School students, and young people in general, have always been an important barometer for the mood in society. When mass movements erupt, it is often the youth who are the first to take to the streets.
The climate strikes saw millions walk out of school demanding ‘system change, not climate change’.
Similarly, the 2019 rebellion in Chile was started by school students, protesting fare hikes on the metro. This morphed into an insurrectionary movement involving millions across the country.
All over the world, school students are being drawn into activity. This is happening in Britain too.
School students at Pimlico Academy in London have organised spontaneous sit-ins against racist management decisions.
Other schools have seen mass walkouts against police presence. After all, it was on school grounds that the infamous ‘child Q’ case took place, where a young black girl was strip-searched by police.
Similarly, hundreds of students at Deyes High School in Liverpool walked out last year in protest against bureaucratic decision-making by management.
And earlier this month, students at NewVic college in east London occupied the principal’s office, in opposition to academisation plans and curriculum cuts, and in solidarity with striking teachers.
These events, although isolated, are a glimpse at the radical mood that exists in UK schools.
This is happening now at NewVic college in east London. Management announced courses are being cut. Staff have been on strike for weeks. Students are furious. @socialist_app NewVic students are trying to set up a campaign to kick capitalism out of the college. DM to get involved pic.twitter.com/0y7Lx61Ji9
— Ben Gliniecki (@BenGliniecki) June 22, 2023
This is not the first time we’ve seen school students in Britain organise themselves.
In the summer of 1911, for example, unrest broke out in every industrial town, with school students joining the class struggle en masse.
Crowds of boys paraded outside of schools, calling out others. Rolling columns, akin to flying pickets, were organised by strike committees. In cities like Hull and Dundee, thousands of children marched through the streets carrying placards to advertise their demands. This demonstrates the potential role that school students can play, if organised and mobilised.
With the world in crisis, now is the time to turn your college communist!
As Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky all knew: the overthrow of capitalism can only be achieved by “turning ideas into a material force”. That means coming together, on the basis of Marxist theory, to fight for revolution.
This is the aim of the Marxist Student Federation, Socialist Appeal, and the International Marxist Tendency. We are organising internationally to build the forces of Marxism; to build a revolutionary leadership capable of taking power.
School and college students who want to change the world and smash capitalism should therefore get organised and join us in the struggle for communism. The future is ours to fight for!
School students: Help build the forces of communism in your area!
International Marxist Tendency
The International Marxist Tendency’s ‘Are you a communist?’ campaign – our recruitment drive to reach 1,000 members across Britain – is gathering pace!
All across the country, our comrades are recruiting and building new branches of activists.
Over just one weekend earlier this month, we held regional communist day schools in Yorkshire, the East, the Midlands, Lancaster, and West London. Over half-a-dozen new comrades joined on the back of these.
Another comrade, a student returning home for the summer break, recruited a new member in Milton Keynes, forming the potential for a branch there.
Schools and colleges
More and more of these recruits are students in schools and colleges.
At a recent public online recruitment meeting, one school student told us how some ‘Are you a communist?’ stickers put up outside his school had caused enormous excitement – and that he would like to put up some more!
Here is an example of the mood amongst school students who are writing in and applying to join:
“Socialist Appeal offers me an opportunity to stop watching from the sidelines; to get organised and join the fight. I am tired of waking up every morning to find my country in a deeper state of crisis.
“I believe the only way forward is through the abolishment of the monarchy, the permanent removal of the Tory government, and the overthrow of capitalism.”
Similarly, we recently received the following message from a student in Cornwall, who is keen to build a communist group in their school:
“I think my school would benefit massively from a communist group. Our headteacher is a Tory, who massively follows their beliefs. I would love to know how I could get stickers and posters to advertise Socialist Appeal. I will be making my own posters for the communist group in my school, but it’d be great to have the stickers that I see all over Falmouth, so that people have more information. Thank you!”
In Chelmsford, meanwhile, we are receiving regular reports from a group of students who are eagerly postering and stickering inside their school, and who are meeting regularly to discuss and sell the Socialist Appeal newspaper.
This group of young communists are getting organised, and are already recruiting others in their school – and in the town. So watch this space for a new branch coming to Essex soon!
Latest issue of the Socialist Appeal. When I was 16 I would have loved to have read this! Isolated and rudderless this kind of material would have had been so exciting and got me organising. This should be sold and distrubuted around every school and college around the country! pic.twitter.com/ZAUl6OuTni
— Stan Laight (@tristanlaight) June 24, 2023
Join the revolution!
It is no surprise that so many radical students are looking to join us and get organised. This generation of youth has only known capitalist crisis and austerity. They are the ones at the forefront of the struggle against climate change and oppression.
If you are a school student, and you want to help us build the forces of communism where you, get in touch today!
We will send you materials, and provide help and advice, to get you started in building a revolutionary group in your school or college.
There’s never been a better time to get involved. Armed with revolutionary determination and energy, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.
Forward to 1,000 comrades! Forward to communism! Join the revolution!
Classroom struggle: How to be a communist at school
Term is almost over. For some it’s already finished. What better way to spend your summer than plotting to overthrow the capitalist system?
On the back page and page three, you can read all about why school and college students are so revolutionary these days. We need to get ourselves organised.
We should be setting up communist clubs and societies at school. They have them for other special interests – so why not communism?
Most schools won’t like the idea. But we’re revolutionaries, and we don’t take no for an answer. We can start petitions, put up posters, print leaflets, and run campaigns to get communist clubs established.
The Tories currently decide what we learn in schools, and a lot of it is useless or wrong. We should be learning about the crimes of the British Empire, the poetry of the Russian Revolution, the economic failures of capitalism, and the philosophical ideas of Karl Marx.
We can organise educational talks and print pamphlets about these questions, and campaign for a syllabus that can actually help us make the world a better place. If they won’t teach us, we’ll teach ourselves.
Organised groups of communists in schools can campaign against poor quality education, sub-standard food, and neglected student wellbeing. We can kick police out of schools, and push for more spending on education and mental health support, instead of high pay for senior management.
And we can get teachers and other staff on our side. They’re all in trade unions, fighting senior management and the government right now. Joint demonstrations and strikes by students and teachers can prove that we’re the ones who should be running schools, not incompetent managers, bureaucrats, and academy bosses.
The first step is to find a group of you in your school or college who are communists, Marxists, and revolutionaries. Find them by putting up stickers, posters, and material on social media. We can help you with all this – so get in touch!
Next we need to find ways of getting communist ideas out to as many people in your school as possible. We can do this by making leaflets, running events and campaigns, and spreading the word at every opportunity.
We could create a network of communist school students all over the country. Your job is to use the summer to start building that. When we return in September, we’ll make the next academic year hell for senior management, the government, and the capitalist system.