HAS THE STUDENT MOVEMENT LOST MOMENTUM?

On Saturday there are two demos in London and Manchester – the first big  opportunity to see whether momentum of the movement can be regained after  the Christmas lull. Last week’s EMA demo from Piccadilly was about 800 strong and spirited but we’ll need to see much bigger numbers on Saturday and also whether then young unemployed are still engaged as they were on December 9th. The university occupation movement has not resurfaced in the new term apart from a flicker in Brum. There doesn’t seem to be any further call for demos after Saturday till the TUC March 26th event. That’s two months too long a gap.We should also be aware that putting all our eggs/hopes into March 26th will be a mistake. There are some very imaginative and exciting ideas for the day and very welcome they are and it will be a very significant day for the anti-cuts movement. But if there nothing else going on on the ground then it will still be a return to the one big march a year scenario. Now of course there will be local anti-cuts demos as councils set thir budgets and declare redundancies – but these will need to start occupying town halls rather than just venting anger outside them. The TUC demo against a background of town hall occupations will be a much more solid event. The other question is whether the trade unions wil ever act? Mervyn king declared yesterday that a six year period of wage erosion meant that the period represented the biggest decrease in standard of living since the 1920s. Couple this with rising inflation and still the unions refuse to act. Your supposed to be defending your members standard of living comrades. You haven’t. One glimmer of hope that I’ve flagged up before is the possibility of a tanker drivers strike – currently being balloted by unite. That would transform the situaton overnight. If anyone’s spotted othr promising signs let me know.

Mervyn King painted a picture of the nightmare facing millions of ­workers because of the toxic combination of soaring inflation and pay freezes or paltry pay rises. In his first speech of the year, Britain’s most powerful banker admits many households are suffering misery……………Hello Brendon Barber…wakey wakey!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “HAS THE STUDENT MOVEMENT LOST MOMENTUM?

  1. Roger Grenville

    Between now and the end of February local authorities throughout the country will be setting their Budgets and making their cuts. These decisions will be held in Town Halls and will be open to the public. This presents activists with a plethora of opportunities for imaginative and “entertaining” protests which, for example, could involve a barrage of bags of flour raining down on the councillors as they vote the cuts through. All sorts of fun could be had during this time and people won’t need to go to London to do it either !

  2. ” and people won’t need to go to London to do it either !”

    This is a real bonus, not just because grass-root, community based activists are usually those least likely to have the funds to attend London demos on a regular basis, but because it brings the fight closer to the people who really matter; the working class communities who have been utterly denied a voice – even among the majority of the left who claim to represent them – as successive governments have clambered over each other to implement neo-liberal policies (essentially power has been privatised at our expense – the IWCA have published an interesting 2 part overview of the process here http://www.iwca.info/?p=10145 and here http://www.iwca.info/?p=10172 which make for very interesting reading regardless of your individual politics).

    Imagine the impact we could have if we organised flying visits to smaller towns. Nowadays 50,000 strong crowds marching A-to-B through London are routinely ignored, but a group of 50 activists turning up for an imaginative demo in a provincial working class town would be a major event. Town Hall solidarity actions would be warmly welcomed and could be a lot of fun – especially as the main one in Doncaster is a plush 17th Century Mansion House 😀

    The campaigns to save libraries should also be embraced. In fact the very next anarchist social centre should be created in the first closed library 😉

  3. INCUBUS

    Funny, I was in a public library today and happened to read this in an economics text book:-
    “It would be wrong to regard trades unions primarily as a disruptive influence in the economy. For one thing, there must be a means by which workers can communicate with employers, for another, by making the worker more contented, they enhance productivity” (Harvey, Mastering Economics, Macmillan 2000)
    Out of the horses mouth or what?
    Our living standards are shrinking, our social and health services are being stolen from us, and the TUC does fuck-all.
    And those cunts in Davos are saying there will be a boom in 2011!…If the unions do what they know best, (betray their members and the class they think they represent) then it will be up to the youth in the inner cities, once the dole queue stretches to 4 million and upwards…

  4. INCUBUS

    Oh do take a look at this shit-
    “From TUC Steward call-out…
    Route stewards

    The job of route stewards is straightforward. The main task is simply to keep the march moving. There’s a terrible tendency for marches like this to slow down, but we need to keep people moving briskly so that everyone can get into Hyde Park for at least some of the rally.

    The next job is to be able to answer questions and deal with issues raised by those attending. We will be providing briefing sessions in advance all round the country, and providing written briefing notes.

    Next stewards will be briefed on what to do if any problems arise. Common examples of such issues are a lost child, someone being taken ill or injuring themselves. The answers to most of these will be to contact a senior steward or the march control centre, and full briefings will be given on different contingencies and what to do. As we have said this does not include any intervention if there is any disruption beyond polite requests to keep moving. This would be when you hand over responsibility to senior stewards and the police.

    Again we will use text messages to send any urgent information to stewards, and senior stewards will be in radio contact with each other and the march control centre.

    So what’s needed is common-sense, a mobile phone and a desire to help make this the most effective and efficiently organised demonstration against the cuts that is possible.”

    http://www.tuc.org.uk/alltogetherfor/stewarding.cfm

    KEEP MOVING, QUICK AS YOU CAN, NO CRISIS OF CAPITALISM, NOTHING TO SEE HERE! BAAAAAAHHHH!

  5. Robert

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBsq58QOPPc . Or tap You Tube Egypt station protest. If you want students or any other groups to have hope then we all need inspiration of some kind. Why are we not talking about whats happening in Tunisa/ Egypt/ Albania/ Yemen/Portugal/Spain/Greece and the next country to go pear shaped and forming some sort of solidarity though Facebook, twitter and the rest. It looks like Ireland is going to be rumbling in the next couple of months aswell. Its all reverlent is’nt it ?. I don’t think the student momentum has been lost. Its just been put on simmer for awhile but it will be back.

  6. INCUBUS

    @Robert, that’s exactly what’s starting to happen online…On Saturday there is also a demo outside the Egyptian Embassy-23 South St, London W1K 2XD…

  7. motley

    B.Barber was Newsnight about a week or so ago talking with others about the ‘ world wide recession’. he was awafull , no understanding, little analysis, meek and out of his depth.

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