Ein paar Infos zur Situation in England

Am 10. 11. hat es in London eine Demo mit über 50.000 Leuten, dabei wurde das Head Quarter der Tories, der konservativen Partei besetzt. Für den 24. November ist der nächste große Aktionstag angesetzt. Es kursiert der Aufruf “Peoples Assemblies” zu gründen.

Ein paar Links:

hier zwei Texte aus der aktuellen Situation:

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The state prepares for a showdown

Rank-and-file students and their national leaders are travelling in opposite directions. At college and university level, students are preparing for further action against soaring tuition fees. At national level, the Labour-led leadership of the National Union of Students (NUS) is heading for the hills.

Behind the rhetoric of a “decapitating” Lib Dem MPs, the NUS is actually trying to behead the spontaneous movement that erupted on London’s streets last week. The NUS wants to direct student energy towards – wait for it – collecting signatures with the aim of making Lib Dem MPs face by-elections!

This is not so much a strategy as a travesty. The proposed law about recalling MPs is not even published yet and it will simply be restricted to issues of corruption like expenses fraud. Meanwhile, the majority party in the Coalition, Cameron’s Tories, are simply let off the hook.

The aim of NUS president and aspiring Labour MP Aaron Porter is to postpone, hinder, divert and fragment a growing social movement against the Coalition government. Simply marching from point A to point B with the aim of winning over “public opinion” won’t bring about change and frustration with a failed political process exploded at Millbank. Naturally, Porter – who is not opposed to tuition fees in principle – condemned as “despicable” the students who went on to attack the Tory Party HQ.

The reality is that the struggle against the Coalition’s massive spending cuts, which are driven by a deepening global debt crisis (with Ireland this morning on the verge of bankruptcy), cannot be contained within “normal” boundaries of protests and one-off strikes. And the state is conscious of this and will learn from the police’s obvious unpreparedness for the size and anger of last week’s march.

According to the Observer, defence firms are working closely with the government on a “militarisation” strategy to meet mass resistance to the impact of the cuts. Firms are apparently in negotiation over possible orders for armoured vehicles, body scanners and surveillance equipment. Scotland Yard’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit and other state bodies are said to be stepping up monitoring of left-wing groups.

So while the NUS and the leaders of the major trade unions in Britain sit around in la-la land, the state, as always, is getting tooled up. This has to be the case because, ultimately, the emerging struggles revolve around and are decided by the central question of state power – who wields it and for what purpose.
The present capitalist state will everything and anything to sustain the very system upon which it rests. If that requires massive spending cuts and propping up failed banks, that is precisely what it will do. If that obliges the state to bring out the iron first, it won’t hesitate.

In these unprecedented times, where existing political processes are reduced to a cul-de-sac against a background of insoluble economic crisis, direct action and extreme forms of protest will in themselves not be enough to defeat the Coalition and the state. Students, however, having taken the lead in the struggle against Cameron-Clegg, are in a position to inspire a significant shift.

They could achieve that by going outside of their campuses to the local communities and workplaces with an appeal to create People’s Assemblies. These could become an alternative democratic alternative to a failed undemocratic political system. A network of People’s Assemblies will have the capacity to facilitate a transition to a society based on co-operation and self-determination instead of profit and corporate power. Then we could repudiate the state’s debts to the banks and create an education system free for all.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor

A World to Win


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the expected unexpected

50.000 students, teachers and lecturers are not a few, in particular if the student union‘s expectation was around 7000 people for the 10 of November. Las week it was the biggest demonstration of social opposition from the 90s in England. The spokesman of the student union said that the direct action was just «despicable action» organized by a minority that occupied the head quarter of the Tory. For who was there last week it was clear that the only minority group of the demo was the union! This is a kind of a paradox for a rally organized by them.

Still, the big parade that besieged the parliament was composed by very young people, most of them at their first political demo: undergraduates that will see increase fees threefold in the next few years, as well as international students that are already paying high fees in order to study at the UK’s universities.

The presence of thousand of students, some of them in fancy dress, from all around England exceeded de facto the union-style of the protest. That social composition is a signal that something is changing and that the lobby of the student unions are on the ropes. Or, at least, this is what we should concluded by the angry comments of Aaron Porter on the Millbank tower occupation.

Through the articles of newspapers and tabloid, it emerges that such a big demo was completely unexpected; moreover it emerges the concern and anxiety of who analysed the protester’s composition. The middle class origin of the activist seems what aroused people’s curiosity, fear and interest of the media as well as embarrassed the Metropolitan police. If they had been simple young, not students or teasers, or «idiots» setting the fire, throwing chairs and breaking windows, it would have been much more comfortable and reassuring, more readable and less shocking.

Instead, there were well-educated, radical and angry young people from middle class, determined and fresh face students, so numerous and so happy to besiege the parliament shouting «Tory scum!».

Looking at their unexpected faces London has touched the contemporary crisis. The rage of a new generation reclaiming their future revealed to England the violence of the contemporary welfare state’s cuts.

The increasing of fees decided by the government is the attempt to manage the public debt increased as a result of the Afghanistan war and the bank’s bailout (not to mention the special bonuses for managers). We are facing the attempt to transfer the public debt to the people: the student loan that goes with the increasing in the tuition fees, is the way through which the deficit spending will diverted, in the next future, toward the private sector.

In this scenario what we know as mass university will change in a radical way, as well as the full time student that maybe will disappear soon: life long learning, part time studio mixed with part time job will be the «customer» of the Anglo-Saxon universities in crisis.

Last week was the biggest student demonstration since the mid-80s, and it seems that a new wave of protest is coming: after the success of the 10 of November, the 24 of November is the new national date for occupation and walkout around all the universities of the United Kingdom.

Starting from this week there are lots of meetings already scheduled in order to understand how to organize and to continue the protest. Moreover, different unions of the public sector have announced a big strike for the next spring following the student struggle (the only one that seems to be able to start a new season of resistance). This is just the beginning!