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.


  • Remembering the Victory at Stalingrad 70 years on

    Verso authors Seumas Milne and Clare Solomon joined Geoffrey Roberts author of Stalin's General : The Life of Georgy Zhukhov and Susan Richards of OpenDemocracy Russia to discuss the meaning of Stalingrad 70 years on. Gregg McDonald's film of the event also includes performances by Thee Faction and the Trans-Siberian March Band.

    The Philosophy Football 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Stalingrad Night combined political commentary and military history with some great live music.  A showcase event for a different way of doing politics, mixing ideas with having a good time, learning from the past, looking forward to a better future, and all on a Saturday night out.

  • N9: Students to march and join Occupy LSX

    On Wednesday, the voice of British students will resonate again in the streets of London. A national march against fees, cuts and privatisation has been called for next Wednesday 9 November, by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, with the support of NUS, UCU and UK Uncut. Starting from Malet Street, this time the students will march not to Parliament, but on the City of London, to join the Occupy LSX protesters. The march will then end at Moorgate Junction, next to London Metropolitan Universityone of the university which is suffering most from the public spending cuts as well as having more black and ethnic minority students than all the universities of the Russell group.

    The British student movement rose exactly one year ago, with the occupation of Millbank, as is chronicled by the Verso anthology Springtime: The New Student Rebellions, edited by the former ULU President Clare Solomon and Tania Palmieri. As Matt McGregor has written in a review for Bookslut, the book, with its "impressionistic accounts of protests and occupations, compelling radicalism, and excellent historical backgrounds, is a success". Reading the svelte, brisk contributions collected in Springtime "more a series of clicked links than a typical academic anthology"one year later, one is under the impression that the student movement has opened a season of change:

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  • Springtime is not over!

    With the new academic year approaching, Verso's anthology on the 2010 student movement, Springtime, gains further attention in the British press. In the Tribune, Ian Sinclair reviews the book, describing it as "an exciting mixture of eyewitness accounts, sharp analysis and pages of tweets and photo essays."

    Sinclair points out that Springtime revolves around "two clever narrative devices" that make the book stand out. On the one hand, it pairs twenty-first century student protest with the events and the protagonists of the era of youth radicalism par excellence—1968. On the other, by juxtaposing different national cases, Springtime sheds light on the political core of the student mobilization:

    Comparing and contrasting student rebellions in California, France, Italy, Greece and North Africa, some common points of experience emerge. The widespread police brutality strongly suggests the police are not a neutral force in service to all of society but are there to protect the interests of the government and the establishment. It is clear the central threat to higher education across the industrialised world is neo-liberal politics.

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