Socialist Worker

SWP conference 2012: A new radical student left

Issue No. 2285

Leading off the session on students, Hannah Dee spoke of a “new radical left” inside the universities that has been built up during the student movement.

Hannah said, “The student movement has been part of shaping an upward trajectory of resistance and it is difficult to imagine the shape of politics in Britain without the student movement.

“It also helped to feed into the riots—anger against stop and search, police racism, a lack of opportunities and the scrapping of EMA.”

In the discussion students contributed from all over the country. Dexter from Sheffield and Shireen from east London spoke to conference about the successes and challenges of organising FE and school students.

Shireen told the conference, “Young people want to do things that empower them, that’s why so many people joined the protests last year.

“We have to talk to young people about the issues that affect them.

“They might not know what a class war is but they really hate the Tories.”

The discussion heard how students in a number of universities organised important solidarity around the public sector strikes last year.

Laura from Glasgow said, “The strikes have shown students that workers’ power isn’t something abstract but something real that you can intervene in.

“We’ve built a new group based on strong political relationships and democracy.”

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