Student protests

Schools Out!

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When I was 14 I managed my first, rather comic act of political rebellion. Partly inspired by Ken Loach’s film Cathy Come Home, I chalked “Long live the proletariat” on the blackboard at Crewe Boys’ Grammar. Our RE teacher, the Reverend Geddes, wandered in, inspected it and, humiliatingly, corrected my spelling before getting on with the lesson.

Schools Out! tells an altogether more inspiring tale of rebellion, politics and youthful fire.

Teach-in

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It amazes me that the shadow secretary of state for education can take trips to South East Asia and come back having learnt the wrong lessons. Tristram Hunt visited Singapore recently and returned saying that if teachers were made to swear an oath “about continuing to learn and to pass on the love of learning” then suddenly the status of teachers would improve.

Egyptian student protests spread

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The new university year in Egypt kicked off with a series of demonstrations by students angry at draconian anti-protest laws passed by the goverment of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Students across the country are demanding the removal of the private security firm Falcon Guards from campuses as well as an end to new laws banning protests.

Sussex occupation

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The last few weeks of the autumn term at universities saw a rise in student protest and resistance to austerity, prompting a draconian crackdown by university managements and the police.

The driving force behind the protests is a growing opposition to the privatisation of higher education, part of wider Tory attacks on the whole public sector.

Quebec: how we won

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After a six-month strike students in Quebec celebrated a victory last month when the new Parti Quebecois government announced it would reverse a planned tuition fees hike. The new government also repealed Bill 78, an emergency law introduced in May, aimed at restricting the right to protest. Aamna Mohdin and Jamie Woodcock spoke to Jérémie Bédard-Wien, a spokesperson for CLASSE, a radical student coalition that played a central role in the movement


“Half a million people marched through Montreal on 22 May - the largest ever act of civil disobedience in North America.”

Jérémie Bédard-Wien


There has been a history of student strikes in Quebec. What was the trigger for the 2012 student strike? And what was the inspiration?

Our Right to Protest

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We are all familiar with the continuing attacks on the welfare state, public sector, and vulnerable groups in society by a raft of ideological spending cuts. In addition to that, we have seen a barrage of assaults on the basic democratic and civil right to assemble and protest, a phenomenon that has reached new heights of savagery in recent weeks.

The Royal Wedding was little more than a 24-hour suspension of civil rights. The so-called "Charing Cross Ten" were arrested for having placards wrapped in a bin bag - they weren't even demonstrating. They were shipped off to Surrey, where an entire police station's cells had been reserved for anyone unwilling to go along with the message of patriotism flooding the nation's screens.

Organise to win - politics, leadership and the movement

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The student protests and actions against corporate tax-dodgers have posed the question of how best to organise a movement against government cuts and fees. Mark L Thomas argues that coordinated activity and open political discussion are vital to the resistance.

One argument that has gained a new lease of life in the student revolt and the campaigns against corporate tax-dodgers is that the best way to organise resistance to the cuts is through loose, decentralised and "leaderless" networks that allow for the greatest spontaneous expression of activity.

Violence and Legitimacy

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Pat Stack argues that the media frenzy about direct action at recent student protests is based on the assumption that state violence is legitimate - and that we don't have the right to win


Photo: Geoff Dexter

When Edward Woollard was sentenced to 32 months in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of Tory HQ at a student protest, there was no doubt that the British state was making an example of him to warn off student protesters.

A Generation in Revolt

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For years we have been told that today's students are apathetic. Dave Sewell argues that the "Day X" demonstrations marked the birth of a new student movement.


Image: Loki English

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven."

So the poet Wordsworth hailed the French Revolution of 1789. In 1968 Paris activist Daniel Cohn-Bendit said of 10 May, the night of the barricades:

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