I can’t be the only one. This is what I keep repeating to myself in order to keep me sane. I simply cannot be the only one who feels this way.
Every day I walk past a collection of ridiculous tents, full of ridiculous people, acting ridiculously, on my way to Uni. I cannot be the only one who feels so inherently filled with rage when I allow my thoughts to wander to the travesty that is the occupation movement.
On a basic level, it is simply a hotbed of clueless students who are having a bit of a laugh being a nuisance and enjoying the fact that they are finally making a point. I don’t think they have any idea what kind of a point they are making, but nonetheless enjoy the fact that they can allude to some kind of controversy.
Some of them have been wandering about in fur coats, and the majority of walk-bys have exhibited glimpses of bunches of them huddled around Macbooks or various other expensive pieces of technology. If the cause is so desperate, why not sell of such luxuries and donate the proceeds to the University’s scholarship fund?
One acquaintance, with whom the link is so tenuous I can’t be sure if I ever actually met them, posted on Facebook a few days ago “lol at the Occupy people gathered round a Macbook Pro”. They didn’t give any justification for the ‘lol’, but I felt it was warranted nonetheless.
Perhaps the bitterness comes from a lack of understanding. Perhaps someone could enlighten me. What exactly do they hope to achieve with a pointless week spend living in a tent on some grass?
Last year an occupation of around fifteen managed to bag themselves a meeting with the Vice Chancellor, apparently. What happened? They didn’t go. They couldn’t decide who should go. And what would have happened had they gone along to a meeting? What would they have demanded? That the Vice Chancellor reform the entire higher education system in this country?
Maybe I was under the wrong impression, but I was quite sure that the powers that be at Warwick were not, in fact, the government. So moving on to this year, what are the protesters hoping to get, exactly? They’ll have made their point, yes. But they won’t have achieved anything tangible at all.
If anything, I can’t help but feel resentful that after the government had allowed this group of simpletons to gain an education at university for a reduced fee, they have decided to camp in tents for a week, sever themselves from the internet and comfortable working spaces, and most likely put their own education in jeopardy. That seems nothing short of ungrateful, selfish and silly to me.
That is if they even are, in fact, camping there. I am not suggesting for one moment that someone should run along with a heat-seeking smartphone app at 2am just to check how many tents are actually ‘occupied’, but I did overhear the musings of one occupier as I walked past a few days ago. They said: “Well, I’ve only actually camped here for two nights, but…”. I quote, word for word.
I’m not saying anything about the actual attendance of the movement at one in the morning, but when you see the Macbooks, the fur coats, the washed hair and more, you do wonder.
The further infuriating thing is that should someone now desire to start a proper protest, one that could actually make people think about the alternatives to fee-raising in order to maintain a good higher education system in this country, they probably would not be able to do so. If someone at Warwick now decided to make a (well-made) point about tuition fees and the alternative white paper, they would inevitably be associated with the current occupy movement. And no one wants that.
A plea to those in tents: either clarify what your point is or leave. What do you hope to achieve, precisely? What are you hoping to gain?
You have officially made yourselves look like fools. Congratulations. Please leave now and stop scaring us all.