Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Occupy: Coming to a Secondary near You: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Occupy: Coming to a Secondary near You: News

Article excerpt

The protest movement's outreach programme is targeting schools.

Whether you regard it as a noble act of resistance against the destructive forces of capitalism or just a bunch of lefties causing trouble, the Occupy protest outside St Paul's Cathedral in London has aroused strong passions at both ends of the political spectrum.

Since it was founded on 15 October, the camp has been a focal point for the global Occupy movement, which is working to highlight economic inequality, social injustice and corporate greed. The camp has not been without its controversies: it led to the week-long closure of the cathedral in late October and the fallout from plans to forcibly evict the protesters prompted the resignations of three senior church officials.

But after attracting dozens of young people to classes at its "Tent City University" during the October half-term, Occupy will next week take its outreach programme into a new arena: schools. The group has been invited to discuss how Occupy works in a citizenship class for 150 sixth-formers at the Bishop's Stortford High School in Hertfordshire.

Former English, drama and citizenship teacher and Occupy protester Jamie Kelsey-Fry, who is leading the school outreach campaign, told TES that several more schools are keen to organise visits. "What we are not going to do is tell young people what they should be concerned about," he said. "We will help them consider how to deal with issues they think are important. We have assemblies where everyone has their say equally; the students are encouraged to create their own campaigns. …

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