Student Respect groups continue to tap into the radicalism of new students as the academic year begins around the country.
At SOAS in London last Saturday, where two of the three full time student union officers are Student Respect members, 170 people joined Student Respect, out of a first year intake of only 400.
At Goldsmiths College, London, 160 signed up to get involved.
Following their successful freshers’ fair, Queen Mary University had 100 students at their first Student Respect meeting of term to hear Mark Steel talk on Che Guevara.
One year on from its formation, many students now see Student Respect as the home for all those who want to fight back against war, racism and the Blairite plans for education.
The key date for all Student Respect activists now is the NUS demonstration for free education on Sunday 29 October.
Student Respect delegates at last year’s NUS conference were central to winning this demonstration. Student unions around the country are already hosting meetings to mobilise for the protest and booking up transport.
On 11 October Manchester University student union is hosting a NUS Northern region activists meeting. One is being planned for the south at SOAS.
It is important that we see the demonstration not as an isolated event.
We have to use it to give life to a broader campaign across the campuses which looks to the radicalism of the recent French and Greek student movements to seriously put the issue of free education back on the government’s agenda.