There are several reasons the people in the occupation are in here. You can believe what you like about the individuals themselves but having worked with, lived with, slept in the same room as and joked with them for nearly a week, there is not a single one who doesn’t believe in the cause we are fighting for and each other.
We are a community and while that makes some people confused or feel uncomfortable, that is what University is about for us. We all feel that if we are going to take part in the University experience that is such an important part of socialisation and personal growth, then we would like to take part in it all. There is nothing we want left out, whether that means working for something so hard, exhaustion sets in and we start laughing at things that aren’t really even there or drunken conversations over a wash-load at 2 in the morning as there are only so many times you can turn your underwear inside out before it gets crusty. We believe in what we are doing. It is part of our belief system and it will continue to be.
If you don’t agree with the point of the cause, then we are not going to hold that against you. We won’t understand it but we won’t hold it against you. It is this lack of understanding that makes us question everything as it creates a dissonance. We are equilibrium seeking creatures by nature, not just us but all humans. If something doesn’t make sense, then we all react one of two ways, we throw ourselves into it or ridicule it to make ourselves feel better about not being a part of it. There have been times where each of us has been responsible for both. We are not perfect and believe that is part of the human condition. However, we are aware of it more than ever now and have spoken on it and feel if we ever notice ourselves doing it again, we will do the best we can to make sure we throw ourselves into any problem we face to understand and accommodate its issues.
The other side of that has caused some of the reactions we have had in the last week. We are not asking for a total change around in opinion and the biggest thing that is said at every meeting is always “so and so, who said this is pointless, is now actually sending us emails and helping out with contacts”. When people see what we are doing, they react one of two ways automatically and then think about the issue later, such is the nature of things. All we are asking is that when you are faced with the presentation of something unusual or unfamiliar to you, you don’t react so strongly to ridiculing something you don’t understand, simply to maintain your own world view, that you can’t take it back later if you change your mind. We are here to give information and help people understand what we are doing. If you don’t understand that, then there are worse things you can do than ask. Not asking is a prime example of that. If you don’t take every opportunity to understand each community you live in, then you are going to miss out on the diversity that makes life great and you are going to cost nobody but yourselves as we will be here, kicking ass and taking names. Not just for us but for our whole community as we love it and want to continue doing so. Thanks for your time.
Leeds Trinity University College Occupation