The free market sold me Improper visions; Of poets, romantics, Their various pipe-dreams - Siphoned-off and destined To legitimise The myth that liberty Can surpass Egality, Enforced by crass belief Echoed in deference To Liberal ideals - Legitimised through guilt. Once accepted to be An individual - We've adopted the means Of a passive tyranny -
left clinging: To clutch at the belief, That we're all bourgeois now; Yet this democracy achieved Can't silence, can't still Our Utopia calling.
From Paris to Texas, you'll walk the line, Never to your tune, though least you're still alive. When you bite the bullet, you swallow it tough; Another shot sunk, don't look into the sun.
This is my hometown; It's no mean city
Hey you strangers, welcome to the city, Clicking your heels, at ease with sitting pretty. All you strangers, I'm just a sinner; Trying to sell a story.
She ain't from my town, but she's walking the streets, Like she was born in the cracks, and she's keeping the beat. All you strangers, all you deadbeats, Buy into my story.
Hey now strangers, there's dust in the air, There's something on the streets, but I can't say where; And all you strangers, you can't play fair, So she sells you my story
If you came out of the town, another piece of meat, With a hellhound on your tail, you're nothing on the street. All you strangers, and you deadbeats Buy into this story
This is my hometown It's no mean city
Awrite now mister, in the Emperor's clothes; You've made it rags to riches, but I'm the end of the road. All you strangers, like you don’t know Who’s swinging from the willow
Hey now strangers, there's dust in the air, There's something on the streets, but I can't say where; And all you takers, you can't play fair, So she sells you my story
We’re livin’, livin’, livin’ In no mean city This is my hometown It's no mean city Come down strangers, get your blood-on-blood. The poet in the streets, said it ain't so tough, And all you strangers, there whipping it up. I say it's no mean city. We’re livin’, livin’, livin’ In no mean city This is my hometown It's no mean city
So I went to the long-awaited, much anticipated etc national conference for the co-ordination of student struggles. Not having a snappy name is a fucking pain, though of course I recognise that the minute you gave it a name the swoppies would jump all over us going "HA! you've set up a rival group; prepare to be obliterated!" yawn.
In the run-up weeks to the event, held at UCL case you were wonderin', was full of much to-ing, fro-ing and bor-ing by the libertarians, whom I won't give the privelege of labelling as anarchists.
- Their slavish devotion to the middle-class, single-issue mindset that their activist milieu molds them in very nearly derailed this whole process from the start. Would you believe that they genuinely didn't want to have a vote to approve a date to actually meet up?
Presumably they thought that if we planned far enough ahead and took into account everyone's diary commitments then no doubt we'd've been able to find a day. Foolish.
Anyway that's merely background and very much by the way. I knew going into the conference that there would be two 'blocs' i.e. "us" - the organized and -dare I say it - bureaucratic, Leninist(!) Left and "them" the above-mentioned libertarians led principally by the two loudest mouths who seemed to speak for everyone opposed to taking any form of decision or approving any popular motion, when in fact they represented no-one but themselves. Still, this is a united front, and what was 'good' was that people could get up and discuss whether to vote on resolutions/proposals/tea breaks etc.
In the end, the choice to vote on resolutions was lost 35-30 to the libertarians, which is a shame as it meant that the valuable discussions we had throughout the day, had nothing concrete to capitalise on.
Having gone to the 'Fees/Cuts' workshop, I think that it was very good-natured, with voting, but principally decisions were achieved with (after hashing out the minutiae) virtually unanimamous consensus.
Points were raised by myself and a sister from LDN about the need to organize, radicalise and politicise school/college students who are criminally neglected by the NUS and university student politics at large.
The comrade is currently building a London School Students Union, which I think is an extremely important task, especially with the disgusting cuts and incompetence delivered on schools and colleges by the Labour government.
Having to pay back the billions they frittered away on banks and bankers' pensions the government now finds, mysteriously, that it has a £200m funding shortfall for 6th-form places this september, even though it is gov. policy to encourage as many students as possible to stay in education.
I presume that is because they don't want to have to provide employment, training or the dole to school leavers, instead forcing parents to maintain us.
Sadly I won't be playing much of a role in the LSSU though I'll definately keep a close watch on it, 'cause college is nearly finished. Apparently. I think there's about 6 weeks left, including 'study leave' and exams... so yeah, then summer, then uni. o_O So yeah overall positive. 100+ attending making it the biggest non-NUS/SWP/StWC/ENS/ANIP student conference this year. It brought together what can loosely be called the progressive vanguard of the student movement even though that includes reformists, reactionaries, and even Zionists (yes, that's you AWL).
If it wasn't for the scheming, pre-meditated sabotage of the democratic process of voting at the end of the conference by endless debating and stalling by a minority of hardline libertarians, we could have counted it a rousing success. As it is, we will definately have to look more closely at our approach in the next meetings, scheduled for early summer and autumn.
Student activism isn't dead, and slowly we're taking into our own hands and out of the bureacratic grip of the reformists, careerists and bureacrats.
Broadly the conference has agreed to: - Fight all fees, and fight for universal free education - Fight all cuts in education - Use the tactic of occupations, but in a mass, co-ordinated fashion - Co-ordinate for national days or weeks or direct action and protest - To link up with Trade Unions in our struggle against job cuts, cuts in welfare, etc etc.
The conference communicated its solidarity with the brilliant struggle of the Visteon workers in Enfield, N. LDN who are picketing their factory, demanding redundancy pay after being sacked at 6 minutes notice.
We also extended our solidarity with the RMT Tube Workers who look set to go on strike very soon. More on the class struggle as it comes in
On Monday 9th of March, students forced the cancellation of lectures at one of Paris's top universities. A general meeting of students, lecturers and administrators voted to take action at the Paris 4 campus of the Sorbonne university. Students and staff then used tables and chairs to barricade the entrance. This action is in protest at the French government's attempts to cut costs in state schools, which critics say will lead to over-crowding in classes and a drop in the number of courses offered.
The protest continued peacefully into the afternoon before a meeting on Tuesday evening to decide whether to extend or lift the blockade. It comes in the aftermath of a similar action on Friday 6th outside the main entrance to the university where police forces dispersed a barricade and demonstration of teachers and students protesting against cuts in the teacher training program.
These blockades are the latest in a string of demonstrations and occupations over the past months by those opposed to the neo-liberal cost-slashing refoms of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The initiative shown by the French youth and workers in defending their education provides a great example for the youth of Britain to follow. The Conservative party have recently announced their intention to allow every school to apply for Academy status (see here for more on what that means). This blatant privatisation of our education into the hands of anyone looking to rinse a quick profit at our expense is disgusting, but part of a Europe-wide trend. With the privatisation of education gathering pace in Italy and France, and the Conservatives set to be elected in 2010, the urgency of our situation is clear.
The future of our education obviously can't be trusted to scheming politicians. Their attempts to sell off our schools to their capitalist puppet-masters becomes clearer with each passing day. This means that organising an effective nationwide resistance to their attacks is vital.
A Ballad of Two Kinds of Fool Seems each Tuesday we meet With Shrapnel in our jeans At the same storefront With no better place to be Than idling on a dream Disappointed that we Weren’t so hard done by Yet evermore ill-at-ease Why does a man like me Have to be convinced That I’m not the man You promised I’d be - If I could meet myself I’d tell him the truth There are two kinds of fool; Me and You.
Chance would be a fine thing But I don’t have the means To harness my soul On a desire to succeed Granted, I’d quietly Nurture this guilt to breed A crisis of faith To crush a wayward esteem Why does a man like me Have no sympathy For another man Though brothers we’d seem - If I could see myself I would recognise There are two kinds of fool; You and Me.
This knife laid bare my veins to deceit and pride, While my lips clamoured for the cocktail's kiss; No-one held my reflection as a friend of mine. After each retreat from the nerves and guilt. Within my broken shell, let loose denial; And I convinced myself good boys don’t cry
When in heaven, it's cold after hours Your noose solution ain't the answer- And in heaven, it's cold after hours
As the cold seeps through when you're goin' under, A mystery beat tears you from the brink. Your fingers still numb; regret the damage you done. After a million wide-eyed moments, You'd think the signs couldn't be much clearer; That's instinct beating; learn to trust it, kid
When in heaven, it's cold after hours Your noose solution ain't the answer- And in heaven, it's cold after hours.
They wouldn't believe, But with this laughter in my footfall Can’t shake this belief That in heaven, it's cold after hours Your noose solution ain't the answer- When in heaven, it's cold after hours.