Anarchists in the US have been slow to respond to the economic crisis, missing many of the opportunities it has offered. One of the exceptions is the recent participation of anarchists in the student movement protesting budget cuts and austerity measures. This came into the national consciousness in December 2008 when students occupied a building at the New School in New York City. NYU followed suit in February, and the following fall students in California began occupying schools up and down the coast.
The most recent phase of the student movement came to a head on March 4, when protests took place all around the US. The Bay Area was perhaps the epicenter of this day of action, seeing thousands of people on the streets—but at this epicenter, the tensions and contradictions around anarchist participation in the student movement came to the fore. Here, we present an eyewitness report on March 4 actions in the Bay, and complement it with a set of discussion questions we hope will help anarchists and others in the student movement hone their strategies. We’re seeking responses to these questions—email answers to email@example.com or post them in the comments section here.