The Revolutionary Student Front Austin (RSF) is no more. What follows is a brief summation and analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. —
Emergence of RSF
The Revolutionary Student Front was formed in 2016 by our consciously linking up disconnected Maoist-sympathetic student supporters of the Red Guards movement via food serving programs in the popular neighborhoods. At these servings revolutionary students could interact both with the working masses as well as organized proletarian revolutionaries. It was under the guidance of cadres and advanced supporters that the students were linked up in the interest of developing a trench of combat at the universities and community colleges.
This effort was neither the creation of a party-generated organism nor an organic mass organization. It was the cultivation of a front; revolutionaries not only introduced student supporters to each other, but also began casually floating the idea of a student front, by discussing the need to organize among students and youth. It was from this long and patient work that the students took to the line and began organizing. Several names were considered, but once again the students took the direction of the cadres and settled on the name Revolutionary Student Front, which was a name originally used in Peru by the student organization aligned with the Communist Party of Peru, honoring both the tradition of those students and support for the revolutionary cause. The qualifier of “front” is quite important. Students on their own cannot lead the class struggle; they have mixed interests, and the promise of upward mobility—or the illusion of this promise to be more precise—creates mixed consciousness among students. Still, class struggle occurs on every campus in the US, and proletarian students must be organized as one front, since they are part of the proletariat. We most certainly wanted to avoid the pitfalls of other student organizations, like the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, which failed due to gender discrimination and abuse. While we were greatly inspired by Progressive Youth Organization in Kansas City, we were not interested in this time in the formulation of a general youth organization. Students are not always young, and the youth are not always students. We specifically wanted to cultivate a campus front, in the interest of the working class and revolutionary movement in general, and not in the exclusive interests of students. The student struggle should have been more subordinated to the workers’ struggle, but due to a theoretical misstep (described later), this was never fully the case.