Archive for Protests

63 Years Since the Nakba

Posted in Me, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15/05/2011 by arabrhizome

So today is the day we remember the Nakba. I have already written a post about it on here, in fact it was my second post on this blog. I am not going to go into the history of the Nakba again. If you want to read what I have to say about that here’s a link to the post I wrote almost a year ago. I’m sure some of you will have fun comparing how different my style of writing has become (maybe it’s still just as bad. Who knows?). I thought that rather than write about the history of the Nakba I would write about the extraordinary events of today.

If you follow me on twitter you would have followed my frantic tweeting all day. If not let me summarise the events for you. It all started early this morning with some excitement. This particular Nakba day comes at a time of seismic changes in the region and it would have been naive to think that they wouldn’t affect the commemoration events across the Arab World. Many very interesting events were taking place. Palestinian refugees and Lebanese people were planing to hold a rally in Maroun Al Ras, a border village with israel that has some history of resistance, especially during the 2006 war. There were rumours of a simillar rally in Syria at the border with the occupied Golan Heights, but the recent events in Syria meant that we didn’t expect much. Jordan and Egypt were also set to have protests at the border. Of course Palestine was going to be the centre of it all.

It is interesting to note a couple of things about the commemorations in Palestine. Israel has passed the Nakba law which makes it illegal, more or less, for people to commemorate the Nakba inside Israel. Also, the fact that the Palestinian factions have signed an agreement meant that the Palestinians in the occupied territories would be able to concentrate on the Nakba without worrying about internal divisions. Finally the arab revolutions have energised the Arab populations and most see the Palestinian cause as the central arab struggle. The right of return of the forcibly displaced Palestinians in 1947-48 is the central demand of the Palestinian cause and Nakba Day is when it is made most forcibly.

As the day started a meme emerged on twitter it took the form of “I am israel and…” followed by atweet that exposes israel’s unacceptable practices and policies. Let me give you a few examples to explain it. “I am israel and my imaginary friend told me in his book that this land is mine. Therefore it is.” “I am israel & the Palestinians & Lebanese & Arabs make me kill them. I swear I’m a victim I’m always the victim”. “I am Israel and I brag about making the desert bloom, even though most of the land is fertile and green.” “I am Israel & I force my young impressionable 18 yr olds into a 2-3 yrs military service that dehumanises Palestinians.” And so on. You get the idea. That passed the time until the protests started. What was funny was seeing zionist twitter users try to highjack the meme but giving up very quickly and failing miserably.

Anyway, soon the protests started. I was following people who were on their way down to the South of Lebanon from refugee camps in Beirut. Soon they were at the border and Palestinians were starting to protest all over historic Palestine. It was interesting that Tel Aviv had a huge demo with Palestinian flags demanding the fulfilment of the internationally recognised right of return of Palestinians to their land and homes. The majority of the protests inside israel went without any violence. Most of the Egyptians were unable to make it to Rafah as the army didn’t allow them to get there. Jordan seemed to be going well but since they are at peace with israel no one thought anything would happen.

Then things went crazy very quickly and pretty much all hell broke loose. First, news from Gaza started filtering that people in Bait Hanoune were protesting and got too close to the Eretz crossing with israel for the israli army’s comfort so the IDF (remember they call themselves the most moral army in the world in an almost beautiful Orwellian move) shot 4 tank shells at them as well as live sniper fire. Very quickly around 30 or 50 people, mainly children and teenagers, because it was an unarmed peaceful protest, were injured and sent to hospital. This led to a rise in tensions. For the rest of the day, and as I far as I know still now, Palestinians protested using rocks and the IDF shot live rounds at them. So far over 100 are injured including one journalist and one teenager is dead.

But that’s not all. In Qualandya in the West Bank there was a peaceful protest as well that was met with unimaginable amounts of tear gas and rubber coated bullets, later in the day those were traded for live ammunition. Of course this made the protests more intense and soon Palestinians started throwing stones at the israelis while they shot at them with rubber coated bullets, live bullets, and tear gas. So far over 100 are injured and one is dead. What is interesting is that the Palestinian numbers kept swelling and they were swelling with young men and young women. Clearly something very important was happening there. I know that East Jerusalem saw some violence as well but I didn’t get much info on it.

But in the middle of all that we got some very strange news. The border between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights had witnessed some very fierce clashes and 4 people had died and at least 20 people were injured. It turns out that around 20000 Syrians and Palestinian refugees had made their way to that border and an unspecified number of them walked across a mine field cut the border fence and crossed into the occupied Golan. This is huge! The Syrian regime has made sure not to allow any protests on its southern borders. However they are clearly too busy killing their own people to have noticed what was going on. Basically, a number of Palestinian refugees had exercised their right of return and were refusing to go back to Syria.

The israeli army sent a whole bunch of reinforcements to try and round them up, or kill them, and move them back to Syria. However the people of the town they went into Majdal Shams protected them and started contacting the israeli army in order to try not to get them killed. But their exact number was unclear, even now we still don’t know how many made it through reports varied between 68 and over a thousand. Eventually, many were able to return without being injured because the citizens of Majdal Shams protected them and got them to the border. However, many who got in had said that they aren’t planning to go back to israel but to go back to their land. Are some of them still there? no one knows. This episode clearly rattled the zionist state. Israeli Kneset members were calling for the IDF to use severe force and to kill all those who crossed the border. They described the episode as a grave intelligence and security failure. The reason is that no one expected it to happen in Syria.

Finally, let’s talk about the events in Lebanon because they are by far the most dangerous in their significance. The commemorations were set to take place on a hill that overlooks a field that meets the border fence between south Lebanon and Northern israel. However a group of a few dozen at first and then a few hundred protesters made their way towards the border fence. They didn’t attack it or try to cross it but were very close to it. They were waving their flags and chanting to demand the fulfilment of the right of return. It was all rather jolly but then the israelis started shooting in the air one bullet fell over the border and injured a woman in her left shoulder. This was bad but it could very easily be described as an accident, although why they needed to shoot in the air in the first place is not completely clear.

But then something very dangerous happened. They started shooting across the border at the unarmed civilians. Over a few hours 10 people were killed and over 100 injured. Eventually the Lebanese army forced the protesters to move back from the fence. But this is a major breech of Lebanon’s sovereignty, not that this ever stopped them before, but this is also a clear breech of resolution 1701. It is incredible that the IDF thinks that it can simply flaunt the border and shoot across it killing 10 and injuring over a hundred. I really hope that Lebanon doesn’t stay silent about it, although I imagine they will crawl and grovel and do nothing.

The point though is that all these events add up to some very important facts. The Arab people have set a marker, there will be no peace without the recognition and fulfilment of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees that were forcibly evicted from their lands and homes in 1947-48. We know that the PA was ready to give up that right, the Palestinians and the Arabs have said today that this is unacceptable it is an unalienable and unnegotiable right. Also, israel continues on its self destructive path. They are showing themselves as a racist and violent state that is willing to kill and maim anyone who oppose them, including unarmed and peaceful protesters. The problem for them is that cameras were all over the place and we could see everything that happened so the usual talking points are not going to be enough to get them off this time. I hope that this turns out to be a turning point in the struggle for the rights of Palestinians. Until Palestine is free stay safe. Love you bye.

Quick Message

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/02/2011 by arabrhizome

I know I’ve been prefacing my posts by saying tht they will be short this time, and then going on to write quite long ones. However, this one will in fact be short. This is due to three main reasons: I didn’t really follow the news today, I’m exhausted, and I need to work. On that last point, I finally managed to write a bit today. It’s nothing close to what I need to write, but it’s better than nothing. On the second point, I’ve been struggling with my sleep for a very long time, and a quick look at previous posts will tell you that this has been a chronic problem of mine. I am hoping to sleep at a normal time today, so that’s good. I have to teach tomorrow. It’s not really a problem since they’re introductory seminars, but still I’m hoping to go there refreshed.

On the first point, because I’ve been trying to work, I haven’t been glued to the internet today, watching Al Jazeera and reading twitter. However, I have two good news to share with you. One, Ayman Mohyeldin is now free. He was released yesterday after about 10 hours of detention. He’s talked about it on Al Jazeera and I urge you to watch his interview. Clearly the army is putting pressure on protesters and journalists, in a bit of an underhanded way. The regime hasn’t stopped harassing, intimidating, and repressing the protests. It’s just doing it in a more subtle and covert way. Second, Wael Ghonim one of the major figures of this movement has been released as well. He became a sort of symbolic leader of the protests. He was arrested on the 27th or 28th. He is one of the organisers of the protests. His release was a major demand of the protesters. It would be interesting to see what he has to say.

But before I leave you tonight, dear readers (many of whom are new and by the way welcome to you all I really appreciate the fact that you find my thoughts interesting), I would like to share a concern that’s been growing for me about the revolution. I am really starting to fear for the revolution, especially since the meetings behind closed doors that have started yesterday. Clearly the established political parties, which had nothing to do with the movement, are trying to co-opt it and make some political gains. They are trying to get some concessions by the regime which would allow them to get a bit of power. I am very wary of them. I believe that they would sell the revolution to be part of a new order with the regime.

But I know that the people of Tahrir are aware of that and have rejected the talks and say that they aren’t represented. The fact that no one in those talks is younger than 50 or 60 is proof of that. However, the strategy of staying in Tahrir, while highly symbolic and important, could backfire. The regime has decided to ignore the protesters and treat them like petulant children. If they do not escalate soon, they risk turning into the Lebanese tent city of 2007. Now there are vast differences between the two, as was pointed out on twitter, one is revolutionary and organised organically, the other was not revolutionary and was organised by political parties. However, the result might end up being the same: Stagnation. So my advice to the Tahrir Square revolutionaries is to escalate.

I am aware that it is easy for me to say that from the comfort of my couch, in my living room, in the UK. I am well away from harms way, and I am basically asking people to put their lives on the line, while I don’t have to. However, it might also be that I have a bit of distance while they are too close to it. Of course it goes in the other direction as well. Having distance means I don’t know many things that only people on the ground do. So all I’m saying is that from here it looks like the movement needs to escalate, not because it is losing steam, but because the regime is able to accommodate this level of protest. But again, I am here to support the revolution in anyway I can, and whatever the people decide to do I will support them and be behind them. Well I ended up writing a long one again. I think I’m just getting better at blogging that’s all. Anyway, good night everyone and see you tomorrow.

Million Egyptians Unite and Ayman Mohyeldin

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2011 by arabrhizome

This is going to be another short post I’m afraid. Work is going very slowly and I’m exhausted (I’ve been up for over 24 hours). I’m also feeling quite sad. But that’s not what I’m going to write this post about. Just like I’ve been doing for the past ten days or so, I’m writing about Egypt. Many important developments came out of Egypt today. Some lovely and inspiring and others deeply disturbing. So I’ll just run through them quickly and then go to sleep, or maybe work depending on my energy.

So let’s start with the nice stuff. Today was a day that the regime wanted to be the return to normal life. Their new strategy seems to be to isolate the protesters and try to turn the population against them. The protesters had called for a million people to make their way to Tahrir square today in a day of remembrance and prayer for the martyrs of the revolution. The people of Egypt have shown their mantel again. Over a million people made their way there today and honoured the dead. It is thought that over 300 people have died since January 25th.

There were Muslim prayers protected by the non-Muslims, as has become customary. This sight is beautiful every time, even though it has become common place in Tahrir square and all over Egypt. However, the new development today, were Coptic masses in the middle of the square protected by non-Christians. That is beautiful as well. Remember that there was a very high level of sectarian strife a few week ago. There was even talk of a possible sectarian civil war erupting in Egypt. However, the revolution has brought a new sense of national unity. There was a priest and a sheikh on Al Jazeera Arabic speaking together and standing side by side in a show of solidarity. Their words were incredibly inspiring and uplifting, even for an atheist like myself.

Other than the renewed unity between the different components of the Egyptian people, there were also very happy news from the square. a couple got married today in the square. This is hugely symbolic. The fact that two revolutionaries decided to get married in that now mythic stronghold of the revolution is incredibly beautiful. Of course there’s also a couple of revolutionaries who are spending their honeymoon there. Again this is huge. People have become so attached to what is being achieved in Tahrir Square that they are deciding to spend these important moments of their lives there shows how much this revolution means to the people of Egypt.

On the other hand, there are also disturbing news coming out. Today a meeting behind closed doors has happened between opposition figures and the VP. All of these opposition groups seem to be trying to co-opt the movement. There were a few images of the meeting on Egyptian state tv. There was a huge portrait of Mubarak there and everyone present looked alike. Basically it was a meeting of old men in suits. I think that the youngest man there was 50 or 60. This is outrageous. The movement is led and energised by the youth of Egypt, yet all the people there were old. Anyway, it’s highly likely that this is going to go nowhere.

The most disturbing news coming out of Egypt is that Ayman Mohyeldin, one of the best journalists and reporters working today, for Al Jazeera English, has been arrested by  the Egyptian army. I have been a fan of his work since his fantastic reporting during the Gaza massacre. His work on Egypt has been fantastic as well. He is very knowledgeable and his analysis has been spot on through out. Plus he is the most bad arse guerilla reporter around. I really hope that he is released now. Also I honestly hope he isn’t hurt. Another great bad arse guerilla reporters from Al Jazeera English, and also a veteran from Gaza, Sherine Tadros, was arrested and detain for questioning for a short time and then released. This is unacceptable. The government can’t continue with its double speak, saying that they aren’t targeting journalists and then doing exactly that.

Anyway, this post turned out to be longer than I expected. I believe that I will go to sleep now and hopefully wake up early and work. I am sending positive thoughts to the universe that Ayman will be released very quickly (I know it’s bullocks and positive vibes don’t exist and don’t work, but that’s all I can do). Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow. Hoping that Egypt will be free soon. Long live the revolution.

Still Here

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 05/02/2011 by arabrhizome

Well I just discovered that my post went out without the text. I’m really sorry about that. I just fixed it. I was lucky to have kept a back up, I don’t usually. So anyway, here’s yesterday’s post, now accessible.

Right, quick note today, because I really need to get some work done. My sleeping pattern has been completely destroyed by the events in Egypt. But that’s not the point. Anyway, after yesterday’s fantastic show of force and courage by the free people of Egypt, today started with the regime seeming to want to crack down, or at least cause some kind of chaos, while showing that they still are in control. The US has also started sending mixed signals seeming to backtrack from asking for a transition now, and going back to an ‘orderly transition’.

So today began with an explosion in Arish in the Sinai along a pipeline that supplies both israel and Jordan with natural gas. This pipeline has been the site of much controversy. The interesting thing though is that the government came out straight away through its mouth piece, Egyptian state tv, to say that it was a terrorist action perpetrated by foreign elements. Now, I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but that sounds too good to be true for the regime. Isn’t strange that right after Mubarak says there will be chaos and terrorism, a terrorist attack happens? I don’t know, it might well have been the Beduins of Sinai, it could also have been israel wanting to stir some shit. It’s all possible. The point is, it was a bit of an ominous development.

This sense of tension was compounded by the info coming out of Tahrir Square that the army is trying to take down some of the barricades that have been protecting the protesters from thugs. It felt like the regime is trying to force the people out of Tahrir, one way or another. And there was a fear that people are in danger. It was also reported that many people were prevented, or greatly hampered, from making their way to Tahrir by the army and the presidential guard. It all sounded fishy.

There were also reports of back room meetings behind closed doors between the regime and people trying to co-opt the movement. America seems to be softer on the regime, after being slightly almost imperceptibly critical. However, the protesters again proved that they are free and courageous women and men who will not be deterred by this criminal regime and its allies. More people made their way to Tahrir and it was full of thousands. Protests happened all over the country and the pressure on Mubarak and his goons is still on.

Palestine Papers 4 and Egypt

Posted in Culture, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26/01/2011 by arabrhizome

We are living very interesting times in the Middle East. The final instalment of the Palestine papers focuses on Gaza and the collusion of the PA about it. What this last batch of papers has shown is that the PA was more concerned with Hamas as an enemy rather than israel and its occupation. The PA colluded with the US and israel to delay and hold up the vote on the Goldston report, they appear to have been informed about the Gaza offensive before it happened, they were so afraid of giving Hamas any semblance of victory that they asked israel to reinvade Gaza, or at least part of Gaza. These are very big revelations. Let’s go through them with a little more detail now, and then focus on the other huge story from the region which is the Egypt protests.

Right, so what do this last batch of papers really reveal? Well the first and foremost thing is that from certain conversations it appears, and I stress appears because nothing is clearly stated, that israel had informed the PA that they were going to attack Gaza. I’m sure you all remember the savage assault two years ago by the israeli army against the civilian population of the besieged Gaza strip. The assault was named Cast Lead and it killed over 1400 people, most of them civilians. If the PA had foreknowledge of this and then did nothing to warn the people of Gaza, then these deaths are partly their resposability.

One thing that came out of the Gaza massacre was a UN investigation which accused israel of having committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. We all remember how the PA pushed for a delay on the UN human rights council vote to endorse it. The papers have shown that this was due to US pressures. The PA have clearly become the political arm of US and israeli interests. They were willing to put the interests of israel and the US before the interests of their own people. The Goldstone report needed swift action, yet the PA was willing to delay action on it in order to please the US.

That’s not all. One very important revelations shows how completely uninterested in defending their own people’s interests the PA have become. In particular, when Hamas was able to break through the barrier between the Gaza-Egypt border and people were able to break the siege for a while and were able to restock on necessary supplies, the PA was concerned with the fact that this represented a victory for Hamas. The papers show that the PA even encouraged israel to reinvade Gaza, specifically the border crossing, in order to undermine Hamas’s political victory. This is astounding. I am lost for words when it comes to that last revelation. How can the PA even pretend to represent the interests of its people? It is willing to ask israel to reinvade Gaza and police the illegal siege that causes so much suffering for the people of Gaza, in order to undermine Hamas. This absolutely unacceptable. Let’s hope that the people of Palestine will finally wake up and overthrow that corrupt and collaborationist body.

There are so much more things to talk about in the Palestine Papers, and I’ll probably get to them at some point later on this blog. However, something quite extraordinary is going on in Egypt and I need to talk about it more. I have already commented on the first day of protests yesterday, you can check out yesterday’s post for that. But what happened today was even more intense. The security forces decided to use very heavy handed tactics straight away. While people were still gathering to start demonstrating, the Egyptian police started using heavy force to disperse the protesters. This lead to the protesters playing cat and mouse with the police throughout the day. Impromptu demonstrations kept happening all over the country and the police found itself having to chase the protesters all over the place. The repression was quite strong though and many people were arrested, beaten up, and some killed.

However, it seems that the most deadly confrontations happened in the city of Suez. There it seems the security forces used live bullets on the protesters, and they responded with Molotov cocktails and barricades. The situation is still unclear over there because there aren’t many journalists there, and all the information we’re getting is from twitter. However, it seems that the police has lost control of the city and that the ruling party’s headquarters there, as well as the police station, have been burned by the protesters. Although I repeat those are unconfirmed reports. The point is that the protests are still going on. It has become a war of attrition between the protesters and the police. It seems the protesters are trying to tire the police by not letting out. The strategy being that protesters can take breaks while the police cannot. As I’m writing this the death toll has been confirmed to have risen to 6 deaths.

Well that’s all from me today. It is really a very interesting time we’re witnessing. I will hopefully talk about the protests more tomorrow, although it depends on what happens. As I understand it, the Egyptians are trying to get 1000000 people down for another day of wrath on Friday. I don’t know if this means that the protest are going to continue between now and Friday or not. Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I’ll see you all tomorrow, in the hopes that the news of the downfall of another dictator will come soon.

Back to Action

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Friends, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 14/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Right so as I said yesterday, today’s post was going to see this post back to regular service. In other words, you would all indulge me in my naval gazing and other self centred writings. Now, I have been a bit of a recluse last week, both in the real world and over here in virtual land. Which means that I don’t really have much to talk about in relation to last week. However, yesterday involved me going out of the house, properly not just to the supermarket. And as I did that things happened. Nothing ground breaking but general stuff. In fact, it was a little bit overwhelming at first. But I got through it and I’m still here so that’s good.

Anyway, so I woke up and went out to uni. I needed to return a book to the library. What I did however, is renew it, as I didn’t really read it all this time. I then went to A’s house. He leaves for the holidays on Tuesday, and I wanted to hang out with him before he goes. We had an excellent time. We played video games and just had a nice time. C was there as well. It was very nice talking to her also. She’s a very nice and funny woman and I always have fun with her. We decided that after the holidays we’ll have a marathon Black Adder weekend/week/a few days peppered around a given period of time. I realise that the last option makes it less like a marathon and more like just watching Black Adder. But hey we’ll see then.

We tried to watch the game, Manchester United against Arsenal for those who aren’t football savvy (That’s okay I know not everyone likes football and I don’t judge), but the connection to the internet wasn’t good enough. So I helped A pack up his car and then made my way back home. I couldn’t sleep until very late at night, but in this time I discovered a very disgusting thing that got me very worked up. In fact, I can say that I am still very worked up about it. So here’s the story as I got it online:

I was on twitter and someone retweeted a video from a mobile phone during the protests last week. It shows a police officer dragging a disabled man off of his wheelchair and on the floor, before another police man comes and moves him away from his victim. The video is quite disturbing as you can hear the people around shouting in disbelief. This is at best police brutality and shameful behaviour and at worst a criminal offence. Here is that video.

Anyway, that’s not the end of the story. On Monday at 20:00 the young man who was dragged appeared on the BBC news channel for an interview, His name is Jody McIntyre and here’s a link to his blog. The man is an activist and has certainly become a little bit of a hero of mine. But anyway, this is not about me saying nice things about him, it’s about telling you what happened. So, back to twitter land, many people were linking to it and being disgusted by the interviewer a hack that calls himself a journalist but is nothing more than a bully and an apologist for brutality. Here’s that interview. Now, I don’t want to insult your intelligence by going through every single wrong thing in this interview. Anyone who reads this blog is clearly displaying a very high degree and level of intellect, I am therefore sure that you will be as disgusted and outraged as I am.

I will however point out a couple of things. Jody McIntyre has shown incredible dignity and poise in the face of an outrageous line of questioning that tried to somehow justify what was done to him. This ‘journalist’ was engaging in victim blaming. It was great to see him destroyed by Mr McIntyre’s calm and articulate responses. My favourite was when he told him that this kind of victim blaming is reminiscent of the BBC’s coverage of Palestine. I was particularly reminded of the way in which the survivors of the flotilla attack were ‘interviewed’, it was more like they were interrogated. The BBC ‘journalists’ would adopt a hostile and brazen attitude with them, asking them the same questions again and again, even after getting reasonable answers. The survivors had to justify themselves, in the same way that Jody had to justify himself in that interview. Again and again the BBC is failing to distinguish between victim and criminal.

The other thing I wanted to point out, was the fact that Jody’s political views were used by Ben Brown (Brown like poo! ha! That’s right I brought you down with my wit and verbal dexterity)to again try and justify the unjustifiable. A man was tipped over his wheel chair and then dragged across the pavement, whether that man was a revolutionary or not is irrelevant. Also, I don’t think that someone’s political views justify them being beaten up, at least that’s what democracy seems to be about.

Anyway, I complained to the BBC and I urge you all to complain as well. I especially urge you if you are a UK citizen and pay the license fee. This man, Ben Brown, is paid with our money and he needs to realise that this kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable. He should issue a public apology as well as a personal one to Jody McIntyre, failing that he needs to be sacked. But more importantly the BBC need to know that we expect better from them. This kind of stunt is expected when it comes to fake news outlets like Sky or Fox, but not from the BBC.

Well that’s it from me. I think we can all agree that this post represents a real return to form from me. There was laughs, tears, righteous anger, completely uninteresting discussions of my comings and goings, and of course a postmodern poo joke. I think this bodes well for the future posts on this blog. See you all tomorrow.

Teaching, Occupation, and Emo Snowman

Posted in Culture, Friends, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 03/12/2010 by arabrhizome

So Thursday was my last day of seminars for this term, I still have to do a workshop next week but that’s just one hour. I plugged the occupation and was happy to see that most of my students were actually quite excited about it. It was nice to see that they care. You should all know that Nottingham is known as a school for posh kids who didn’t make it into Cambridge or Oxford. Of course that’s not true of everyone, but there is a high concentration of quite apathetic entitled brats. Yet these students were all outraged by the hike in tuition fees, and they all seemed to understand the subtleties of the proposed system, as well as its place within the whole regime of cuts. People keep saying that kids today are stupid, well these ones sure are smarter then most adults.

I had watched the Newsnight episode with one of the Cambridge student occupiers and was appalled, although sadly not surprised, by the complete and utter patronising attitude of the ‘grown ups’. They kept implying that the students don’t really understand what they’re doing and that protesting is just something one does when they are students. They really don’t understand that this generation is actually quite politicised. They cared about Iraq, they care about Palestine, and now they care about the direction the UK is taking. They aren’t good for nothings. They are intelligent and caring. I think that this generation will effect change and I do believe that the next few years will be very interesting.

Anyway, we got news that the registrar had ordered the students to leave by 4:00 or they would be evicted. We all made our way there then to show solidarity and to be numerous. There was a very high number of people, including a few faculty members, as well as many Trent students, and some college students. The atmosphere was very cool. Everyone was having a good time and some great conversations were going on. People were discussing theory and practice, past political movements, and the current climate. It felt like I was in one of 1968’s amphitheatres and occupied rooms at the height of the student movement.

Well I still had to teach another class, so I left and it seemed that the threat was never going to materialise. I think the registrar thought that by scaring them they would leave voluntarily. How wrong he was. So after my class I went to C and A’s house and we played with the snow. It was great having snowball fights and running around. When we were done with that we decided to build a snowman in their back garden. So we made our way there and got to work.

It was great fun and by the end we had one of the coolest snowmen around. He had a mohawk that we painted grey. He had black eyes that looked that they were done with runny mascara and a bloody mouth. He was quite the sight. I will hopefully put the pictures up if I ever get them. After that we ordered pizza and played a bit of FIFA. Later I made my way back home, wrote my blog and hoped to go to sleep early, although I didn’t, as I was going to go to Leicester on Friday in order to pick up my now fixed laptop. I will tell you all about this tomorrow, so you should comeback to my blog in order to know what happened.