A new guide called the “Student Organiser’s Handbook” was recently published in the United Kingdom. Aimed at students in the country’s university system, the guide provides a number of practical tips, strategic concerns, and tactical lessens for students wanting to organize on their college campus. It comes from a radical perspective advocating for grassroots militancy as a counter to the complacency of left-leaning political parties and student unions.
The guide covers four broad topics: small group organizing, events and demonstrations, organizing a department, and using occupations as a tactic. Within each section there is a lot of detailed information, ranging from how to start a group and facilitate meetings to how to organize marches and facilitate breakaway marches. It’s very comprehensive and has information that could be useful even for folks not operating within a university context.
The authors of the guide explain that for them the goals of organizing a university are the following:
- Helping students with radical politics to find each other
- Taking direct action to improve student life in and outside of the university
- Educating each other and persuading more people to fight back
- Creating spaces for ‘direct democracy’ where students can get together to plan action and take back control of their university
- Acting in ‘solidarity’ with the struggles of university workers and people outside of the university
- Building a ‘culture of resistance’ on campus
While the guide is directed at the United Kingdom and as such some discussions may not be relevant to those in different countries, for the most part the information it contains would be helpful for students in a variety of locales.