Stalls handing out free Domino’s pizza remain by far the most popular on campus during university students’ union welcome fairs. They have also been a fuel for socialist activity, proving a reliable source of free food for Workers’ Liberty students as we spent the last three weeks at fairs around the country.
Following the general election, many more students and young people are engaged by left-wing ideas. This was reflected partly by the popularity of our stalls. We spent days in long conversations about current political issues, selling literature and advertising our meetings. We raised the call for a democratic student movement, centred around key ideas like fighting climate change, and campaigning for freedom of movement, free education and socialist feminist politics.
The AWL’s Why Socialist Feminism? book was the most popular of our publications — after Solidarity. A good sign because AWL students are planning significant feminist activism in the year ahead. We also played a key part in Labour Society stalls. These clubs have seen a huge surge, often with hundreds more sign-ups than last year. This is a direct result of the way students engaged with Labour’s bold, left wing manifesto commitments of free education, £10 per hour wages and rent caps. New, left wing clubs are rising organically across the country. Many are finally in the position to pull off regular activity.
We want Labour clubs to be centres of activism, fighting for students rights on campus, organised democratically with a healthy culture of discussion and debate. We also promoted the “Free Education Now — Tax the Rich”demonstration in London on 15 November, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. It is staggering how popular this demo has been amongst students. Gone are the times when promotion would take the form of long debates with students sceptical of scrapping tuition fees. Now it’s about how many people these students can bring along to the protest. Or sharing ideas about what a free education system might actually look like.
These are exciting times in student politics. Through activism on the streets, and discussion of left wing ideas, the student left will grow in the months ahead.
• Demonstration details here