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Student militants continue to lead the way

December 1, 2010

Yesterday saw the second nationwide day of action called in the wake of Demo 2010, and  the momentum is holding. Police repression is radicalising many protesters rather than scaring them off, and resistance continues to grow. This is a genuine revolt.

For those who weren’t there, Indymedia has a helpful summary of the days events, whilst a more in-depth account, based on live updates, can be found at LibCom.

One of the most positive developments in this protest is that the police are now on the back foot. Mass outrage over police kettling translated into largely effective avoidance tactics on the ground. At the same time, the will for occupations continues to grow, despite NUS President Aaron Porter inevitably back-peddled on his pledge to offer legal support to student occupations.

Ordinarily, such a U-Turn would usually serve as a way of demobilising radicalism. But Porter has lost all control of this movement. And nobody is willing to let him have control of the reins again. In a few short days, students have done what the labour movement thus far cannot and relegated their bureaucracy to the sidelines.

The next days of action are set for Sunday 5th and Saturday 11th December, “so that parents, younger students, trade unionists and other supporters of the campaign who aren’t able to join us on the walkouts can take part.” Whilst they continue to hold the fort in occupied lecture theatres and university halls, those behind this momentous campaign realise that it has to go wider and are offering those supporting from the sidelines the chance to get stuck in.

It’s an opportunity we cannot pass up. If opposition to the government’s austerity agenda is to have any success, it will be because resistance remains organic, continuing to grow and evolve.

Those who thrive on sterile meetings, front groups, and lofty rhetoric unmatched by action have had their day. What we are seeing now is a movement genuinely led from below, thriving without hierarchy or formal leadership. It is exactly what we need in the fight ahead.

Edited from a report by a Liverpool SolFed member, which appeared on their blog here.

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