OCCUPY NOW


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That's what we're being told to do at SOAS. We are being called on to occupy our own school buildings so that we can get together and "talk about what is going on". What's going on, of course, is the continuous pressure by Counterfire to get us to be more radical and stand in unison against education cuts. Today a mass email went out from Alex Etchart, "first year Music Student Representative and Undergraduate student member of the Arts and Humanities Learning and Teaching Committee".

Apparently we are now "standing in solidarity with SOAS director Paul Webley", even though Counterfire yesterday sent an email saying that an earlier statement by Webley was "simply not strong enough".

More from Etchart: "The [Emergency General Meeting] revealed that we can't all agree on what we want, how to take action and what we collectively stand for. However the overwhelming consensus is that we are ALL AGAINST STUDENT CUTS and £6000+ FEES."

I particularly liked the use of caps in that paragraph. It's these generalizations that I find frustrating. I'm not in favour of the occupation and I'm unsure how I feel about Countefire right now. A post yesterday on the Counterfire website went to some lengths to draw a comparison between the Millbank incident/student uprising and Black Friday/the Suffragette movement.

Militancy was a part of the [Suffragette] movement, not in opposition to it. They used militancy to capture peoples’ imagination and to pull them into a wider struggle against oppression everywhere. That is the tradition that can help us build the resistance today.

It's SOAS Counterfire who proposed the immediate occupation of SOAS buildings.

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