Dienstag, 30. November 2010

Che fare ? What is to be Done ?

Walk out of school and college. Take action in workplaces. Lay siege to parliament.

If everyone gets behind the student revolt then this government can be beaten over the rise in university tuition fees to £9,000 a year. School, college and university students are on the streets, millions of others support them, and government ministers are in a spin.

Liberal Democrat ministers were this week debating whether or not to vote for the policy they had shaped in the cabinet! If the fees are beaten then it will make it much easier to fight other attacks such as the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance that hundreds of thousands of young people rely on.

And it will boost all of us in the battle against this vicious Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

The central date for us all is the day when the fees are voted on by MPs in parliament.

That is scheduled to take place at some time before Christmas. On that day, everyone—student, worker, pensioner, unemployed—should be part of the movement.

Protest, lay siege to Parliament, send a delegation from work to the demonstration, walkout if you can.

Trade union leaders must back the calls for action, as the UCU lecturers’ union already has. The Tories and the lickspittle Liberals are out to wreck our lives. Let’s sink them.

Socialist Worker Online, UK

The claims of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and other middle class “left” organisations that building up "direct action" and merely getting larger numbers onto the streets is an adequate strategy for defeating the cuts must be rejected.

Placing all the emphasis on greater protest activity by the students is the means by which the SWP cynically attempts to cover up the complicity of the Labour and trade union bureaucracy with the imposition of the cuts and divert students away from a political struggle against those elements. Especially under conditions in which the state is preparing more severe repression against protests, this would mean leaving the students to fight alone, to be picked off by the police and worn down.

Young people cannot look to disaffected Liberals, the Labour Party or the trade unions to fight back against the efforts to impose the global economic crisis on the backs of working people. They are not a solution to the problem, they are part of it.

Students and youth must make a conscious political turn towards the working class. This is the opposite of the orientation to the Trades Union Congress proposed by the SWP and others. It means linking up with all sections of workers facing cuts in their jobs, wages and living standards through the building of rank-and-file committees in a rebellion against the trade unions. The fight against austerity must be based in a struggle against the capitalist profit system, for the bringing down of the coalition government and for a workers’ government based on socialist policies.

International Students for Social Equality, UK

Picture to yourselves a popular uprising.

Probably everyone will now agree that we must think of this and prepare for it. But how? Surely the Central Committee cannot appoint agents to all localities for the purpose of preparing the uprising. Even if we had a Central Committee, it could achieve absolutely nothing by such appointments under present-day Russian conditions. But a network of agents that would form in the course of establishing and distributing the common newspaper would not have to “sit about and wait” for the call for an uprising, but could carry on the regular activity that would guarantee the highest probability of success in the event of an uprising. Such activity would strengthen our contacts with the broadest strata of the working masses and with all social strata that are discontented with the autocracy, which is of such importance for an uprising. Precisely such activity would serve to cultivate the ability to estimate correctly the general political situation and, consequently, the ability to select the proper moment for an uprising. Precisely such activity would train all local organisations to respond simultaneously to the same political questions, incidents, and events that agitate the whole of Russia and to react to such “incidents” in the most vigorous, uniform, and expedient manner possible; for an uprising is in essence the most vigorous, most uniform, and most expedient “answer” of the entire people to the government. Lastly, it is precisely such activity that would train all revolutionary organisations throughout Russia to maintain the most continuous, and at the same time the most secret, contacts with one another, thus creating real Party unity; for without such contacts it will be impossible collectively to discuss’ the plan for the uprising and to take the necessary preparatory measures on the eve, measures that must be kept in the strictest secrecy.

In a word, the “plan for an all-Russia political newspaper”, far from representing the fruits of the labour of armchair workers, infected with dogmatism and bookishness (as it seemed to those who gave but little thought to it), is the most practical plan for immediate and all-round preparation of the uprising, with, at the same time, no loss of sight for a moment of the pressing day-to-day work …

Class political consciousness can be brought to the workers only from without, that is, only from outside the economic struggle, from outside the sphere of relations between workers and employers. The sphere from which alone it is possible to obtain this knowledge is the sphere of relationships of all classes and strata to the state and the government, the sphere of the interrelations between all classes.

Lenin, What is to be Done ?(1901)

London protesters come here face to face with Metropolitan Police after a new day of marching against the planned university tuition fee increases. Police said 146 demonstrators were arrested after a group of protesters refused to leave Trafalgar Square at the end of the demonstration. There were also ten arrests in Bristol. At least the British Liberal Democrats seem to have come now politically under pressure and mull abstaining in the parliamentary vote on tuition fees, while the Government in Wales decided to spare Welsh students from a rise in tuition fees. (Photo: Reuters)


Europeans stage anti-austerity protest (Reuters via ZCommunications.org)

Ddl Gelmini, proteste in tutta Italia La Camera approva la riforma (La Repubblica, Italy, chronology of events)

30 novembre 2010 - Diretta sms - contro il ddl, scontri e blocchi stradali, occupate decine di stazioni, la rivoltà dell'università contro il governo (Uniriot Network, Italy, chronology)

Rolling coverage of student protests on Day X2 (Socialist Worker Online, UK, chronology)

Budget cuts stir protest in Italy, UK (Wall Street Journal Europe)

Protests against tuition fees strain coalition (Reuters UK)

'Non-students to blame for trouble' (The Evening Post, Bristol, UK)

Punished for being English: Welsh students join Scots in being spared tuition fees rise (Daily Mail, UK)

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