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Springtime: The New Student Rebellions

First-hand accounts of the momentous student movement that shook the world
The autumn and winter of 2010 saw an unprecedented wave of student protests across the UK, in response to the coalition government’s savage cuts in state funding for higher education, cuts which formed the basis for an ideological attack on the nature of education itself. Involving universities and schools, occupations, sit-ins and demonstrations, these protests spread with remarkable speed. Rather than a series of isolated incidents, they formed part of a growing movement that spans much of the Western world and is now spreading into North Africa. Ever since the Wall Street crash of 2008 there has been increasing social and political turbulence in the heartlands of capital.

From the US to Europe, students have been in the vanguard of protest against their governments’ harsh austerity measures. Tracing these worldwide protests, this new book explores how the protests spread and how they were organized, through the unprecedented use of social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter. It looks, too, at events on the ground, the demonstrations, and the police tactics: kettling, cavalry charges and violent assault.

From Athens to Rome, San Francisco to London and, most recently, Tunis, this new book looks at how the new student protests developed into a strong and challenging movement that demands another way to run the world. Consisting largely of the voices that participated in the struggle, Springtime will become an essential point of reference as the uprising continues.

Blog

  • Explaining Yanis Varoufakis: Greece's Anti-Austerity 'Rock Star'

    This morning, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on his blog. This is despite the "no" vote in the country's referendum on austerity measures, a result which Varoufakis calls "splendid". Varoufakis said he "was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my... 'absence' from its meetings", and so he's resigning to help Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reach a deal. He said he would "wear the creditors' loathing with pride".

    Varoufakis's anti-austerity ideas are spelled out in his book The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy, published by our comrades at Zed Books. Below is the foreword, , to that book by Paul Mason, economics editor for Channel 4 News and author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed.

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  • Paul Mason on Yanis Varoufakis: the economist who wouldn’t play politics

    In his latest video for his 'Greece on the brink' series of vblogs for Channel 4, Paul Mason reflects on the resounding 'No' from Greek voters in the referendum on austerity and the subsequent fallout that has seen the resignation of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.


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  • Antonis Vradis and Hara Kouki: Our "no" means a "yes"

    In an exclusive article written for Verso, Antonis Vradis and Hara Kouki, members of the Occupied London collective, outline that, regardless of the outcome of Sunday's referendum in Greece, every "no" vote counted says "yes" to another kind of Europe. 


    Photo: NurPhoto/REX Shutterstock/NurPhoto/REX Shutterstock)

    It's a strange thing, hope. Five years ago, it made the sound of acronyms like the IMF, EU and EBC sound soothing to Greeks as the country’s first troika agreement was announced. Memorandum after memorandum, measure after measure, hope that things would get “better” was persistent. As we watched the elderly scrape through dustbins for food, as we saw scores of the younger ones taking off in one-way flights out of the country, as we were losing our right to labour, our capacity to take care of our parents and children, of our beloved ones, as we were losing our faith and trust in each other and in ourselves, in our agency to shape our lives. Soon enough, hope that things would come back to normal turned into hope they'd get somewhat better and then, that things wouldn’t get too bad. We often stood puzzled at this strange force that held us together and kept us going while we were losing everything, this religious-like belief in a system that had clearly stopped functioning some time ago.

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