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28 February 2009

Class struggle back on student agenda

Tying together a few political loose ends from now and various other points in recent history:
Amidst the decomposition of the old world, false consciousness -- which still reigns but no longer governs -- has the nerve to take to task a whole generation of young proletarians, who have re-launched the offensive against the society of the spectacle, for not being able to resolve all the questions at the origin of both their revolt and the crisis in which all the appointed powers are floundering. The real situation is very different: what the young proletarians are in fact being taken to task for is posing questions that power cannot resolve, for it is power itself that is being questioned.

A recent article from the Independent:
The Independent
Students are revolting: The spirit of '68 is reawakening
Sunday, 8 February 2009

They are the iPod generation of students: politically apathetic, absorbed by selfish consumerism, dedicated to a few years of hedonism before they land a lucrative job in the City. Not any more. A seismic change is taking place in British universities.

Around the UK, thousands of students have occupied lecture theatres, offices and other buildings at more than 20 universities in sit-down protests. It seems that the spirit of 1968 has returned to the campus.

While it was the situation in Gaza that triggered this mass protest, the beginnings of political enthusiasm have already spread to other issues.
Oh yes. Below are some student occupation web sites triggered by the recent dramatic murderous increase in the plight of human beings in Palestine:
Any others?

As the Independent article noted, political enthusiasm spreads to other issues, with the spirit of Mario Savio running through them:

No wonder senior police officers are concerned about a "summer of rage" and less wonder still that such concerns were pre-empted by the Minstry of Defence, which wrote:
The Middle Class Proletariat
The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.

Source: The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Progamme 2007-2036 [PDF]
Published by the Ministry of Defence

Viva la people's revolution!


Bridget said...

A very inspiring post Antagonist. This statement from the Manchester Uni Occupation was also inspiring and shows there's hope for us all yet!

If there is a lesson to be learnt in the last few weeks it is this: attempting to silence our struggle, to silence our endeavour, to stop us from showing solidarity with the people of Gaza, merely results in even greater determination, and even more resolve.

When we organised an emergency general meeting, the supporters of Israel and its inhumane actions distinguished themselves in their anti-democratic attempts to silence our stance, to shamefully silence our desire to express legitimate outrage at the continuing oppression of Palestine and its people. Their answer came one week later when, out of disgust at the attempt to sabotage democracy, over a thousand people turned out to reclaim our union and take the power back!

Our generation is determined to succeed where others have failed. We have been compared to 1968, but we are determined to create a new benchmark, one which is based on success rather than myth. We are conscious that we are masters of our destiny and that we are contributing towards a small chapter of history, a history which is part of the long struggle for Palestinian freedom.

We have now entered our third week in occupation; three weeks, the same amount of time the people of Gaza spent sheltering under their homes in the face of the Israeli onslaught. They emerged from underneath the rubble of their schools, hospitals and homes. When they buried their dead, they dusted themselves down, looked to the sky, and raised their hands in defiance, declaring themselves Palestinian, that they exist.

We will never forget them — we are inspired by them.

Given the inadequate response so far by the management of the University of Manchester, it would appear that they may be reading the Israeli rule book on negotiations, what with their unilateral declarations and conditions. That being so, it is obvious that they are not listening to us. What do they think we mean when we declare: ‘in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians!’

As far as we are concerned the university can have their Israeli rule book, because we are reading a better book: the Palestinian manual of resistance.

Therefore we call upon all students, all academics and all concerned citizens from across the country to join our struggle. On Wednesday 4th March 2009, we will take our message to the management to ensure that the university meet every one of our demands, to make Spring 09 the defining moment in the history of previous student movements.

We will not rest until the cries of the oppressed people of Palestine no longer reach the sky!

The Antagonist said...

Thanks for that Bridget, powerful stuff indeed.

Summer's (nearly) here and the time is right for...

Or, in the words of the mighty Alliance™: We'll keep on fighting - and we'll win!

The Antagonist said...

Meanwhile, in the TwitterVerse:

"More than 1,500 people, paying £35 a ticket, attended the Convention on Modern Liberty in London!" Dissent, if you can afford it! #coml

The Antagonist said...

Video of the full speech:

YouTube - Mark Bergfeld - Another Education is Possible Demonstration (London, UK) 25/02/09

Thanks to veteran protest film maker Ady Cousins for the link.