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Nowhere is the chasm between leadership and rank and file more seemingly unbridgeable than in the student movement. In 2009, students in the UK have spontaneously occupied universities to protest at Israel’s war on Gaza, to fight against deportations of university cleaning staff, and against massive cuts in teaching staff. At the same time, they face the worst attacks on their conditions in living memory in the form of increasing fees, the end of grants, and the vanishing jobs market. This is clearly an explosive combination.