The Student Movement That Never Was

April 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm (Student Occupations) ()

From LA Anarchist – by John

Premise I: Contrary to the Skeptics, Movements DO exist but ONLY when they encompass and resonate with societies as a WHOLE.

This past Fall and during some of the Winter there was a small social uprising along the West Coast primarily concentrated at higher education public universities. (Much information at: Occupy CA) Some of us who participated would like to believe that it was a well-sized phenomenon, but to many who attended those universities while actions were taking place and to the general population at large, they were small, generally isolated protests for the “students”.

“Oh, those ‘students’, always complaining about themselves.”

The reality is that the image portrayed of this small social phenomenon was one isolated to those playing the role of “student”. Yes, there were moments in time in which the social uprising spread out of that box. Make no mistake, I am proud of the fury, rage, and protest that took place. I am not wishing it never happened. I only wish to point out what should be obvious by now – that it was not a Movement, only something akin to a Temper Tantrum.

As soon as the initial spontaneous wave and resonance of actions died down, the activists (bureaucrats, student activists, non-student activists, etc) came out and began to suck dry the energy and fury, relinquishing the potential to encompass society as a whole.

Premise II: As soon as the activist tames and dominates any social uprising, the opportunity for Movement is lost. The activist is like a vampire, lurking in the darkness of the status quo. When they strike, they suck the potential out of an uprising, hosting meeting after meeting, conference after conference, and evoking like a sacred ritual, the holy label of “Movement”.

It has not been said enough. Beware of the activist. Beware of the bureaucrat. Do not put your faith in meetings. Do not put your faith in conferences. There may be those involved in these realms who are dying to be defected and released from its vampiric grip, but remember to steel yourself.

The moment in which they are dominating the tension and uprising is the moment they are digging a grave for the potential of Movement. The moment in which they dub the actions in hindsight as part of the “_________ Movement” is the moment in which they are putting the nail in the coffin. For this particular social uprising, the term was “Student Movement” and like monks they evoked this phrase and will continue to evoke the phrase until all rebellion is crushed. Every uprising is their Christ and they gladly sacrifice Him time and time again.

Where is their weakness? What can we do? Where is our silver bullet, our stake, our garlic?

Do not be deceived, even if a social uprising does encompass a society as a whole, you can be sure they will still rise out of the catacombs. Some say to ignore them and press onward, agitating for complete social revolution. Let them feed on themselves. Others have devised their own incantations: “Student Movement? What Student Movement!?”…

Premise III: It is the duty of the Anarchist to concern themselves with the betterment of society. This means no distinction between politics and everyday life. This also means doing whatever is in their power to help conjure Movement – to dispatch all obstacles strategically and create a state of Anarchy, a seemingly irreversible state in which the tricks of the State, Capital, and all forces conspiring against Anarchy only hasten their downfall and Communism* flourishes.

So what is our role? Where do we go from here?

Within the Belly of the Beast things seem difficult. There is mass alienation and isolation. For a long time now we no longer feel connected as a society. We have been divided so we can be conquered and it has worked thus far.


If the Anarchist is concerned with the betterment of society (obviously from an Anarchist Ethics & Perspective) and building real community, real connections, real solidarity, and real interactions…WE COULD NOT BE IN A BETTER SITUATION.

When the majority of the population no longer trust the government, their neighbors, capitalism, or the media but put up with these things as a matter of fatalism…THEN WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BY AGITATING AND BEING PUBLIC ABOUT WANTING A BETTER SOCIETY.

From this vantage point there is an open landscape of paths to take. There almost aren’t even paths to take, everything begins to blur into everything else.

The Student Movement never was and that’s fine. There will be more cuts, layoffs, price increases, and foreclosures all around as capitalism continues to function. There are opportunities everywhere. There are connections begging to be made everywhere to encompass society.


“Anarchism is not a concept that can be locked up in a word like a gravestone. It is not a political theory. It is a way of conceiving life. And life, young or old as we may be, is not something definitive: it is a stake we must play day after day. When we wake up in the morning and put our feet on the ground we must have a good reason for getting up. If we don’t it makes no difference whether we are anarchists or not. We might as well stay in bed and sleep.”

– The Anarchist Tension, Alfredo Bonanno

*: Communism as in the act of living in communism. A state of true community, sharing; of interconnectedness. NOT State/Authoritarian Communism or Socialism government.

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