Sussex Occupy Bloomsbury

Occupy Sussex at Uni of London

I took this photo outside the Institute of Education on Tuesday. Aside from the violent tone of the message, it was striking to this tag 55 miles away from the University of Sussex itself. There was more around Senate House and Birkbeck. I’d be interested to know if there are similar signs on other campuses around the country (or even abroad?). It surprised me a bit. It made me wonder if the national demo called for next week could be quite an event.

The other thing that’s interesting about this is that I haven’t seen a similar tone around Sussex itself. There are banners outside the occupation and sometimes elsewhere, but nothing much more incendiary that “Stop the Sussex sell off”. Their protests draw people and make noise, but usually with a smile on everyone’s face. There are bits of yellow paper stuck to office windows all over campus to symbolise solidarity. People also wear yellow fabric pinned to their coats, and have been tying yellow ribbons to a “solidarity tree”. It’s been interesting to watch them gradually multiply, like quiet little nods of support and recognition. But that’s all very different from “fuck shit up” scrawled on the wall of the IoE.

I’m not sure if Sussex’s little flashes of yellow are dignified, scared, sceptical, friendly, disinterested or something else. I also don’t know if graffiti in London is evidence of real support there. There were references to “escalation” last night but yet to see how that plays out. I guess we’ll learn more on the 25th.

"shut it down" protest sign, Bloomsbury

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