Editorial Edition Minus One

Posted on February 4, 2011


Download a copy: The Paper: Edition Minus One

We’ve felt it in the streets, in occupations, in walkouts, teach-ins and at Top Shop. In the assemblies, conferences and meetings – every time we get together we discover that it’s broader than we thought. We are in the midst of the most exciting student movement in Britain for decades. In the past months there’s been a joyous explosion of organising and creativity against the ConDem’s plans for austerity. And not just against the cuts to education, but increasingly for envisioning and building better ways of teaching, learning and creating knowledge. Undergraduates, education workers, school and college students – people from many different areas – have mobilised and been energised and now we need to establish better channels of communication and start learning from each other.

Producing a newspaper is a strategic move in developing this kind of solidarity. With The Paper we want to build a space to reflect on, critique and learn from the frantic and inspiring actions we are all involved in; to host a meeting place in print for radical, considered analysis and commentary on tactics and strategy. We need to develop a sense of ourselves as a movement: a collective imaginary. Thus we need to know who we are, where we are, what we’re fighting for, what holds us together and what keeps us apart.

Underlying the spirit of The Paper is also a commitment to provoke debate and self- reflection. To broaden the movement’s vision and enable a re-imagining of the role and practice of education in our society. This we can only do by positioning ourselves not simply in the student movement, but also in the wider struggles that are emerging daily against the government’s brutality.

The Paper as an object is strategic: not only will it provide an important archive and record for struggle, but through its distribution, it can strengthen networks. Instead of living in the often anonymous, brief and fragmented discussions that dominate the web, The Paper aims to foster an accountable forum for debate, and to engage a wider range of participants. In providing a space for more sustained and in-depth analysis, The Paper recognises that a great deal is at stake in this struggle – that we need to develop analyses and collective strategies that go beyond the immediate fight against cuts. By voicing, analysing and imagining pasts, presents and futures different to those that are told or sold to us, The Paper can provoke and inspire us to act in the now, transforming our present.

So here is edition minus 1 of The Paper. Minus 1 because it is framed by questions for you: What would a paper for and by the movement look like? Is it possible to create a paper that school students and university lecturers, ESOL learners and library workers all feel belongs to them? Can we create a forum for genuine engagement across networks, occupations, and autonomous projects? This edition was produced by an ad-hoc editorial board of activists, students, troublemakers and artists from a broad radical political base. Take it as a message in a bottle to existing networks and projects, co-ordinating committees and aroused political consciousnesses: a call out for your contributions. The Paper is yours to seize, use and fertilise.

Posted in: 1. Ed Minus One