Students are Revolting Part II: The Revenge

Free education is not a radical demand, it’s the bare minimum an advanced society would require if it had any interest in maintaining social cohesion and progress.

Red and Black Leeds

all_i_want_is_revenge Anti-cuts banner from late 2011, at the tail end of the last wave of student struggles.

Four years ago, in the aftermath of the installation of the current coalition government, students took to the streets and occupied university property in protest against the rising cost of education, cuts to course budgets and student services, and the creeping privatisation of higher education across the country. The protest movement, though short lived, showed remarkable militancy and an ability to mobilise a diverse range of people, from relatively privileged university students studying at prestigious, high-end institutions to poor teenagers angry about the scrapping of EMA. It was also notable for the extent to which the bureaucratic National Union of Students, the NUS, was sidelined almost immediately, left to shriek ineffectually about “despicable students” and “violent minorities” to anyone who’d listen.

Undoubtedly the events of November/December 2010 helped pave the way for…

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