Anarchist Federation statement on November 24th

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Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 24 2010 08:03
Anarchist Federation statement on November 24th


On Wednesday 24 November, tens of thousands of people across the country
will walk out of our colleges, schools and universities.

After the police were taken by surprise at Millbank on the national demo
on the 10th by thousands of students' innovation and militancy, we can
expect a return to more straightforwardly thuggish police tactics. For
this reason, the Anarchist Federation encourages people to concentrate on
building successful local actions around our own campuses, schools, etc.
rather than joining the large protest outside the Lib Dems' HQ or a
similar target. We expect either a disempowering rally with speakers,
which will take away the energy that the November 10th demonstration
created, or if there are attacks on property, a violent police response.

After Millbank, over 50 people were arrested. Practical solidarity should
continue to defend those who have been arrested and victimised in a
condescending attempt to marginalise the movement as a whole from the
militancy at Millbank. This can take many forms, from fundraising for
travel costs to court to occupying a building in solidarity with those
arrested. One recent example where practical solidarity got a concrete
result was when the police tried to force the closure of the website
Fitwatch, after it gave sensible advice to anyone who had been, or feared
that they might be, arrested. Within hours the information had been
reposted on first dozens, then hundreds of other websites. Having gotten
far more people reading the information than if they had not interfered,
the police quickly realised their tactic had failed and so Fitwatch was

This movement will not be sustained by the occasional union-led national
demonstration, but by the daily action of people in our own communities
and places of education and work. The momentum created by Millbank was
just the beginning, something to inspire the struggle, not the struggle
itself. It is direct action - strikes, occupations, sit-ins, walkouts -
that sufficiently disrupt capitalism that will force the abandoning of the
austerity program. This must be widespread and occurring up and down the
country, not just at pre-meditated places and times.

If we are to be successful, we need to break out of seeing these attacks
on education as isolated. We need to make this a mass movement that
recognizes the nature of the attacks we as a class are facing. Already
links are being made between university and college students, students and
education workers. But the cuts are not just limited to the education
sector, and we should recognise our common cause with workers in other
sectors who are facing similar attacks. If we manage to defeat the cuts in
one sector, they may just hit harder in another. The struggle against
education cuts must become part of a wider struggle against the whole
austerity program.

It is not anarchists alone who are pushing for these tactics. The press
has condescendingly talked of students being 'manipulated' or 'led' by
anarchists; this is rubbish. Never mind the fact that students can be
anarchists too, it doesn't take an anarchist to see what is being done to
education, and that routine demos will fail as they have failed in the

Everything we have won so far, everything they are trying to take away
from us, we won through solidarity and coordinated, militant action. We
can defeat these cuts if we keep it up!

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
Joined: 11-04-07
Dec 12 2010 17:44

Any statements/reports from the AF from the Dec. 9th demo?

T La Palli
Joined: 9-02-09
Dec 12 2010 21:29

There isn't an AF statement/report from the 9th that I've seen. There may be a second edition of Anarchist Student published.