University #occupylsx

Is this not every academic’s dream? A keen, engaged audience (likely because you are providing interesting, dynamic and interactive content):

It is 3.55pm on a dark winter’s afternoon, but the philosophy seminar on “Radical democracy and Rousseau” shows no sign of flagging.

Eager, earnest students are still desperate to make their final points before the hour is up, awaiting that split-second pause that will let them jump back into the debate.

Close your eyes and you might well think you were listening to a typical undergraduate tutorial, complete with idealistic, left-wing students keen to challenge their classmates, the lecturer and society in general – that is until you hear the sound of the No 76 bus to Waterloo thunder past just a few yards away.

This is actually Tent City University, the centrepiece of the Occupy London camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, a “pop-up” seat of learning spinning off from the anti-capitalist protest movement.

The flimsy plastic sides of the makeshift marquee are the only thing that separates visitors from the freezing elements and the din of central London traffic, but Tent City University has become one of the camp’s big success stories.

Thousands of people have sat down here to listen to academics, writers and political activists hold forth on a variety of subjects since the camp was set up on 15 October last year.

Read full story.

Digital Event Life(style)

Joining #flashevensong / @flashevensong @StPaulsLondon #OccupyLSX

Today, I met with Pete Phillips to discuss where we’re going with @bigbible, etc. and, combined with a number of Tweets I’d seen earlier, decided that I would join the Flash Evensong, organised by @artsyhonker (who’d run a similar event on Sunday).

Bex and Pete at #occupylsx (mp3)

Check out the rest of our boos from #occupyslx

Information had been circulated via Twitter since Sunday afternoon (always with the knowledge that the Cathedral might reopen), with materials available on a website (therefore those coming were asked to either print off, or use their phones for the material). We were welcome, however, to just stand and enjoy the atmosphere (tho I knew I’d be doing some tweeting, etc..) … and it was great to run into a number of people that I often talk to on Twitter but rarely meet face to face… It  was great to see how Twitter had brought people together (for an event that @artsyhonker had expected about 10 people at), and to see crowds grow as 30+ singers sang beautifully… although the ‘paps’ were rather disconcerting – they know how to get their picture (yes, push!) … lots of us just stayed up to watch ITV News … but no sign of us 🙁 I was asked by ‘Classical Music’ magazine – there was a guy in the right place at the right time – whether I thought this was a ‘publicity stunt’ or a service … those of us there definitely felt that it was a service, and Kathryn (@artsyhonker) rationale for creating it was that people aren’t able to go to Evensong in the Cathedral, but faith/worship is clearly so much bigger than the building (see Jhon Cooper’s interview)

Never mind the media coverage… you can listen to some audioboos (music 1; music 2; artsyhonkey; riggwelter; peterould, and see my snapshots on video:

There’s also some pics here and a blog from @riggwelter … sure there’s more around!

Tweets are being collected on Twapperkeeper (it should be able to pick up the last 24-48 hours), and I was chuffed to see Peter Ould undertake his first audioboo tonight:

Chatting to Hazel, one of the @occupylsx campers (mp3)