Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
eat shit and die.
Mainly so I could experience the novelty of 'occupying' the lecture block at night and get hammered.
Then I realised there were loads of crusties trying to get us to do stuff.
So I left.
UP THE REVOLUTION
and a department 'downsized' so that the money could be spent on a new building and some 'art' to decorate the campus grounds.
also cutting spending on books in the library
then I wholeheartedly agree.
Just rent-a-mob numpties, pretty much to a man. Mainly easily led first years with desert scarves and Che Guevara t-shirts. They 'occupied' a floor of one of the uni buildings last week for a few days, in protest at Israeli actions in Gaza. A worthwhile cause, but they succeeded in pissing off pretty much the entire student population.
They released a list of 'demands' which were truly funny, including the building's wi-fi password, free movement in and out of the building, and the banishment of every Israelie academic employed by the uni unless they condemned Israel's actions. Eh, what?
The uni eventually gave in to some of their demands, which was a bit annoying.
I have no doubt that their collective heart is in the right place, but they have a miraculous knack of rubbing people up the wrong way.
And they smell of hemp and have crappy, wispy pubescent beards (even the laydeez).
so they could update their facebooks status and tell everyone how forward thinking and radical they are? What a bunch of cunts.
My flatemate is friends with a bunch of them and they pretty much spent their time uploading videos and pictures of themselves mid-'occupation', changing their profile pictures to the Palestinian flag, and updating their status'.
The cause was one that on a university campus will naturally elicit a lot of sympathy, but their irrefutable fannyness just turned a lot of people off and away from the issues.
which they released detailing their demands re: the occupation.
The thing is, some of the things in that list in the link are probably quite worthwhile, like the scholarships. But the fact that they pissed everybody off with their behaviour means that nobody really gives a shit, and instead just get annoyed with them.
What cunts. Kill them all please
actually give students a bad name
I'd take issue with the one mentioned above about Israel attacking (read: defending itself, albeit disproportionately) Palestine, and for the most part they talk a big game until you display your actual knowledge of an issue as opposed to their 'I just read Stupid White Men so I know everything' attitude.
In summary: Eat shit and die - for the most part.
lol. Those demands seem reasonable to me. Apart from Boycott/Israeli academic ones.
If someone attacked me, I would respond in turn with overwhelming force to make a point - namely, do not, under any circumstances, fuck with me.
Let's not forget that the Jihadist gangsters were hiding ammo depots in civilian areas. Collateral damage is an unfortunate but inevitable part of such an action.
and i think this is wrong.....in domestic issues one is not allowed to behave like this....just cos someone in a gang might have hurt/killed your freind....does not give you justification (according to law) to just attack that gang
As I said, the enemy hid ammo and weapons caches in civilian areas. Our friends responded the only way they could - you can't reason with people insanely blinded by a fraudulent text plagiarized by a nutjob from other texts which were also plagiarisms. Do I think murder is right? Not at all. Do I think that it's often the only way to retaliate? Indeed, I do. War is hell, and all that.
But I'd hardly call the situation peaceful. Would you?
the term would not be used if the boot were on the other foot though, terms such as 'callous disregard'
Of course if one were to look at it from the humanist point of view one would see that
a) Johnny launches a bomb over a wall which kills Freddy
b) Luke, vaguely knows Freddy but has lots of better bombs
c) Luke throws better bombs over the wall killing
Jane Jill Joan James Jamie Jenny, Paul, Peter, all of Jontys children, bill, todd, todds son, todds brother, martin, melanie who vaguely knew Johnny, but Johnny himself didnt get killed.
so all the dying in c) is made more pallatable by calling it 'collateral damage'
do you see how that happens?
Do you know why? 'Cos he'd fucking kill me, and I should know better.
Similarly, I wouldn't be such a loon that I place enough faith in the words of a child molesting schizophrenic and mass murderer to kill people indiscriminately in his name. Am I on about Charles Manson or Ted Bundy? Why, no! Who am I on about? Mohammed, of course. So, basically, my point is: follow the words of a lunatic and punch a bigger fella because he told you to, then expect you and your family/friends to get fucked righteously.
But under no circumstances try to get me to 'empathize with' or 'understand' Islamofascism.
you obviously have a big case of hatred for something in you,
on the subject of little guys facing up to bigger guys...well i guess that israel is behaving just as the US or RUSSIA would when faced with a weaker foe that tried it on....but that isnt really the issue is it? The point is, because some young men do something, it is not right to punish large numbers of others who are vaguely linked to them, just because you cannot get the original perps.
The people that are being killed are linked by state, and by location vis a vis the border, some may share the younger mens views others may not......you sem to have conveniantly decided that everyone over 'the other side of the border' has thrown in their lot, with the blokes firing the rockets.........well they havnt had much choice now have they? the yare not free to come or go, they are hemmed in between borders.
You are getting very close to facism/racism with the sentiments that you have expressed there, I guess that you probably arnt but you must be careful when venting your anger, in that the words you chose might sound similar to the justification for persecution on basis of race.
people who can be linked by some means to the original perps can be punished.....this linkage in this case is not active it is passive....by association, by the fact that you are 'over a border' or your 'culture'
similar to race discrimination.....when several crimes are attributed to ethnics, this seems to give some the justifiction to meet out revenge on anyone else in that grouping
a) It's not racist to denounce a religion. Islam is not an ethnicity. If I said 'all Palestinians are camel fuckers' then you have a legitimate beef with me, but since I didn't you can dismiss the racist allegation straight away.
b) I don't recall once saying that all Palestinians agreed with Hamas. What I said (twice, I think) is that Hamas deliberately hid weapons depots in civilians areas, knowing full well Israel wouldn't blanche for a second at attacking these areas. Of course I feel sorry for the civilian casualties, who wouldn't? But when you're dealing with political/religious zealots who refuse to compromise, what choice is left? This can be said for either side in this whole mess.
My whole point is that Hamas should have calculated the damage they would incur, but they don't seem to have done that. Is it cynical of me to suggest that they knew full well what Israel would do, and exploited the murder of their own citizens accordingly? Of course. But I still believe they have done this.
My point is that Hamas have calculated the damage they would incur, and exploited their citizens deaths accordingly.
t oa degree this is understndable....the bit that lets you down is that, when you say that hamas deliberately hides the stuff in civillian areas knowing this will get hit......rather suggets to me that the people using the civilians as human shields do not care that much about them....the civilians are not actually truely deeply 'on the other side' they are just like 3rd party humans who are getting killed mostly.....sure you may hear many civillians echoing 'death to israel' after the carnage that is dealt out....you would find such sentiments anywhere that sort of thing happened......and sure enough if there is an anti israel sentiment already there then they can latch on to this......the point is that the civilians would aslo hate any people who had deliberately sacrificed them in a pr battle....If they could see a whole bigger picture of this.......as it is you make out that many many more innocents have to die because of a small number of people killing a small number of innoents......you are wrong.....a larger number of innocents did not HAVE to die. That was a concious decision.
If Hamas put stuff amongst civilians knowing israel would not baulk at striking civilians, then that makes both Hamas and Israeli authorities guilty of murdering these 'innocents'
PS not every muslim is as you seem to think (i.e. as absolute as yourself in this respect)
My point is that Hamas knew, they knew, they fucking knew, that killing thirty Israelis or whatever would only end up pissing off a very large and well armed country, who would retaliate with overwhelming and outrageous force. It's horrible, no disputes there, and it's abhorrent, no argument there either, but it's sadly necessary precisely for the reasons you mentioned. So let's say for instance that Hamas didn't deliberately place the weapons depots in civilian areas to create human shields....it still smacks of careless and reckless endangerment of their own people. Surely that won't do? I'd love to see a two state solution peaceably and diplomatically coexisting, but it ain't never gonna happen, so the bombs will keep falling and people like you and I will keep arguing.
i REALLY hope you're a troll orsonwellesrabbit
'look at me! im discovering myself and the world and am showing everybody yAY!'
iI preferred streaking.
If protests like this were able to do anything the authorities would ban them.....as it is the kerfuffle over the protest provides a nice sideshoow from the main issue....it also tends to help polarise opinion, and the daily mai will always tend to object to anyone who isnt smartly dressed or an employed taxpayer, thus linkages occur in peoples mind between the issue and the types of people that protest against it.....some people then decide if they dont like the protester type then they dont like the issue
The man is saying they don't care about that (well, maybe the ringleaders do) as creakyknees eloquently pointed out, the majority seem to mainly want a way of getting attention. Kicking against the system, stickin' it to the man, it all provides a nice bit of excitement in between studying for exams and finally getting a 9-5 job like everyone else.
it's just when they do it in a manner which is incredibly loud, obnoxious, and annoying then its, well, annoying.
And that is exactly what most student protests are like.
What also annoys me, from my experience as a Politics under-grad is that they're usually as close-minded/bigoted/hypocritical as those they're protesting about. They laugh at people who take the Daily Mail at face value, yet anything they read in the Guardian/ Socialist Worker as absolute gospel. Also, people who moan about extra-judicial killings whilst wearing Che Guevara T-shirts deserve to be fired out a cannon into the heart of the fucking sun.
But if you're going to care about stuff, you have to accept the following two things:
1) Not everyone cares about the same things you do, or cares to the same extent. This is NOT always the result of them being uninformed or apathetic. They may just hold a legitimate and different point of view.
2) Pissing people is likely to do your cause more harm than good, particularly if your cause is something as insular as wanting the fucking wi-fi password in a uni building.
but i'd ignore the irritating studentness of some of them because at least they actually care about something.
Some of these protests have actually resulted in real concessions, you know, or have made real changes (one protest resulted in two Palestinian students getting funding to study over here)
if that irritates you, why don't you go back to your playstation?
This is a daftly simplistic way of looking at things.
'protesting students eat shit and die'. Non?
I've said it elsewhere in this thread, but it is more than possible to disapprove of these protests (even oppose them) without it being the result of apathy or ennui. I personally find most of the accounts of these protests (and many of the ones I've read have been by participants) to be disgusting. And whilst given Palestinian students scholarships isn't a bad thing, I don't see why it is strictly a 'good' outcome or concession. Why should an academic instituition that has no involvement with the Gaza conflict at all be made to make a completely useless (in context of the conflict) concession by spoilt little rich kids (a presumption on my part, but I'd put money on it)?
Quite why a university has to take a political stance of any sort, which they do by virtue of any concessions they might make to these groups, is beyond me.
they still have their fees to pay, they still have their loans...the lecturers still get their salary, so i guess the students lose out too, whilst the lecturers........sorry I dont quite understand what is 'academic exile' ...i obviously am not well informed enough on this event
You will detect an overt strain of anti-Semitism in everything the younger lefties say. It's how they think until they reach the age of reason, which unfortunately for the radical student, comes around 45 or so.
except that there is the perception (perhaps) that the us is an ally of the uk and that since the us and uk are democracies that can be 'influenced' they can put pressure on israel who might have to listen to some things from the US.
I doubt if the UK could bring to bear any effective pressure on russia to do anything
Protesters can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that the UK/US governments may have assessed the situation and decided against exerting any diplomatic (or even more drastic) pressure on Israel, feeling it was either unwarranted or unlikely to yield results.
In the case of the Gaza conflicts, these protests are the results of people arrogantly presuming people who don't agree with them are mis or uninformed OR that their views should command greater authority than the majority of people who aren't protesting and as such, could only be assumed to not have a major qualm with how the issues are being managed
but then i consider myself a realist or cynic
to the majority in his country they believe that protesting to a democracy means that 'your voice will be heard' ....yeah by the papers, the gov has already considered your point of view and deided anyway
I'm sure there have been plenty of occassions where protest has been necessary, further to government considerations.
when I was a kid and the anti-apartheid movement was picking up a head of steam, hardly anyone was at pains to highlight the illegal actions of the ANC as some kind of justification for the brutal beatings of blacks that were shown on TV news clips
what's changed since then?
to quash resolutions against South Africa
And really the issue was brought to popular support by the likes of Bruce Springsteen singing about not playing Sun City and the boycotting of Sports events etc. In other words, popular protest.
that's the point of popular protests aimed at Israelis surely?
largely academic though it is
the religious aspect
'on the backs of palestinians'?
More anti-extremist. If you read them that way then I apologize.
they want to sack not only people who have expressed an opinion differring from theirs but people who haven't expressed a position at all?
is that in any way correct?
I'm sure some of the protesters were more reasonable than that, but they delegated the sign-making jobs to the loud idiots
...that's like...THAT'll stem the overuse of the phrase "liberal fascism"...geshhhhh
they seem to find it comforting, they like to know their place.
I think its better to be a bewildered individual sometimes
i wasnt aware that id changed :)
'due for death' because a handful of other individual beings were killed by another handful of individual beings, and that some people then make intellectual and historical connections and explanations for why this is or isnt justified, but most of these connections and justifications are actually really rather pale when compared with the grief of a mother or father or son or daughter for the loss they may have, so i suppose my reaction to all this wordy hoo ha and protesting should really be 'meh', cos me or us, or glasgow uni using word isnt really going to stop or help anyones greif in this situation
getting back some mobility they lost in some carnage there.......then again, there is carnage everywhere, so would that money go to help someones mobility somewhere else otherwise? i dunno
blow people up....otherwise why would all our leaders make so much stuff to blow people up with, and so much money spent on building the stuff
And moan about proactive people on my forumz.
or probably reading any of the thread.
yes im sure the sentiment is nice, but the whole fact thats its always these little fucking middle to upper class kids that have lived an extremely sheltered and safe life... they have no idea of the real world or how it works... fuck off you jumped up little patronising cunts.
I think that's what really pisses everyone off about the little shits.
cause I didn't attend THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE, MAAAAN!
Jesus, you lot are all dead inside and cynical to boot.
Once you actually study up on the shit these yoofs are protesting, you realize two things you should tell them:
1) Don't do that.
2) They dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an educations they coulda got for a dollar fifty down at the shop n save.
Plus the fact they'll all grow up to be accountants and clerks and what not kind of makes them even funnier.
I love student's enthusiasm, less so their execution of that passion and energy. They should stick to stealing traffic cones and placing them at jaunty angles on public statues, and let the big boys handle the big tings. You dig?
Not all of us spend our whole day stealing traffic cones, and if you'd ever set foot on a university campus you might actually realise that.
But my point still stands. What the frig are these hemp-smelling doodle-munchers actually doing?
phil lbc wins the thread
their passion and energy into something worthwhile. If all students just didn't bother to do anything except what you stated then the whole idea of university would be pointless.
I'm sure alot of the 'big boys' were students anyway, dawg.
I just wanted to stick a Good Will Hunting reference into a thread.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THOSE APPLES?
but the ones that do channel their passion and energy in the right way, dont protest and shout about it, they just get on with it and make a difference that way. they are the ones that should be applauded.
condemning people for being "middle class" and living a "sheltered life" is just really fucking stupid. care to tell us all about your own first-hand experience of living in war-stricken poverty? you don't have to live in THE REAL WORLD to have an opinion on it. i can understand why people get pissed off at the type of students who like to grab hold of any cause they can get their hands on just for the sake of protesting - and i don't doubt there are a lot of those - but you know, there are a few out there that actually know their stuff and have reasonable, intelligent convictions. summary: retarded generalisations - eat shit and die
stuff like this is what handed the universities to the conservative boys.
the more realism the better,imo
you would be a very miserable person.
im unrelenting cheery about things
just not optimistic
you'll spend alot of tha life toiling for nowt. Or working for Goldman Sachs. One of tother.
i respect that
or do you mean that the world can somehow be improved?
if so lolz
ps imma end up an office drone or a teacher anyway,so i figure im going to join the next protest and get me a dizzy socialist posho to sex(maybe more)
cos everyone will be out to be better than everyone else. Clearly this is impossible, so 99.99% of these peeps will end up not happy with where they are. If you take away this realist mind set, and do something off your own back without being pressured to the forces around you (be they economic, social, whatever) you probably feel alot better about tings.
p.s. dizzy socialist poshos are the dirtiest.
I just mean that if everyone is after being the best, this is clearly not possible. Ergo, 99.99% of people won't be the best, and therefore not happy. If you remove this mindset, and instead do something off your own back without being pressured by economic or social forces (whatever) then you're likely to be alot happier, because you are actually doing something you want to.
5 minutes it took to appear?! ARGH.
trying so hard not to laugh.
That's not a positive thing to accept. I am a realist, don't get me wrong, but I never doubt that I can still, even in a small way, shape what happens around me.
You can't influence the policy of Israel anymore than I can wank and take a shit without feeling dead inside.
But thinking that it is can make you do a whole lot of good.
that's not true at all.
I don't see how that deviates from realism.
But realism implies an acceptance that certain things are fixed and impossible for an individual to change. Which I don't think is a positive thing at all.
because pessimistic people call themselves realists. When actually they're deluded cunts.
just the absence of anything but realism is negative. Same as the absence of anything but idealism is incredibly annoying.
just impossible for any lasting change
and im gonna sound like a cunt here, but thinking this way must look like an atheists view to religious types
its rly not that depressing, youre just used to being told "youre important!yes,you!"
god i wish i was more articulate
Demanding wi-fi passwords? Do they honestly think occupying a university miles from the Middle East is going to change anything?
they're infinitely better than you, sitting here sniping from your cosy little ramshackle pedestal you built yourself.
The fact is I don't care who they are, or where they're from, or what they've done, but they're doing something with a bit of passion, a bit of spark. Can you imagine if everyone was how you are, and did nothing?
posts. Second, you seem to be arguing that wasting time occupying a university is somehow to be admired because 'oo at least they're doing something.' Well, fuck me, if I'd have known it was that easy to change the world I'd have been the first one barring the cafeteria doors shut.
by decrying us all as drunken traffic cone carrying oiks who went to university to fuck and do body shots, and because we were too rich and stupid to do anything else. I take offense to that.
but I've got to be down t'pit fer 8.
I've always been of the opinion that it is only those who can afford to protest will protest. Not that there is any harm in trying mind. I refer thee to Billy Elliot.
but sometimes the people who can afford to are doing it for people who can't afford to or who aren't able to.
for issues such as gaza, etc.
although i guess im referring to instances were striking almost defines an industry like coal in the eighties. Protesting at a university furthermore as a lot less consequences than, say, industrial strike action.
Though not all protests take the form of placards and sit ins. Remember impact in first year? Them were the days.
What a load of horseshite. As far as I could see, they were replacing the old bureaucracy with new shiny bureaucracy....
SU elections never been anything more than electing who is fittest/most popular/in a sports club.
(i think anyway)
I think my manifesto for next year will just be a blank page before I scream 'IT IS WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE!'
out of all of them, I respect him the most tbh.
'Peace in the Middle East, Dismantle Israel!' was a particular favourite.
The lion's share of these pricks would benefit from a 6 month combat tour in an isolated Helmand forward observation post with a sand clogged SA80 and 10 rounds.
being torn apart by a 7.62 to the chest cavity.
i never protested as a student, and i'll admit there's a few faintly ridiculous student protests, but there's a massive cache of rather angry frustrated people here who seem to be using this as an excuse to wheel out the tired "they don't know they're born" cliches - i'd expect better from you as a former student yourself, i can only assume you're employing selective memory.
yes, generally you notice through the more modern end (i.e. last two hundred years or so at a rough stab) that a lot of progressive movements have come from the student communities. student demonstrations in the eastern bloc alongside workers protests, which actually had a damn effect, protests against the vietnam war (which admittedly didn't have much of a damn effect). or to give an example of another protesting student, sophie scholl. maybe you've heard of her? well here's a little wiki for you:
okay, i see that to a lot of people student demonstrations look a bit ridiculous, but, and i'm addressing the thread in general, i'd like to know what damage they particularly to do to orsonwellesrabbit's existence, as he's the one wheeling out his usual tired reactionary spiel with the most misplaced vigour.
We had this for a few days in Nottingham. The University security came in after five days and physically dragged everyone out, twisting arms and scraping legs and so on. It was clearly assault, and beyond proportionate to what was actually happening - people who actually wish harm on protesters for no good reason other than they care about things more than seems reasonable, well, good luck to you.
These protests as a whole have really, really fucking annoyed me, to the extent I've even written a huge 3,000 rant for the student magazine. I haven't actually published it, though, because I know that students arguing over Palestine and Israel is like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
That said, I spent a lot of time in the protest talking to people. A lot of them were my friends, I should add, but it always distresses me that whilst they usually have very well reasoned arguments for why they act, their appearances and conduct forbids anyone from taking them seriously.
These protests are meant to be 'in solidarity with the civilians of Gaza', but they're clearly intended to be anti-Israeli protests, led by pro-Palestinian students. Most of them are biased, but with good reason - but there's always a few who spoil the whole thing by radicalising demands and actions.
What most annoyed about their demands were their unreasonable-ness. Some - like providing scholarships to Gazan students, or the university disinvesting in arms manufacturers that produce weapons for the conflict, or academic supplies to destroyed schools - were entirely reasonable. But there were other things, as in other universities, that were specific to Nottingham. Ours was the removal of the Starbucks from the library cafe as it doesn't serve Fairtrade. This is reasonable (really, it's fucking stupid to replace cheap 40p Fairtrade coffee with a chain whose cheapest cup is £1.20, regardless of the moral aspect). But it has NOTHING to do with Gaza - their justification was that the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schulz, 'funds the IDF', but they have no evidence. It's pure opportunism. Added to that the fact that they occupied the room before even finalising the demands and no matter their good intention they just come across as impetuous children, stamping their feet and demanding attention.
What I found most distastful, apart from the borderline anti-Semitism in the protest slogans and posters, was that many of their demands were overtly political - things like condemning the actions of a state (as opposed to a more general message of support for the civilians affected by the conflict), or forging links with the Islamic University of Gaza, an organisation that is overly islamofascist and the complete antithesis of the liberal values the protesters espoused. The only explanation for this politicisation of the university is that they were simply seeking a way to harm Israel (a boycott was suggested, but thankfully decided against for being ridiculous and misguided) rather than genuinely help anyone. It could only ever come across as anti-Semitic.
BUT, I must say, the reaction of many people in this thread is pretty disgraceful. I'm not going to use the old 'we should celebrate that people give a shit/are acting together' line (for one thing there's no real reason why a bunch of people working together is an intrinsically good thing, especially from a critically rationalist perspective - plus the collectivist forging of the demands list seems to allow the extremists to hijack the protest) - but I have to say that it's far easier to dismiss student protest as merely an exercise in agitation than to accept that some people do care about stuff. Whatever the reasons, these people are genuinely concerned with the state of the world, and are attempting to do something about it - they are often wrong, and allow their good intentions to be hijacked by a bunch of authoritarian cunts, but you shouldn't dismiss student protest out of hand. It's a protest, it's meant to attract attention, for crying out loud.
I can only speak for myself here really but what irks me is that I doubt their "good intentions". They're just protesting for the sake of it I believe. There's just something very irritating about seeing someone shouting badly written slogans very loudly with a smile on their face at the same time. Just incongruent twats. The people who actually do know what they're talking about though, they're fine.
I can't really think of a suitable response right now to such a well thought out bit of prose.
In some way, at least. That's why I know their intentions are good - I know their political beliefs quite well, and that no two of them are exactly the same. And, having spent time trying to figure out why the other people there were doing what they were doing, I realised nobody really supported the list of demands fully. That's the source of the problems with the current wave of student protest, really - that they're demanding so much. When you have a protest movement you HAVE to keep things simple. Every extra demand multiplies number of compromises for each member when it comes to their personal beliefs.
I'm much more of an individualist than my friends, and so only supporting specific interpretations (not how they were actually worded) of two of the eight demands in the Nottingham occupation meant I couldn't ever commit myself to it. But most of the people there clearly felt that the communitarian aspect overrode any worries about these compromises; clearly they didn't realise that their being unable to each, individually, account for the justification of the demands meant that they weren't taken seriously by the main student body. I saw normally eloquent people reduced to stuttering and mumbling when asked by Jewish students to justify supporting the fascistic Islamic University, or why the demand that Starbucks be banned from campus was related to Israel. They are essentially collectivist people, who feel that acting as a group and compromising positions is more moral than individually and stubbornly sticking to one set of ideals.
When they were mistreated by security I was outraged, but many people felt that because they disagreed with the protest it justified assault, which is incredibly worrying.
Would you say this echoes a sentiment of self-interest rather than banding together for a common cause? As you suggest, they do seem to be two conflicting ideals
Also, are there plans for further protests? I ask as I wonder whether the treatment by security could insight further unrest (a bit like the reaction post-Kent State, obviously without anywhere near the level of tragedy).
I think they have one set of ideals, but that it's a flexible fluid set of ideals which is easily malleable, cause well, they're teenagers
These people are far more political (and politically well-read, despite caricatures) than most people. Their beliefs are incredibly firm; it's just that the nature of student protests is that they tend to be led by the extreme left, who believe in compromise for the good of the group over making an issue out of one particular aspect of the whole.
And that's absolutely core to their belief system. Everything else is tertiary.
The same thing happens with political parties - 'banding'. I don't think they deliberately aim to hijack, it just happens that they often have a clarion call like message on these issues. there's a power in politics and group interaction which comes from being able to say: "I've been saying this for the longest time, since before you all cared"
I agree, the same thing happens with political parties. It's all about sacrificing some personal beliefs to the altar of the end cause and the greater capability. In a group it's easier to achieve things, so many people feel it's legitimate to ignore a few things that they disagree with for the overall 'greater good' that they think would be attained.
It's just that in student protest this process is intensely magnified purely because most of the people 'leading' (if you'll ignore the irony here) the discussions posit extremeley ambitious aims with a large amount of personal belief forsaken.
In Nottingham, the University completely refused to negotiate with the protesters. They never even thought this possible, and it left them in a terrible position because they had to better justify those demands they knew weren't acceptable to most people outside the protest. They assumed that after discussing the demands amongst themselves they would then go through a further round of discussion with the University authorities, and this not happening completely bowled them for six.
There's a reason student protesters are so easily caricatured - the most radical and most idealistic students, who tend to be the nucleus of protest movements, also tend to have extreme-left views (anarchist, speficially anarcho-syndicalist, these days, as opposed to the Trotskyists of the 70s and 80s). These are political beliefs that don't just advocate an abolition of the state, or a collectivist lifestyle, but actively feel that decisions can only be morally made for a group through active discussion and compromise.
This is fine if you're an anarchist. After all, you'd be playing by your own rules. But wider society is far removed from this, with the current political climate being composed of various shades of Locke-ian political individualism mixed with a bit of Keynesian economic theory. It's explicitly individualistic, and the merits of these groups, from the external perspective, will be judged not against anarchist qualities of 'good' or 'bad', but by whether the people involved individually and fully support exactly what they have signed up to. That's why protests which focus on simple targets are the more historically successful - lots of people with otherwise disparate political stances can all join together to oppose apartheid, or authoritarian communism, or even simple things like trying to reduce the price of replacing a lost student card. When they multiply the aims, and the range of areas upon which they infringe, it also conversely limits the number of people who could potentially support them. Combined with the sheer controversial nature of anything to do with Israel or Palestine and it's easy to see why people can't condone the current student protests, for whole ranges of reasons.
There's a lot of stuff in the left-wing press at the moment (particularly the Independent) about these protests being the first of a wave in the next few years, as student activism (particularly occupations) comes back into fashion as a viable way to change the way academic institutions operate - recessions breed discontent, after all. But to associate these Gaza occupations with "The Spirit of '68" is grossly simplistic - for a start, most of the actual demands at universities during that time were extremely narrow and focused upon just the institution, such as more time with tutors or supporting academic unions. Where they tried to force the universities to become actively political bodies they failed miserably, and righly so - academic freedom and free speech demand an educational climate where an institution takes as neutral a stance as possible. To force any kind of politicalisation upon these universities is grossly illiberal, and the few universities who have accepted that demand should be ashamed of themselves.
But the point remaines that as long as students stick to reasonable and narrowly focuses aims, at one time, then they should be able to force quicker and more effective change. IMO, at least. I'm sure many people who protest like this would vehemently disagree.
At Nottingham, they realised pretty soon into the second day that they'd shot themselves in the foot. As soon as the university refused to negotiate they realised they had to stick with their ridiculous demands, and as such were pretty much doomed to failure.
So, now they've licked their wounds, they've started a new campaign called Books Not Bombs, which is aimed specifically at just providing schools in Gaza with educational materials, as well and gettig funding for some scholarships for Gazan students. And it's taking place through regular marches through campus instead of occupations. It's pretty cool.
great post, fascinating read.
but i love how they think that a protest to make a university condemn a war will have any effect on anything
Fear knocked at the door.
There was no one there.
Think about it.
At least Alex_In_Ciderland has something almost resembling a sense of humour.
pretty much saved my uni from death.
is that its generally pointless, given that most reasonable demands can simply be put before the union who will most of the time do something about it.
Also a lot of it is half baked, and the actual demands or whatever arent really that clear.
It just pisses off people who may be willing to listen in other circumstances coz they are messed about trying to get to class.
Half the time its pointless.
And writing shite like 'go green' on a wall really really pisses me off.
look at Kent County - the protests didn't get the US out of Vietnam then, but they were an accelerating factor in the slow process of removal due to the bad press they generated
Same here. We're all talking about these student protests, so they've worked. They've drawn our attention to the issue and the arguments.
and would agree that it probably works in some cases. But in terms of drawing attention to the issue and arguments, in this situation, the attention was already firmly on the issue.
but I don't think students should be protesting for protestings sake, which many seem to. The vast majority of protests won't achieve anything and some of them probably know that, yet they insist on doing it anyway. My point is that protesting is fine, but you should only partake in it if you genuinely care about what you're protesting against and you think the protest will help in some way.
It's almost like a show of "look at me, I care about stuff and I can help change the world", I don't know if this is closer to ignorance, or just an inflated perception of self importance/people power, maybe a bit of both (although there are obviously other possible factors).
If they're protesting about things that are happening that genuinely effect them or where they live (ex: 60's American race protests, Vietnam War protests) then I understand, but if it doesn't have anything to do with their own lives, and their demands have nothing to do with the problem, it's bullshit. I personally disagree to some degree with Israel's actions, so what do I do? I say so when the discussion of opinion comes up. When someone says "well, I think Israel is justified" and then explains why, I listen to them, and take their opinion for what it is, just as important as mine and possibly more educated. However, even if someone agrees with me, if they don't have any reason why, I don't give a shit, because they don't either. They just want to hold an opinion on ever issue. Also, I don't think I'm an anti-Semite because I disagree with Israel's actions, I think I disagree with Israel's actions. Israel is a NATION in this instance, not a religion.
seem to have trotted out the "at least they care about something" card. Honestly dude and dudettes, that's a pretty retarded way of looking at this situation. Viewing these particular protests, in terms of the issue they are on, the demands made and the nature in which they are conducted, with COMPLETE disdain can (and does in a great deal of the arguments actually presented that aren't "eat shit and die") fuck all to do with not caring or being some cynical, twisted keyboard anti-hero. I just think it's disgusting that so-called upstarts would demand all Israeli academics who haven't expressed an overt contempt for "their" country be banned and don't think it draws the right sort of attention to the Palestinian cause. There really is, especially in terms of diplomatic and international relations, such a thing as bad press.
Along the lines of: 'Oh, I would expect better from someone who went to university' or 'I knew person (x) would call them twats, because (x) never went to university.'
I'd much rather see them protesting about issues which affect the lives of people in the UK as we speak, mainly cos I'm an adherent to the old 'charity begins at home' thing.
is a load of old rubbish though. Charity doesn't 'begin' anywhere.
we no longer live in an age where you support your own country disregarding everyone else, you have to sometimes look at the wider picture, there's nothing wrong with caring just as much about "foreign" affairs.
All countries need help from time to time and the population of that country, are just as important as the people from the UK, there are no excpetions.
Forget this "look after your own country" rubbish, it often doesn't work that way anymore, just look at the GLOBAL money problems at the moment.
We got our own battles to fight on our own soil
You know which "philosopher" said that?
And people say he's just a pair of tits.
as if they are real loans that will have any impact on their lives, who think that they shouldnt have to pay towards a qualification that will grant them access to jobs that pay hundreads of thousands of pounds (on average over a lifetime) more than non graduates
In which case they have a legitimate beef.
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
I seen you 'round for a long long time
I really 'membered you when you drink my wine
I seen you walkin' down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around
I bring my money to the welfare line
I see you standing in it every time
The color of your skin don't matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony
I'd kinda like to be the President
so I can show you how your money's spent
Sometimes I don't speak too bright
but yet I know what I'm talking about
I know you're working for the CIA
they wouldn't have you in the Mafia
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?