Marxist students have been hard at work this month all over the country signing new revolutionaries up to the Marxist societies at the university freshers fairs. We publish here a spread of short reports on the activities of the Marxist Student Federation (MSF) over the past week.
University of the West of England
At UWE last week we managed to sign up over 100 people, run out of the 600 leaflets we’d printed, and sell out of the 30+ Revolution papers we had.
There was loads of enthusiasm about the prospect of this new society, and people were really excited about the mix of theory and campaigning that we offered, plus the fact that we are part of a national presence with the MSF.
A small handful of people turned up to our “meet the Marxists” in the bar at the end of the day and the rest of the term looks promising for our weekly discussion meetings. We will have a first meeting on Tuesday on “Why Marx was right”.
All very exciting prospects in Bristol, and yet another new university where the MSF is now present!
Two of us were at the Reading freshers fair on Wednesday setting up a brand new Marxist society at the uni. We signed up 80 people and sold 16 Revolutions and 3 In Defence of Marxism magazines. We held our first meeting that same night, at which there were 17 people. The discussion was on Corbyn but became quite lively and wide ranging and was carried on in the pub afterwards.
A good day and lots of potential for Marxist ideas in Reading.
A few of us were at the Cardiff fresher’s fair on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. We set up a stall outside of the Student Union and accumulated around 70 contact details of people who want to join the society. We made £40 through sales and collection, including 37 Revolution sales, which is a great boost to our finances and for spreading our ideas. We were also inviting people to a talk on ‘The Corbyn Revolution’ on the Thursday night, we were only expecting a few to come along but in the end we had ~15-20 people come along. The topic stimulated an energetic and wide-ranging debate which again evidenced the extent to which youth are becoming politicised by current events and the increasingly erratic actions of both global capital and its local representatives within the Conservative party and the Blairite-wing of the PLP.
On the whole, it was a good couple of days and revealed the strong potential for a revolutionary organisation within Cardiff.
We intervened over two days at the freshers fair and got 38 people signed up to the society. We also sold over 50 Revolution newspapers. We’re going to be meeting up with some of the people who seemed most interested in getting the society officially registered over the next few days and hopefully we’ll soon have an official Portsmouth society.
Queen Mary, University of London
We had a stall at the freshers fair at Queen Mary. We had a very positive response to our Corbyn material, and the fact we were having a celebration party for his leadership victory. We also got good responses to our Black Lives Matter headline in the Socialist Appeal newspaper. £8.80 of material was sold, the majority of which was the new Revolution paper. Overall the fair went very well with around 150 people signed up. Our first meeting is next Thursday and we will hopefully follow up with more positive reports.
Five of us helped out on the stall at the Kent freshers fair. We signed up 111 people, the highest number we’ve had in all our time as a society at the uni. Lots of people seemed very interested in what we had to say and said they’d be along to our meetings. We had a first meeting on Corbyn on Thursday night and our next one is on Monday where we’ll be talking about ‘What is Marxism?’ We sold loads of Revolution newspapers and quite a lot of pamphlets – clearly there’s a thirst for revolutionary ideas in Kent!
We signed up 70 people to the society at the fair. Despite having quite a bad position, there were loads of us helping out so it didn’t matter too much. We sold 13 Revolution newspapers and a Socialist Appeal at the fair and more at the meeting we had later in the day. There were around 20 people at our meeting. I suspect it will be bigger next week as it’s freshers week at the moment. Almost everyone came to the pub after the meeting to continue the discussion.
Kings College London
The KCL freshers fair took place on Friday and Saturday. Five of us helped out on the stall, including some brand new members of the society.
We managed around 210 sign ups to the society and £38 of materials sold (mostly Revolution newspapers, but also 7 Socialist Appeal newspapers, 4 In Defence of Marxism magazines and two books).
We went to the pub for a drink on Saturday to celebrate Corbyn’s victory with a few of the new members. Our first meeting is next Thursday on Corbyn and given recent events I’m expecting a good showing.
Anglia Ruskin University
We had five people manning the stall this year and we signed up fifty people to the society, plus sold a lot of Revolution newspapers and some Socialist Appeal newspapers. We went for beers and Bolshevism in the evening and we’re going to have a meeting on Corbyn next week.
We had a very good meeting on Corbyn last week after the freshers fair with 30 people present. The discussion was great and we raised £28 for the society. All in all a great start. We signed up 150 for society so it’s going to be a great year!
Two of us ran the stall at Liverpool for one of the days at the fair and we signed up 35 people. At 6pm on Thursday we had a pretty informal discussion on Corbyn in the Starbucks in the ‘Guild’ with a few of the people who signed up. We sold a few Revolutions and pamphlets, and quite a few people seemed really interested so we’ll have another meeting within the next couple of weeks.
The Manchester ‘Welcome Fair’ was very successful for the MarxSoc. Over 200 signed up to the mailing list and sold about 20 Revolution newspapers over the two days. Four of us from the society helped out on the stall.
On Tuesday night we had a “Meet the Marxists” social at the local Spoons and on Wednesday night we held a meeting on Corbyn. Around 20 attended, which was about as many as the room could handle. The discussion was excellent and almost everyone stayed afterwards for a drink.
Watch out for our next meeting on What is Marxism? on Wednesday!