Student protests

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:

Education at the Crossroads

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The coalition government has launched a colossal attack on all aspects of our education system. Terry Wrigley argues that this is an acceleration of previous governments' policies to drive the market into the heart of learning and will deepen a class hierarchy of institutions and students.


A police officer amid the aftermath of students' "Day X3" protest in December. Photo: Geoff Dexter

Student Protest Ignites the Fight

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It will take some time for us to judge the full meaning of the 10 November demonstration accurately. But it is worth reflecting on how it has changed the dynamics of both the student movement and the labour movement at large.


Photo: Geoff Dexter

The demonstration saw over 50,000 people march in an inspiring show of strength through London. This was not only the largest demonstration about education since 1987 but it also ended with an explosion of anger when thousands broke away from the central march to bring their anger to the doorstep of the Tory party headquarters at 30 Millbank.

School's Out Against War

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In the past few weeks tens of thousands of school students have made an extraordinary entrance into political activism. On the day war broke out waves of walkouts, sit-ins and protests against the attack on Iraq swept the country, completely confounding journalistic stereotypes of 'apathetic youth'.

A series of wildcat student strikes began on 28 February, when 800 Glasgow school students walked out of classes to shut down an army recruitment office. On the same day about 1,000 school students in Northern Ireland and 400 more in Wales also struck.

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