Occupy RGS(IBG) 2012
Ian: When students in England started campaigning against the increase in University tuition fees in the Autumn of 2010, I joined a march in Exeter that ended up with the occupation of the University’s largest lecture theatre for several weeks (Figure 1). What unfolded in that space was remarkable: passionate and lengthy debates and General Assemblies based on consensus decision-making about issues that mattered to the people involved; the watching on the big screen of unfolding political events by a lively audience; a social media team quickly forming to tweet and facebook what was happening here and elsewhere; students from the university, the local college, and elsewhere, university staff, their children and many others participating in the organisation, direction and buzz of an unfolding protest; strangers popping in with food, kettles, messages of support, and much more; a ‘free university’ being set up in which anyone could give a lecture on whatever topic they were interested in; and many academic staff, including me, offering lectures and workshops (see Burton et al 2013).
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