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Posted on 11 November 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Socialism 2008

A future for youth

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialism 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

A whole generation has grown up during a boom in Britain but are now faced with the crisis in the world economy and its consequences. Young people are looking for alternatives, looking to the ideas of socialism, of Karl Marx and others.

Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser, explained in the session on the future for young people that there will also be increasing numbers of young people pushed into struggle as the capitalists attempt to make us pay for their crisis.

Lin from Southampton Socialist Students invited people to the demonstration they are organising for free education on 1 December, and reported on their campaigns against staff cuts at the university.

Iain Dalton spoke about the campaign for his students union in Bangor to take up a fighting strategy for free education, successful despite the scandalous efforts of the NUS leadership to derail it.

Neil Cafferky warned about growing alienation and the threat of gun and knife crime, especially in London and other big cities.

Others mentioned the fact that Paddy Power is now taking bets on which city will see the first riots as a result of the credit crunch. The threat of a growth in support for the far-right racist British National Party was also raised, but campaigns involving young people can be mobilised against them.

Shop workers also spoke of the anger that exists in their workplaces and the leading role that young people could play in the workers' and trade union movement. Overall it was an excellent discussion and it is clear that there is enthusiasm for socialism, and potential for big movements of young people in the coming years.

Ben Robinson

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