Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts expresses its support for members of the community who are now more than a month in occupation of Nottingham’s Market Square. The dedicated and dynamic group of individuals are voicing their dissent to political corruption, state and police violence and corporate greed by creating and maintaining a communal space in which everyone is welcome as long as they respect camp guidelines. They employ the Occupy Movement’s General Assembly model for consensus-based decision-making twice daily, and with a tidy tent camp and communal area with kitchen, tea/coffee corner, tech/chill room, patio table, fire extinguisher point and central oil drum for a nightly fire, are effectively demonstrating an alternative, eco-conscious community-oriented use of public space. The information table at the camp entrance is open from 8AM-8PM daily, with participants engaging in dialogue with members of the public about their reasons for occupation and exchanging information from NSAFC, Notts Uncut, Notts SOS and other local organizations in solidarity with the liberation movement around the world.
Like many other camps around the UK, the camp has been experiencing problems with fascist organizations like the EDL threatening camps at night. Occupy Notts requests support in the form of more bodies at the camps overnight to prevent this kind of trouble. Along with them, we ask members of the local and student community to volunteer to visit the camp and especially to stay overnight or during an early morning shift; it would be greatly appreciated.
Tonight, in the 36th day of Occupation, campers and city residents held a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Egyptian civilians in Tahrir Square who were attacked by and are currently engaged in a tense standoff with Egyptian armed forces. In doing so, they stood with people from all major cities in Egypt and other cities around the world against the violent repression being experienced by peaceful protestors from Oakland, Berkeley and Davis, California, to Atlanta, to New York, to Cairo.
During the vigil, campers shared their reflections: an American student noted that it is the US funding the Egyptian army and mentioned the familiar neo-colonial theme of the military vs. the people, while other campers spoke of the Spanish acampada movement and the more than 3,500 people who have been killed under the repressive regime in Syria. The group rallied around the reminder that it was the courageous and powerful actions of the people of Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya and the events of the Arab Spring which inspired the Occupy Movement sweeping the globe, while their own stories continue to unfold, outcomes yet to be known.