A series of university occupations that began in mid-January has continued with growing momentum. As of today, there have been thirty occupations at universities in the UK and the US. And, what is most surprising, is that many of the occupations have ended with victories for the student activists who dared to speak up. Are we witnessing the first stages of a global student uprising?
According to Occupations.org.uk, "To date there have been 28 UK university occupations. The universities occupied have been SOAS, LSE, Essex, King’s College, Birmingham, Sussex, Warwick, Manchester Met, Oxford, Leeds, Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford, Nottingham, Queen Mary’s, Manchester, Strathclyde, Glasgow, Goldsmiths, Edinburgh, UEA, Byam Shaw, UEL, St Andrews, UWE, Plymouth, UAL and Cardiff. There have been 2 occupations of BBC buildings- one in Glasgow and one in London. There has also been two university occupation abroad that we know of at the University of Rochester in the USA and NYU." We can also add the New School occupation to their list making a grand total of 31 university occupations.
In other cities, students are engaging in activities that could lead to future occupations. In Philadelphia, for example, students from Penn State and Temple recently protested against budget cuts. Elsewhere, University of Buffalo students protested in Albany and in Binghamton, New York, graduate students are forming an alternative Graduate Student Employment Union.
With student protests increasing, middle-class dissent simmering, and a global economy in crisis it feels like the future might be up for grabs.Will students unite with their parents in protest?
Micah White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist. www.micahmwhite.com
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