Update (20/05/12): After a month, Occupy Brookes decided to pack up. The camp's demands were almost entirely ignored by management but many people nevertheless felt it was a valuable experience, building links, raising awareness, and establishing a precedent for action that can be taken further in the future.
Since Wednesday 18th April, a group of Oxford Brookes students and supporters have been camping in front of Gipsy Lane campus to demand free education for all, and more specifically and immediately, that the University switch from fee waivers to bursaries.
The camp has now survived over two weeks of extremely wet weather, hosted various workshops and discussions, and received lots of verbal support and sympathy. A letter containing 3 basic demands was sent to the authorities early on, but there has been no substantial response from them, and the group's next steps have yet to be decided.
Anyone supportive or curious is very welcome to come visit or stay, and upcoming workshops and meetings are listed on the blog.Read more >>
Several empty buildings in Oxford have recently been opened as squatted social centres. In August an empty industrial workshop on Randolph Street was squatted. After several "Free Uni" events (sharing skills and ideas), community meals, film and info-nights the court process provided only a short delay and then eviction. The building now remains unused.
Undeterred, the social centre, known as "Plebs' College" due to the focus on free education, has re-opened on Union Street, with a multitude of weekly events. Again they are under threat of eviction from a landlord keen to demolish the place and build student flats. This space where people can gather, meet, organise and learn, as equals, free of the usual commercial or bureaucratic pressures, may be a glimpse of another society.
For hints of a more brutal future, we can look at the recent eviction of Dale Farm: an entire community made homeless, while those who resist are kicked, tasered, batoned, pressured-pointed, or beaten, and the media continue their lies.
Which path we take could depend on the actions we all take in the next few years.Read more >>
Welcome to the latest round up of grassroots news from Oxford. It's proven to be another busy month for activists and campaigners in Oxford. Local, national, and international attention has focused on our little city somewhere between London and the Midlands.Read more >>
One of Oxford University's most emblematic buildings, the Radcliffe Camera library, was occupied for around 30 hours last week by students and residents campaigning against education cuts.
The occupation followed a mass demo and was part of a national day of action. The occupiers demanded the University oppose the cuts, and commit not to raise fees, privatise or punish those involved. They called for free and public education for all, and put this into practice by holding teach-ins, mass meetings and dancing in the newly liberated space, while the upstairs room was reserved for quiet study.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the authorities stopped this 'Free University' from thriving by doing their best to prevent people coming in, and, after the occupiers refused to compromise on their demands, by smashing their way in and aggressively evicting everyone.
Meanwhile an anti-cuts demo on Saturday led to an impromptu bank occupation and a second day of action on Tuesday saw the County Council offices briefly occupied, Castle Hill reclaimed and shopping centres invaded!Read more >>
Update (15/02/07): Tree felling and preparation work has started, and sporadic actions are taking places to try to block this work. More help is needed.
Update (06/02/07): The eviction took place on Tuesday 6th February. Bailiffs wearing balaclavas smashed their way in through a set of downstairs windows early in the morning, but it still took them several hours to clear the house after one of the squatters locked on. "We may have lost round one but we will re-group and consider our next course of action. We are not finished yet[...]" - quote attributed to one of the squatters by the Oxford Mail.
URGENT CALL to defend the occupation of Sandles, Thrupp Lake.
On Wednesday 24th January, energy company RWE Npower was granted an order to evict this lakeside property with immediate effect. Meanwhile, at the property extremely robust defences are being built with a view to delaying the destruction of this area of outstanding natural beauty. This is an URGENT CALL for people to join them in resisting the coming eviction. Please phone the site mobile 07772 055 384 straight away.
Npower, who run the notoriously polluting Didcot Power Station, want to fill the lakes with toxic fly ash, a by-product of coal-burning.
A massive campaign by local people has been ignored by both company and the authorities. Oxfordshire County Council has so far facilitated npower's dumping. The habitat is home to many protected species, including water voles and rare orchids. There have been reported sightings of otters. Further expertise is requested to gather further evidence of the ecology of the lakes. Boats are also very welcome at the site.Read more >>
The Jericho Boatyard was officially handed over to British Waterways on Friday, July 29, but has been occupied since then by people who want to keep it as a boatyard and a community space rather than letting it be sold off to Bellway Homes to build yet more luxury flats.
The boatyard is a vital resource for people who live in boats. British Waterways, the body that is supposed to maintain the UK's canals, is selling off bits of land around the country - Jericho is not the only boatyard that is under threat. British Waterways plans to sell the site to Bellway Homes, which is seeking planning permission (not yet granted) to build luxury flats. There is a need for sustainable and affordable living space in Oxford but this would not be provided by the Bellway development.
The Jericho boatyard is also famous for having inspired Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. A lot of history and culture would be lost by building over it, making Jericho and Oxford a culturally poorer place.
To keep the site it needs to be occupied all the time, so visitors are always welcome! There's food and tea and plenty to do. The site has only been under occupation for a few days so it's an exciting time and people with ideas and enthusiasm are needed to come and contribute. At the moment it's all of our space - let's keep it that way.Read more >>
Public sector cuts
estrecho / madiaq
san francisco bay area
santa cruz, ca
process & imc docs