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Ignore sell-out ‘student leaders’

November 13, 2010

Liverpool’s so-called student ‘leaders’ showed their true colours by condemning students who stormed Tory party HQ in London during the recent anti-tuition fees demonstration.

Josh Wright, president of the City Guild of Students, told the Liverpool Echo: “We will not allow them to take attention away from a peaceful and successful protest against an attack on our education system.”

Meanwhile, Lily Rumsey, president of Liverpool John Moores student union, said: “We are here to protest in a legitimate manner against the increase in fees which will triple student debt.”

What Mr Wright and Miss Rumsey fail (or refuse) to grasp is that they are pursuing a dead-end strategy. The official anti-war movement, led by the likes of the Socialist Workers Party, proved that endless protests and lobbies of parliament don’t achieve anything except give those who participate a chance to let off steam. However, the anti-poll tax movement showed that a sustained campaign of direct action can lead to a successful outcome.

It’s not up to ‘student leaders’ to decide what constitutes legitimate forms of dissent. Radical students should organise themselves on a militant, non-hierarchical basis and totally ignore the leaders and bureaucrats of the National Union of Students.

  1. C. Wintor permalink
    November 13, 2010 11:33 pm

    Hell fucking yeah! Ignore the leaders and get shit done!

  2. this heat permalink
    November 14, 2010 1:42 am

    What you fail to recognise is that without the participation (at present) of those student leaders, and the institutions, networks and resources they have access to, there wouldn’t have been anywhere near the number of demonstrators on the day, nor the platform to launch the much needed militant action. It smacks of a position that has no real engagement or desire to properly grasp with the movement as it is, in all its contradictory opinions and possible outcomes.

    There is a need to work with and alongside such ‘officials’ and bureaucrats where possible, whilst constantly maintaining a sustained critique and acknowledging both in theory and practice that the only way to stop the cuts, and fight for a different society, is through strikes, occupations and direct action. When many students still listen to the opinions of such bureaucrats it is too simplistic to dismiss them outright, as wrong and shameful as they are.

    The majority of students are still not ‘radical’, so organisation solely along those lines will lead to detachment and attempts to direct from the sidelines- in other words the antithesis of ‘non-hierarchical’ organisation where a few self-enlightened activists claim to have both all and none of the answers. Only through working with and against the dominant opinions of students on the ground can you gain legitimacy and direction. But of course, appearing theoretically ‘correct’ is evidently more important… Take it I’ll see you on campus soon then?

    • November 15, 2010 11:10 pm

      in reply to ‘this heat’

      We recognise that not all students are radicalised, but a militant, self-organised minority could help change that by promoting non-hierarchical, revolutionary forms of struggle at a rank-and-file level. This is very different from the vanguardism of the Marxist left which seeks to lead and control struggles for its own opportunist ends.

      As libertarian communists, we remain committed to the idea that working-class liberation must be the task of the working-class itself. History, including that of our own movement, has shown that collaboration with institutional leaders, bureaucrats and wannabe career politicians fundamentally undermines that goal.

      We believe in the resourcefulness, creativity and revolutionary potential of our class. This is not about being theoretically correct, it’s about believing in the integrity of our anarcho-syndicalist principles and attempting to put them into practice.

  3. November 22, 2010 5:43 am

    I think ‘this heat’ is confusing the leaders with the resources they control and manipulate…

  4. Kronstadt permalink
    November 25, 2010 10:35 am

    ‘this heat’ is an SWP member. His post is typical of the patronising bullshit that the paper-selling, largely middle-class Trot left comes out with.

    How many SWP branches have websites like this where all local members are free to post content and others can leave their own comments and feedback? You can stick your central committee and your newspaper!


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