Laboratories of struggle: Occupations, alternatives and strategy

Recent weeks have seen a new wave of campus struggles, with occupations in London and Amsterdam, and strikes in North America. Tabitha Spence analyses the significance of these struggles and where they might go next.

WP_20150318_008 Open meeting at the LSE Occupation. Photo: Dan Swain

Time and again history has witnessed student activists rising to the challenge of playing instrumental roles in building and strengthening social movements. From winning Civil Rights to ending the Vietnam War, spaces of higher education often act as sites for pushing public discourse beyond acceptance of dominant narratives that validate deeply unjust processes.

In these movements and many others, students have found creative ways to foster alliances across sectors, supporting those on the front lines of struggles and those bearing the brunt of harmful policies. As part of the battle against Thatcher’s neoliberal policies, for instance, students took an active position in supporting the miners during the great…

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GCAS–Forging Partnerships

GCAS--The BLOG

The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) Partnerships

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At its core, education is about the open and shared collaboration of knowledge, ideas, and research for the mutual benefit of all human beings.  GCAS’ mission is to open and distribute knowledge in a democratic, publicly responsible manner.  Although this may sound ideal, and it is, there are however objective neoliberal patent “privatizing” laws such as the Bayh-Dole Act (USA-1980), which have had detrimental effects on research development and distribution.  In particular, these neoliberal laws have had major damaging impacts on developing countries as well as public use and benefit of research and the development of knowledge.

An outcome of privatizing knowledge is the creation of radically unequal distribution of wealthy that corresponds with the cordoning off of beneficial knowledge from people who can benefit from innovations.  GCAS aims to change that through the our global network of partnerships…

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The Dead End of Identity Politics.

The South Lawn

Pull up a chair. I have a story to tell.

Sigh. Sigh.

A former colleague of mine posts this on Facebook. Makes you wanna give it an eyeroll or two, right? There is nothing in this critique that one can use to organize or build community around; rather it is simply one more scold in an atmosphere full of them. I challenged the person who posted it to find me something similar on how you can build bridges or educate the mass of people that we will actually need in order to build a coalition for change. She replied that she was not necessarily using it to exclude folks from spaces; fine, I said. I do not understand how one can post something like that and say with a straight face that they «are not trying to exclude», but I was ready to let it go.

A socialist organizer friend of…

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Precarious Work, ‘Compression’ and Class Struggle ‘Leaps’

Kim Moody, author of In Solidarity, continues the discussion begun by Ian A and continued by Kevin Crane about the nature of work and workplace struggle today

Picture Credit: iStock/MHJ Picture Credit: iStock/MHJ

In his response to Ian A, Kevin Crane raises a number of serious issues concerning the work of socialists in trade unions and the workplace. The heart of his arguments, I believe, centres on the problems presented by the rise in precarious work and the decline in older forms of ‘regular’ employment. Indeed, more and more jobs have become precarious in one way or another in the last thirty years. It is also true that precarious work has hit the young disproportionately. Yet, precarious work is far from the norm even today in any sector of the UK economy or workforce. Before looking at the extent of precarious work in the last twenty years or so, I want to put…

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