In a recent review of Springtime for Latte Labour's April book-of-the-month, the collection is described as a "scrapbook, carrying writing and photographs from recent actions in Britain, Italy, California, France, Greece, and Tunisia," that is "a product of its contributing authors being participants in the actions, rather than professional writers."
Springtime succeeds as a document of a frantic few months. Cynics who denounced the concept of such a book failed to appreciate the significance of the movements it describes. Several pieces struck a chord with me. James Meadway and John Rees' pieces in the British section do an excellent job of setting the attack on education in economic and political context, and do so in an accessible fashion. Meanwhile, Nina Power calls on education workers to defend students: "no matter how many police requests and paranoid internal documents we receive, we must defend our students at all costs". Quite.
The Italy section repays careful reading. In particular, some of the pieces provide a window into the autonomist and black bloc politics which have begun to make their presence felt in Britain. Those of us who ultimately have comradely disagreements with these currents would do well to understand them, and the social circumstances which give rise to them. The notion of 'precarious work' is a prominent example of something that deserves more thought. Also striking in the international reports is the Tunisian section. One of the reports begins, "At least fifty dead. People burning themselves to death every day". It is a sobering read.
Visit Latte Labour to read the review in full.