Report of the Student Activist Weekender and Student Feminist Campaign Day

activist weekender sept 2018

By Christie Neary, NUS Trans Campaign Committee (personal capacity)

On the 7th-9th of September, activists from campuses across the country gathered in London for a weekend of education, organisation and establishing collaboration across campuses for the Student Feminist Campaign Day (7th) and the Student Activist Weekender (8th-9th). The event was co-hosted by a range of student activist groups and campaigns such as the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, People and Planet, Rent Strike, UCU Rank and File, Young Greens, Surrey Labour Students and Bristol Student-Staff Solidarity.

On the Friday a series of workshops were held around Women’s issues specifically. With productive discussions being facilitated on migrants’ rights, reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, sex workers’ rights and more. All this in a socialist feminist framework emphasising the importance of class struggle and collective action from below.

During the rest of the weekender, the level of political discussion remained very high as we discussed topics such as: reforming and fighting within NUS and university Labour Clubs, having our universities divest from fossil fuels and the arms trade, Trans liberation, Palestine solidarity, anti-fascism, a discussion on antisemitism on the left and many more.

The event was well attended with 70+ attendees from 20+ campuses across the UK from a wide range of campaign groups.

Going forwards, it was decided, both by the Student Feminist Campaign day attendees on the Friday, and by the attendees of the Student Activist Weekender that two national student organisations should be launched: a socialist feminist organisation active in NUS Women’s Campaign and a national student left organisation. The purpose of which will be to facilitate joint activism across campuses and to participate within broader national structures such as the NUS and Labour Students to transform the student movement into a genuine political fighting force.

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