Marxists take campuses by stormOctober 12, 2015
The Marxist Student Federation (MSF) has kicked off the academic year by signing up hundreds of new students to Marxist societies around the country. The general election result followed by the massive anti-austerity protests and Jeremy Corbyn’s inspiring victory in the Labour leadership contests has radicalised a whole layer of students looking for an explanation of today’s world and an organisation that is ready to fight for something better. If you too would like to get involved with the MSF join here or contact your local Marxist society organisers.
In Scotland, where the academic year begins earlier than in the rest of Britain, the Glasgow Marxists signed up well over 100 people to the society at the freshers fair. The term’s activities kicked off with a meeting on ‘What is Marxism?’ which was attended by 30 people and the traditional Red Clydeside pub crawl which attracted 15-20 comrades. A great start to the year for the Glasgow Marxists.
In Edinburgh the MSF was at the Queen Margaret University freshers fair, where a staff member at the university is keen to set up a Marxist society. In addition, we hope to be able to work with the Scottish Socialist Party on campuses in Scotland to help spread the ideas of Marxism and the fight for revolution.
Moving southwards, in Newcastle and Durham universities the Marxist societies had their most successful freshers fairs to date. The first meeting of the Newcastle Marxists, also on ‘What is Marxism?’ was forced to move into a larger room due to the number of attendees. Durham Marxist society’s first meeting takes place next week and is sure to be just as successful. Following the example set by Glasgow, Marxist students at both Durham and Newcastle have painted the town red with revolutionary bar crawls in freshers week.
For the first time the MSF also had a presence at the Northumbria University freshers fair where a small but enthusiastic number of students were keen to sign up to the Marxist society.
Also in the Newcastle area a new political discussion group has been established at St Thomas More Catholic School by a member of the Marxist Student Federation. This group aims to hold weekly debates on various topics with different students representing different political points of view. Needless to say we’re confident that the Marxists will triumph in this weekly battle of ideas!
In Ashington supporters of Socialist Appeal have been discussing the ideas of Marxism with students at Northumberland Further Education college, where a small group is beginning to form that aims to study and fight for socialist ideas.
In Leeds the Marxist society signed up around 80 new people and held a first meeting on ‘Defend Corbyn, Fight for Socialism’, with a second to discuss ‘What is Marxism?’ These meetings attracted 40 and 30 people respectively, overflowing the room on each occasion, with collections of over £30 each time to help with the running costs of the society.
The Marxist Student Federation was at freshers fairs in both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam. Between the two universities the Sheffield Marxists signed up 150 new people and held their first meeting of 30 people on ‘Defend Corbyn, Fight for Socialism’ followed a few days later by another revolutionary pub crawl.
The fledgeling Liverpool Marxist society signed up 130 people during the freshers fair and has held meetings on ‘Defend Corbyn, Fight for Socialism’, and ‘What is Marxism?’ to get the society going.
The Manchester Marxists have hit the ground running this year with a successful freshers fair and great first meeting. The society also hosted the 40 strong MSF bloc which joined the protests against the Tory party conference at the beginning of October.
At De Montfort University in Leicester 80 new students signed up to the society, and this success was followed by a great day for the Leicester Marxists at the University of Leicester the next day. A dozen people came to the first De Montfort meeting, kicking off what promises to be an excellent year for the Marxist society.
In Coventry a new Marxist society is on the way, with 25 students having signed up to help register the society officially. Another big step forward for the MSF in the midlands!
In the east of England the freshers fairs in Cambridge were the best yet, both at the University of Cambridge and at Anglia Ruskin. Hundreds of students have signed up and the society at Anglia Ruskin will be officially registered with the university very soon.
The Cambridge Marxists have also met up with the Revolutionary Communist Assembly at Hills Road Sixth Form college. This group of students hold weekly meetings to discuss revolutionary theory and practice and the MSF in Cambridge is looking forward to working closely with these comrades this year.
In Norwich the University of East Anglia Socialist society has now been officially formed, with over 80 signed up during the freshers fair and a successful first meeting of 20 people. The society even managed an interview with left Labour MP Clive Lewis during the course of the fair, and we’re sure to find plenty of opportunities to work with the Labour club on campus this year.
A new Marxist society is coming soon to the University of Essex campus in Colchester, where 30 people have signed up to help found the society.
West of London, the Oxford Marxists signed up 300 people to the society at the University of Oxford – doubling their previous record! In Swansea the Marxists also recorded a fantastic freshers fair with 70 people signing up to the society.
In London hundreds of students have signed up to Marxist societies around the city – in University College London (UCL), Queen Mary, London School of Economics (LSE), Kings College London (KCL) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). A Marx pub crawl around London attracted 80 people in freshers week, and a series of meetings in all the universities has so far attracted consistently high turnout from those keen to study Marxist ideas and fight for socialism.
South of London the Marxist society in Kent had a great freshers fair at the University of Kent, during which 140 people signed up to participate in the work of the group. The MSF is also hoping to link up with the socialist society at Canterbury Christ Church University so that together we can fight for socialist ideas in Canterbury.
The MSF had stalls at the Sussex and Portsmouth university freshers fairs where, between them, over 100 people were signed up to the societies and the first meetings were well attended and promise even more success as the term progresses.
The Marxist society at the University of Southampton has had enormous successes so far this year, with a terrific freshers fair followed by a meeting of 30-40 people on ‘Defend Corbyn, Fight for Socialism’, and a meeting of 50 people the following week to talk about ‘What will socialism look like?’ The Marxists in Southampton are going from strength to strength!
Overall the Marxist Student Federation is bigger than ever, and Marxist students have every reason to be optimistic that this year will be our best yet. This term we will study the ideas of Marxism in our meetings and at the International Marxist school we are hosting in London; we will be campaigning to defend Corbyn and fight for socialism; and we will be at the national free education protest in November. We are determined to take this excellent start to the academic year and use it to build the MSF into a powerful, educated, Marxist organisation capable of fighting for international socialist revolution.