An overview of some strategic questions facing us leading up to October 7’s day of action.

From Against the Current no. 148:

STUDENTS, FACULTY AND campus workers across the United States will kick off the 2010-2011 school year with an October 7 national day of action to defend public education. This day of action will attempt to pick up from where last year’s movement to defend public education left off. March 4 represented the broadest point of last year’s organizing, with strikes, major rallies and marches, and smaller local speak-outs taking place throughout California, across the country, and to some extent around the world.

Student activism frequently falls into a summer lull, and while endorsements for October 7 have been piling up, in many schools and communities organizing and planning is still incipient. Last year, the September 24 walkout across the University of California system came together during September, and we should expect a similar timeline this year.

Some argue that the student movement has been in decline since shortly after March 4. It is certainly true that no overarching structure has been able to bring people together across local areas, sectors, political differences, and organizing styles. In California, at a statewide level trust and joint work have declined since the October 24 conference, with unions, faculty, and different kinds of student activists essentially going their separate ways. Statewide coordinating bodies have been slowed down by sectarian infighting and dogmatic posturing.

Nevertheless, dispersion does not necessarily entail inaction. A large number of activists developed politically and organizationally over the course of the past year; a great many of them remain highly committed to this struggle and engaged in various kinds of local work. This dispersion may also protect a space for creativity which wouldn’t exist if the movement were overly centralized. Part of the “magic” of 2009-10 involved an unfolding and synchronicity of action which was not anticipated even by the organizers. That cannot be reduplicated mechanically; any given tactic tends to lose its capacity to inspire people’s imagination with rote repetition.

Read the rest on the Against the Current website.

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