The Guardian homeBy Michael Chessum. In the corridors of power, the idea of free education has in 10 years somehow become an almost unutterably radical demand.
Almost exactly three years ago, on 6 February 2010, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts was founded at a conference in University College London, in opposition to the then-New Labour government's cuts to education and the National Union of Students' abandonment of free education as a core principle. Now, with the student movement of 2010 having seemingly dissipated in November into a washed-out park in south London, the front line of the fight for education must shift, in terms both of its aims, and, most vitally, how it relates to a broader movement against markets and privatisation. The retrial of Alfie Meadows – a victim of police violence in 2010 – illustrates the farcical and costly legacy of the political policing that has emerged as a response to the student movement. Read more...