The Place of Students and Workers Activism in Politics

A Historical Reflection

  • Emmanuel Osewe Akubor Obafemi Awolowo University


History has revealed that overtime Students and Workers through their activism have played a significant role in politics as they have acted as checks in any political dispensation that is against the common interest. This is because while the proletariats (workers) produce the wealth plundered by those in authority, the students form the literati, on whose shoulders rest the conscience of the society. It was in line with this mandate that in the 19thCentury, Russian students were at the forefront of the struggle against the Czars’ exploitative and dictatorial social system. Similarly, Chinese students constituted the most active groups in the fight against feudalism and Japanese colonization. In the 1960s, students took up arms in opposition to inhumane Western consumer societies and their exploitation and repression of the poor, black and yellow races. Also, American students were actively involved in the civil right movements, especially in the Southern parts. Under the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) they created a climate of opinion about the Vietnam War which the American people could not ignore. In Africa, outbursts in Mali, Zaire, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and South Africa have shown students and workers as an important factor in decolonization politics. This is because the oppressive policies of the state have most often further impoverish them both physically and psychologically. However, with the attainment of Independence, this role has been crippled by the forces which they paper intends to interrogate. Data obtained from primary and secondary sources were deployed to carry out the study with an analytical and narrative historical method. Findings indicate that oppressive politics has been the major factor that stimulated their role in politics especially during the decolonization process and that in the neocolonial state, emerging forces and policies of the government are directed at destroying this role.

Keywords: Workers, Students, Governance, Politics

How to Cite
AKUBOR, Emmanuel Osewe. The Place of Students and Workers Activism in Politics. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Theologia Orthodoxa, [S.l.], v. 64, n. 1, p. 133-146, june 2019. ISSN 2065-9474. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 09 july 2020. doi: