against the government. Universities (Sussex, UWE, SOAS, and Manchester) have already gone into occupation and others will no doubt follow in the coming weeks. French students have announced plans for a solidarity demonstration at the British Embassy.


At this point it is important that momentum continues to build. Anarchist author Ian Bone states via his blog ‘It’s all to play for – but the door is open now – NOW is the time to push further. Forget next March – the next 4 weeks will be decisive. Go for it.’

Whilst the future of any resistance to eduction cuts may lie in the actions of the coming weeks we must not forget that broadening the struggle is vital to fighting the cuts and this must include long term strategies. There are plans to be made for the future and lessons to be learned from the past.

Ideas for the future

We can work to undermine single issue politics that seeks to channel public anger into reformist campaigning rather than broader class based, anti-capitalist struggles.

Many demonstrations are taking place across the country in the coming months. These could be turned into exciting and inspiring displays of anger and unity, rather than drab union led marches through the rain on a Saturday morning.

The media that portrays us as anti-social villains can be held to account. It is no wonder the Telegraph has displayed such venomous anger towards protests when their owners (the Barclays) are amongst the UK’s richest individuals, with an estimated wealth of £1.8 billion.

We can build momentum by talking to our friends, families and fellow workers about how our struggles are connected.

Lessons from the past

We can find out about similar struggles, learn from their mistakes and be inspired by their successes.

In 2006 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, teachers and other protests took part in huge strikes. Occupying city halls, media centres and whole cities. (1/2/Diario De Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico)

Greece 1973, students protests against the government sparked national anti-government anger (1/2). This strong anti-government sentiment continues in Greece today (3)

In the USA, over the past two years current insurrectionist trends have merged with the student movement. The resulted in a mass of occupations, protests and walkouts(1). These actions have also produced large amounts of analysis on student protest (We are the crisis / Communique from an Absent Future: The Terminus of Student Life/ Communiqués from the Valley: Love letters from the emerging Student-Worker Movement in California’s Central Valley/ New School Occupation/ Preoccupied: The Logic of Occupation

Further Reading

University Occupations: France, Greece, NYC - http://zinelibrary.info/preoccupied-logic-occupation

Those taking part in protests tomorrow should also check out protest tips at http://www.fitwatch.org.uk/2010/11/22/defend-the-dissent/

→ 3 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: Articles · resistance

3 responses so far

  • Mark Ellis posted:
    Dec 11, 2010 at 10:43 am. Comment #1

    Bunch of fucking drama queens… get a job!

  • Edd posted:
    Dec 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm. Comment #2

    Not that it matters one way or another, but we all have jobs. But, don’t let that worry you, I’m sure you can come out with a whole series of other inaccurate cliches if you want!

  • Fred Goodsell posted:
    Dec 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm. Comment #3

    We are involved in workplace struggles one way or another. Is it being a ‘drama queen’ worry about your future? Is it being a ‘drama queen’ to worry about how you are going to feed yourself or your family?

    Mark, I fear that with your line of thinking you wouldn’t realise if David Cameron personally came and hit you with a large stick.