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One year ago today a student protest action took place in Canada that was, as I put it at the time, “unlike anything I’d ever heard of before.” Here’s how I described it then:

Student activists and others at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, a Canadian university some seventy miles northwest of Seattle, held a teach-out on “food democracy” and sustainability issues. There was music, a slate of speakers, pamphlets to read, and tea. At the end of the event the group planted a garden.

On the lawn.

In front of the library.

They ripped up the sod, built some raised beds, and planted a variety of vegetables and other native plants. They planted, they mulched, they designed rock borders. They put up fences to keep rabbits out.

On the lawn of the quad, in front of the library.

There’s a symposium about that action — which was hugely controversial in the campus community — being held on the U Vic campus tomorrow. And though organizers have been circumspect about the details, there’s apparently some sort of follow-up action happening today.

More as I get it.

A professor at the University of East London has been suspended from his position for predicting that  there may “be real bankers hanging from lampposts” at Wednesday’s protests against the G20 economic summit.

Chris Knight, a professor of anthropology, is an organizer of G20 protests in London this week. He told the BBC that if bankers and government ministers don’t “surrender their power, obviously it’s going to get us even more wound up and things could get nasty.”

Knight’s G20 Meltdown is just one of many groups planning actions in London this week, but Knight’s eagerness to make incendiary statements to the media has made him the most quoted figure in the movement right now.

The UEL’s decision to suspend him has confirmed that position.

Quick updates on a bunch of stories we’ve been following…

  • The University of North Carolina has become the twenty-first US campus to dump Russell Athletic in response to labor violations.
  • A hundred NYU grad students held a “work-in” at Bobst Library yesterday afternoon.
  • President Obama will be providing major new details of his education plan at a speech this morning.

For those of us who couldn’t make it to DC, the Powershift ’09 folks have put a bunch of video from the conference up online. Check it out.

The last of a group of students who had been occupying a grove of trees on the University of California Santa Cruz campus abandoned their protest site on Saturday. The protesters had been sitting in on three platforms in the redwood and oak grove since November 2007 to block construction of a biomedical facility on the site.

Three of the four protesters left the site before police arrived on Saturday morning, and the fourth was taken into custody. By noon the site had been fenced off and university employees were preparing to begin work cutting down the trees.

About This Blog

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StudentActivism.net is the work of Angus Johnston, a historian and advocate of American student organizing.

To contact Angus, click here. For more about him, check out AngusJohnston.com.
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