Student Mass meeting in London on Monday 15th November, Kings College - Spread the word

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
raw
Offline
Joined: 8-10-03
Nov 13 2010 20:28
Student Mass meeting in London on Monday 15th November, Kings College - Spread the word

Monday 15th
5.30pm autonomous pre-meeting in Room K4U.12 Kings College on the Strand before
6pm Education Activist Meeting in same room. As I understand it 6pm session is the big, post Wednesday meeting, with speeches and perhaps some planning / working towards agreement and co-ordination around 24th November Walkout and Day of Action
http://anticuts.com/category/region/london

Kings Meeting was called by http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/ and will feature a speech from the increasingly controversial figure, NUS President Aaron Porter. As the NUS is divided over support for the militants and their President who repeatedly denounced them last week, it might be a good idea to come along early - and / or discuss at LARC tomorrow - how best to support the more radical / big picture voices within the NUS and wider movement in their fight to A. keep up the levels of militancy, while B. also exploring ways of widening the struggle to welcome and include everyone else..

elsquith
Offline
Joined: 2-10-10
Nov 14 2010 13:44

how about an effigy of Aaron Porter "hung out to dry" on a washing line? smile

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 16 2010 06:17

what happened yesterday?

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 17 2010 01:20

A report here

Lurch
Offline
Joined: 15-10-05
Nov 17 2010 11:32

Apparently a comrade from the ICC's section in Toulouse, which has been very active in the movement for struggle committees and assemblies, was able to speak at the meeting; and despite a frontal attack on the French union strategies, was widely applauded.

Also: the leaflet below was among those distributed.

Poses questions about a radical block for the next demo and the need to discuss aims and tactics - no doubt already underway. Perhaps needs new thread?

Student/worker demonstrations We need to control our own struggles!

For a long time, it has seemed that the working class in Britain has been stunned into silence by the brutality of the attacks being launched by the new government: forcing the disabled back to work, forcing the jobless to work for nothing, raising the pension age, savage spending cuts in the education sector, hundreds of thousands of jobs to go throughout the public sector, trebling of university tuition fees and scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance bonuses for 16-18 year old students...the list is endless. The workers’ struggles that have taken place recently – BA, tube, fire service - have all been kept in strict isolation.

But we are an international class and the crisis of this system is also international. In Greece, Spain, and most recently France there have been massive struggles against the new austerity drives. In France the reaction against the pension ‘reforms’ provided a focus for growing discontent throughout society, but especially among the youth.

The huge demonstration in London of 10 November showed that the same potential for resistance exists in the UK. The sheer size of the demo, the involvement of both students and education workers, the refusal to be limited to a tame march from A to B, all this expresses a widespread feeling that we cannot accept the logic behind the state’s assault on living conditions. The temporary occupation of Tory HQ was not the result of a conspiracy by a handful of anarchists but the product of a far wider anger, and the vast majority of students and workers supporting the demo refused to go along with the condemnation of this action by the NUS leadership and the media.

Many have said it: this demonstration was just the beginning. Already a second day of action and demonstration is being organised for the 24th November. For the moment such actions are being organised by the ‘official’ organisations like the NUS who have already shown that they are part of the forces of order. But that is no reason for not participating massively in the demonstrations. On the contrary, coming together in large numbers is the best basis for creating new forms of organisation that can express the real needs of the struggle.

Before such demonstrations or days of action, how do we move forward? We need to call for meetings and general assemblies in the universities, colleges and schools, open to all students and workers, both to build support for the demonstrations and discuss their aims.

The initiative by some comrades to form ‘radical student and worker blocs’ on the demonstrations should be supported – but wherever possible they should meet in advance to discuss exactly how they intend to express their independence from the official organisers.

We need to learn from recent experiences in Greece – where occupations (including the occupation of union HQ) – were used to create a space where general assemblies could be held. And what was the experience in France? We saw an important minority of students and workers in many towns holding street assemblies not only at the end of the demos but on a regular basis while the movement was going forward.

We also need to be clear that in future the forces of order will not keep to the softly softly approach of 10 November. They will be tooled up and looking to provoke us into premature clashes to give them a pretext for displays of force– this has been a common tactic in France. The organisation of self-defence and solidarity against the forces of repression needs to come out of collective discussion and decision.

The struggle is not just in the education sector. The entire working class is under attack and the resistance needs to be spread consciously to both public and private sectors. Controlling our own struggles is the only way to extend them.

November 15, International Communist Current

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 18 2010 13:00

He was applauded( I was one of these) but I wouldn't say widely!!

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 18 2010 13:13

I was enthused at first, the speeches were radical and gave uncritical support to the actions of the 20th, but then one piece of rhetoric followed another with very few practical suggestions. It was the Trotskyist left trying in a chameleon-like way to adapt to the movement and to become its leadership.
Quite frankly though, the already announced before the meeting decision to go to LibDem HQ will only lead to a kettle and the chance of a lot of students getting battered.This fits in with the leftist plan to put pressure on the LibDems,tailending the NUS bureaucracy, and hoping for a collapse of the coalition government. No criticism of Labour and of Labour denunciations of the actions, highlighting the leftist hope of a radical Labour government (ha!)
What should be concentrated on instead on the 24th in the spreading and strengthening of iuniversity, college and school occupations.
Porter didn't turn up( suprise suprise!) but Clare Solomon the "radical" NUS leader at SOAS praised him for all the work he had done in building for the Nov 17th demo!!

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 18 2010 14:03

lurch:

Quote:
the forces of order will not keep to the softly softly approach of 10 November. They will be tooled up and looking to provoke us into premature clashes to give them a pretext for displays of force– this has been a common tactic in France.

What police tactics in France are being referred to here?

Lurch
Offline
Joined: 15-10-05
Nov 18 2010 16:44

Samotnaf:

Quote:
What police tactics in France are being referred to here?

The quote is from the ICC's leaflet, not from me: hopefully someone from that organisation can clarify.

I can't give you date or place (most likely Toulouse) but I did hear a vivid description which suggests that police in France have learned well from the kettling techniques of the Met and other forces. Demonstrators - mostly students and schoolchildren - were herded into the town square then all the streets out were sealed. Nine hours, they were kept there. No food, water or toilets. Demonstrators attempting to break out were met with baton charges, tear gas, flash-balls.. Anxious parents trying to break the cordons from the other side were roughly rebuffed, refused entry. Again, hopefully an ICCer can give place and date.

Otherwise, I believe the 'tactics' involved incidents some of which you yourself have reported. This from the ICC's 'brief chronology':

October 16th

The second Day of Action on a Saturday. Once again, nearly 3 million people find themselves pounding the pavement.

A new dimension emerges: school children, who entered the struggle a few days earlier, point the tips of their noses in the demonstrations.

The following Monday, nearly 1,000 schools are blockaded and many spontaneous protests by school children take place. The UNL, the main student (and non-student) union, which started the movement, acknowledges that it’s overwhelmed by the scale of the mobilization.

The state exploits the presence of young thugs within the students’ ranks to violently repress certain “blockaders” and young demonstrators (a 17-year-old nearly loses an eye after police fire a Flash-Ball in the Montreuil suburb of Paris). The police themselves fan the anger at “police provocation”. The goal is clear: to derail the movement by dragging it into the mire of mindless violence and a sterile confrontation with the cops. By the same token, the state is seeking at all costs to make the struggle unpopular, to scare young people, their parents and the whole working class.

October 19th

... Some union general assemblies decide to support the refinery blockades and physically support the pickets, which are subject to numerous, sometimes brutal assaults by the police, to “liberate the refineries”, “restore order” and “stop the thugs” (to quote the President, Nicolas Sarkozy)....

... Given the scale of this latest mobilization, the state tightens the grip of the baton and the Flash-Ball. In particular, in Lyons, a massive deployment of cops awaits the arrival of the demonstration. Challenged, the police deliberately fan hatred among the young. A handful gives in to this provocation. The crackdown turns into a rampage, cops hitting everything in sight: young people who “look like thugs” or those who just look young, but also the old. The end of the demonstration would have borne the brunt of the “rule of law”. The state certainly felt it had gone too far this time: some ministers led calls for calm (in reality aimed at their own troops). The demonstration in Paris went much “smoother”, as strongly emphasized the media.

Battlescarred

Quote:
Quite frankly though, the already announced before the meeting decision to go to LibDem HQ will only lead to a kettle and the chance of a lot of students getting battered.This fits in with the leftist plan to put pressure on the LibDems,tailending the NUS bureaucracy, and hoping for a collapse of the coalition government.

Agreed. That's why any 'radical block' attending the demo on the 24th needs to discuss this situation. What can be done? What alternatives to urge?, etc.

.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 18 2010 20:20
Quote:
mindless violence

Typical mindless ICC comment more like, typical mimicking of ruling class cliches.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 18 2010 20:56
Battlescarred wrote:
He was applauded( I was one of these) but I wouldn't say widely!!

How times have changed grin

baboon
Offline
Joined: 29-07-05
Nov 18 2010 22:23

In Lyon on October 19, at a demonstration of around 50,000 workers, students and schoolkids, the police violently attacked the crowd at the place Bellecour aiming mostly at youths. There was a small number of "casseurs" but these could have been police provocateurs or manipulated by the police. Whether or not this was the case the police were aggressive from the start and went over the top using coshes, tear gas and flash balls. Part of the aim, as well as sowing fear, seemed to be to stop any discussion at the end of the demonstration which has been a growing feature of minorities of the working class fed up with being marched up and down like sheep and sent home . The possibility of discussion or assemblies at the end of demonstrations had previously been drowned out with the union tactic of blaring loudspeakers.
I heard reports of the French police adopting the British tactic of kettling but wasn't sure where this was (maybe Toulouse).

The student vanguard of 2006 was able to push back the attacks of the CPE and the state because of the growing use of general assemblies open to all, workers, unemployed, pensioners, etc., ie, solidarity between the generations, and this was a real threat to the state. They also refused to let the French unions take over their struggle. The bourgeoisie fears these contacts and the self organisation of the class which it attacks with both its police and its unions. For example, Thibault, general secretary of the CGT said several times during the anti-CPE struggles, that the workers had nothing to learn from the students on how to organise. Several times the CGT tried to put itself at the head of student demonstrations and actions only for the students to sometimes clearly reject this "leadership".

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 19 2010 05:45

When the cops attack you to respond is

Quote:
"mindless violence"?

(ICC quote).
Mindless pacifist fucked-in-the-head garbage. The anti-CPE movement was also partly violent - and the recent movement's General Assemblies weren't always the great model of radicality the ICC holds them up to be. Reality is a lot more complex than crass ideological simplifications.

Cop brutality was not confined to the demos or anything else precisely to do with the pensions movement. In October, in Montreuil on the outskirts of Parism, the day the teenager had a flashball fuck up his eye when all he was doing was putting a rubbish bin in front of his lycee gate, the BAC filth that did this had previously evicted 3 squats. The first one they went in, there was a woman who'd just started going into labour. A guy in the squat went up to them and told them this; response - a flashball to his body. The woman, in labour, was evicted, a bulldozer arrived and destroyed the squat with half the squatter's stuff in it. Everywhere they are evicting squatters in the most fascistic manner - you don't need to be part of an overtly political movement to be the object of such sickness.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 23 2010 10:15

"The state exploits the presence of young thugs within the students’ ranks to violently repress certain “blockaders” and young demonstrators (a 17-year-old nearly loses an eye after police fire a Flash-Ball in the Montreuil suburb of Paris). The police themselves fan the anger at “police provocation”. The goal is clear: to derail the movement by dragging it into the mire of mindless violence and a sterile confrontation with the cops. By the same token, the state is seeking at all costs to make the struggle unpopular, to scare young people, their parents and the whole working class."
Surely the same criticisms then are valid for November 17th??? I think you've shot yourselves in the foot there, ICC.