Youth

Since mid-March, the National Education system is supposed to ensure pedagogical continuity for nearly 12 million primary and secondary students. Far from the meticulous preparation praised by Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, pedagogical continuity has been set up with a mixture of approximation and improvisation. This has plunged students and staff into great confusion, while, at the same time, reinforcing social discrimination.

We spoke with Leonid Shaidurov: a 17-year-old activist who has played a leading role in the School Strikes for Climate movement in Russia. He has helped organise students in schools and is a member of both the coordination council for Fridays for Future internationally and the organisational committee in Russia. He agreed to be interviewed in order to give advice to school students hoping to build on the movement around climate change.

The Modi government has unleashed a brutal attack on the student leaders of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi through its goons, allegedly linked to ABVP and RSS. The thugs of the ABVP, student wing of BJP, assembled in large numbers along with security personnel in civilian clothes, and entered the premises of the university on the evening of 5 January. They severely beat and injured many student leaders, including the president of the student’s union, Aishe Ghosh. She has now been admitted to hospital and is in critical condition with a fractured skull.

The protest movement of Jawaharlal Nehru University students against indiscriminate fee hikes and reactionary discipline policies for hostels have entered a new stage. The university administration has astronomically increased the fees by 999 percent, meaning hostel room rent has increased from INR10 ($0.14) to INR600 ($8.35). In addition to this, there are newly implemented service charges of INR1700 ($23.67), and the mess fee has increased from INR5000 ($69.61) to INR12000 ($167.07).

A few years ago, a conversation was leaked between a commander of the revolutionary guards, and a group of Basiji militiamen, discussing the Green Movement that shook Iran in 2009. In that conversation the commander said something along the lines of “these guys [referring to the people in the Green Movement] are just uptown pretty boys, there is nothing to be afraid of, but once the barefoot people of the poor and destitute areas come out, that is when we have to be afraid.” Well, that day has come.

The following is a translation of an article we received about the current insurrectional movement in Chile, which began with youth-led protests against a hike in public transport fares. From a widespread campaign of fare dodging, a mass movement has developed against the government, which was responded with brutal repression. 

Since mid-September, the Marxist Student Federation in Britain has signed up 3,193 people across the country. This is by a huge margin our best year ever. It reflects the deepening crisis of capitalism, and subsequent search for new ideas from the youth. We’ve been present in 36 universities, at the freshers fairs, putting forward the demand for a radical socialist labour government. With a General Election around the corner, people are ready to talk about politics, and the Marxist societies are bigger than ever.

Our comrades have continued to march alongside workers and youth on climate demonstrations all over the world, participating in enormous mobilisations against capitalism's destruction of the planet. 

Following our global intervention in the climate strikes on 20 September, comrades around the world once again took to the streets for another day of action last Friday. Some of these demonstrations broke records for attendance, showing how the question of climate change is bringing millions of people – particularly the youth – into political activity. Our comrades raised the slogan of class struggle and socialist revolution, as the only way to save the planet!

On Wednesday, 25 September, Ryerson students organised a historic mass meeting. This general assembly, the first organised in English Canada in decades, marks an enormous step forward in the struggle against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to higher education. In this mass meeting of more than 200 students, the proposal for a one-day student strike on 6 November was put forward and passed with an overwhelming majority.

15 May saw a tsunami of demonstrators come out against education cuts and counter-reforms to pensions in Brazil. More than 1.5 million hit the streets of over 200 cities across the country during the national education strike against the latest measures of the Bolsonaro government, which include a 30 percent cut to university budgets. Despite its bravado, the government is weak and divided. The slogan “Fora Bolsonaro” (Bolsonaro Out) resonated widely. Certainly, Brazil is not in the throes of fascism. Far from it. It is now time to prepare a general strike to bring this government down.