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Day five at Occupy Brookes

Jacob Porter | 24.04.2012 19:22 | Occupy Everywhere | Education | Free Spaces | Public sector cuts | Oxford

A summary of the fifth day of the Occupy Brookes Movement

Coo-COOOOO-coo-coo. Coo-COOOOO-coo-coo. Thus begins day 5 of Occupy Brookes. The pigeon: standing in for the rooster as nature’s infuriating alarm clock. I check my phone: it’s hard to be too upset with a cool ten hours of sleep. I reluctantly leave the toasty confines of my tent to discover none other than Mr. Sun, hat firmly on! Time for some light morning reading: should I plump for a list of higher education facts and figures, a ’50s study of communism written by what appears to be a matinee idol from Jupiter, or Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil? Eek. (All book donations welcome!)

As my camp-mates awaken from their slumber, I’m reminded of my duty as camp omnivore to ensure the consumption of all meat and dairy. Guess it’s chicken and fromage frais for breakfast! Another day full of wonderful people to contact and fabulous events to arrange – a journalist agrees to lug video equipment all the way from London just for little old us! She’ll be covering us from 10 AM this coming tuesday – as always, we welcome anyone to come down and share views.

Speaking of fabulous events, we’ve been bowled over by your generosity – food donations continue to keep us warm and fed, and are always gratefully received! We’ll aim to return some of that goodwill by setting up a petition stall laden with chocolatey goodies – as many signatures as possible would be appreciated! Hopefully we’ll be around from 10:30 on monday and around 4 PM on wednesday, to coincide with the graduate fair. As always, follow us on twitter and facebook for more specific information!

And as far as specific information goes, we have an online calendar! Nice and simple to remember –  http://bit.ly/occupybrookescal

Expect us to update this with daily events at specific times – check back often to see what’s on!

The weather continues to be a fickle ally – several hours of glorious sunshine gave way to ominous thunder, a single flash of lightning, and hail that was compared alternately to “golfballs” and “solero shots”. Oh, and rain. Did I mention rain? It rained quite a lot. All over a placard. Never a dull moment in the occupy camp!

And so, 6PM rolled around: time for our second general assembly of the day (delayed by the presence of a rather gorgeous vegan bean bake). Several important decisions, five eerily accurate caricatures and a couple of over-enthusiastic hand-gestures later, and we had successfully navigated the choppy waters of democracy once again. Alas, it was time for me to leave! Everyone was a champ, braving the accumulated body odor of about four days just for the simple gesture of a hug. I packed up my tent, waved goodbye, and, wiping away tears, began the long journey home. I checked my phone to find perhaps the perfect end to my stay with the occupy brookes team: a message from student finance England – “your student finance will be paid into your bank tomorrow”. A personal reminder of how lucky I am to be receiving means-tested support, and of how important it is to fight to give future generations the same chance.

And so, for me, it’s back to warm beds, heaping plates of meat and bubbly baths. And revision and exams and essays and stuff. I’m so grateful to the team at occupy brookes for being so welcoming and amicable, and that I could play a part in their story. For those brave souls who remain, somehow mish-mashing study and dedicated activism into some kind of frankensteiny stew, all that remains to be said is: bon appetit!

Jacob Porter
- e-mail: the.greatest.cape@googlemail.com

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