Clare Solomon: "It's not just about education - it's about what sort of society do we want?"
In a recent interview with the Guardian's Aida Edemariam, Clare Solomon, former President of the University of London Union and co-editor of Springtime: The New Student Rebellions, discusses her vision for the upcoming March for the Alternative on this Saturday 26 March.
Following her defeat for "re-election as president of the University of London Union to Vratislav "Vraj" Domalip, a young man whose manifesto is a clear echo of the stance of Porter and the NUS," Solomon attests that the future of the student movement presents both a challenge and an opportunity:
"[T]his is the just the beginning - it is not the end. The movement isn't about me - it's about all those students who have protested about the government's plans. It is all about 26 March now. It's not just about education - it's about what sort of society do we want?"
In the lead-up to the what is anticipated as the largest protest yet, Solomon
has spent the past few weeks planning big demo breakfasts, organising rooms for briefings by stewards and for rehearsals by musicians, she has been talking to Scotland Yard about the route, and suggesting non-violent direct actions. On Thursday morning she put her name to a bid to turn Trafalgar Square into Tahrir Square - that is to occupy it for as long as it takes to get the required response from the government.
The interview also suggests how Solomon's early life underpins her politics and her belief that societal change as not just affecting education, but the structure of everday life:
Solomon was raised by a mother who converted to Mormonism when she was five. All the children - four kids other than herself - were raised Mormon, from which Solomon took not a belief in God but a fierce respect for communitarian, collective living.
Visit the Guardian website to read the interview in full.
If you are interested in taking part in Soloman's Big Demo Breakfast, please visit the ULU Campaigner website.