What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free Learning

So during the last week I have been getting out of the house a bit.  I went to two study groups, and wanted to illuminate that these are the types of things that Occupy is doing and bringing to the social critique.  Despite what the media may cover, we are not just yelling in the streets, we are learning in small groups and helping to impart and exchange knowledge and ideas.

The first group was organized by the Urban Rebuilding Initiative based out of the Bronx.  They are doing tremendous work on activating communities, growing and giving out healthy food, and trying to energize communities to bring about real change.  They are also very engaged with the think tank.  We met in Manhattan for a reading and discussion of the first two chapters of Walter Mosley's book Twelve Steps to Political Revelation.  We had about six people there and ended up with a rather lively discussion about education and its place in society/society's place in education.  There were a few people I knew from Occupy, a few activists, and a young student just testing the waters of the world.   Great cooperative discussion that you don't find elsewhere.  Intelligent, informed, and experienced people those Occupiers!

The second group was last night.  The Free University, Occupy, and the Strike Debt campaign had a discussion group of about 15 or so people discussing debt and its meaning.  There was not the same focused discussion as with URI, but still, all the same it was an interesting discussion.  It was at the New School and included a lot more of an academic feel.  I don't know if I will go back to this one though as it wasn't what I expected.  I wanted to get more insight and understanding of debt rather than personal anecdotes on debt.  I have a fabulous debt resistors manual that my time trying to add that knowledge would probably be better spent reading.  But no matter, these things are tremendously worth going to for both learning and socializing.  Occupy has set up all sorts of networks and these types of learning things all over the city.  Lots to learn, nothing to pay!!

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