In a recent review of Springtime for the Socialist Review, Max Brophy writes:
In the autumn and winter of last year students shook the coalition with a vast, militant outburst of anger from below. Waves of student protests and occupations challenged the neoliberal agenda of the Con-Dem coalition, which sought to deny access to education for working class people and set a clear course to the wholesale marketisation and privatisation of education. Education is now no longer the preserve of critical thought and self-development - it is a tool of capitalism, to provide a skilled labour force tied with debt which can be hired and dispensed to the needs of the market ...
One US activist writes, "We demand not a free university, but a free society. A free university in the midst of a capitalist society is like a reading room in a prison."
Reading the compedium as a testimony of class struggle and a call to revolution, Brophy suggests that
Springtime captures the scale of resistance across the world and serves to inspire anti-capitalism and the fight to reclaim education. However, it also highlights how ongoing debate within the movement is absolutely necessary.
It is certainly inspiring to hear about the new and dynamic ways of protesting—such as the Italian students' "book blocs" or how occupations have reclaimed space—but we must see the fight for education as an outward-looking resistance, as one of many struggles. The contributions from students, lecturers, journalists and academics bring forward the ideas of class solidarity, anti-capitalism and revolution—fighting for a new type of society and for a reimagining of education as we know it.
Visit the Socialist Review to read the article in full.