Youth

For days, protests have rocked cities across Nigeria. It is organised around #EndSARS, a movement that is calling for a complete ban of the so-called “anti-robbery” wing of the Nigerian Police, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS – no relation to the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2). Set up in the mid-90s to combat incidences of armed robbery, which had become rampant as a result of deepening poverty under the corrupt military regimes, SARS has since then metamorphosed into a dreaded force associated with all sorts of evils.

Mass protests and strikes exploded across Indonesia on 6-8 October following the passing of the controversial Omnibus Law: a major series of counter-reforms also known as the “Big Bang” Law. Tens of thousands of workers went on strike, and in dozens of cities, school students took to the streets and engaged in running battles with the police.

In the past week, university students all over China have been openly struggling against their school administrations for effectively confining them on campus in the name of complying with the government’s coronavirus safety instructions. These protests have been spreading like wildfire, from the capital Beijing to Fujian in the south, to Inner Mongolia in the north and beyond, engulfing thousands of campuses.

After a weekend of militant protests and online campaigning against the A-level results fiasco, the government has backed down, scrapping the infamous ‘algorithm grades’ for both A-Level and GCSE students. This represents a victory for young people. But their anger will not subside so easily.

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.