Monday, November 19, 2012

A Bit Of Spirit, Quickly Quashed

Normally, the students at my university appear pretty apathetic about everything. Unless it's hair care or eyebrow threading or football or PSP, it seems like not many things arouse their passion.

But lately, it's like they've woken up a bit. In support of the Kurdish prisoners around the country that have been on hunger strike for almost two months, some students tried to stage a hunger strike protest in the student center last week by blocking the stairs that go down to the food courts. Security took care of that very quickly, and in fact they seemed somehow aware that there would be an Occurrence later in the day, because they were being especially thorough about checking IDs at the gate.

This morning on the way to our 8.30 classes, we spotted another small sign of spirit. It's not related to the Kurds. It's about the heavy on-campus video surveillance. It says something like "blind zone," or camera-free zone, because I guess these stairs are one of the few places on campus that doesn't have a camera pointed at it.

It's the first time I've seen real graffiti on campus. There were five or six guys, including two security guards, standing around the graffiti and discussing it.

By 10.30am, the graffiti had been censored.

And by 11am, the guy was out with a sander making sure the graffiti never existed.

These guys discussed the sanding job for almost an hour.
Some students were shouting about something on the stairs to the food courts again today, though they had made a narrow aisle to let people pass. Since Öcalan got the prison hunger strikes to end yesterday, I'm not sure what this protest was about, and I kind of felt like staying out of it anyway. It's their thing, not mine.

It's just good to see that some of them are passionate about something real.


BacktoBodrum said...

Is this the start of something ? A return to the late 1970s?

Stranger said...

Hard to say. It's so rare our kids protest real stuff. Of course, they turned out for the anti-censorship marches last year (definitely important), and a lot of them got in on the animal rights protests (arguably important in its own right, but fairly trifling next to the human abuses and tragedies in our midst, not to offend any of my animal loving friends), and there are very few of them who do work with orphans and other disadvantaged children.

Last year, the only on campus protest I heard of our students participating in was when a beloved director of security on the West Campus was fired, so they got in their cars and blocked the road from West Campus to the main campus for a couple of hours. There was another incident mid-summer that I'm saving for a possible post (or maybe already posted), but the people the jandarma took away that time weren't students.

I keep getting Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" stuck in my head, and I can't decide how good or bad it is, really, to live in interesting times.

koszyczek said...

The old chinese say it is a curse and I believe them. Anyways, I'd rather choose and organize my own entertainmet...

Stranger said...

Yeah, it's interesting to a point, until it becomes not interesting anymore. But I don't think we're into bad days yet. Just exciting ones.