Reflection: An Empowering, Educational, and Fun Experience.
April 4, 2011
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The occupation empowered me in ways I have never felt before, helped me meet and befriend many radical/progressive minded people I may have never seen before, and helped me learn many skills to use in future struggles and organizing. Like what Hallie said on Wednesday, “I had always thought the University was full of apathetic people, it is great to see so many people who are working together for something like this.” I had no idea that there were this many people who were willing to drop everything, in order to help keep the occupation going.
The occupation of the Social Science was a roller coaster of a ride, full of great experiences, learning, and people.
The occupation helped give me a space where I could test out my ability to teach. On Thursday I facilitated a yoga session and an introduction to organizing workshop. These were the first times I taught a group yoga or about organizing, and the occupation was a safe and great space to do it in. The occupation helped to create an open, democratic space for education and learning, a model that I hope the University of Minnesota will someday adopt. I met a lot of like-minded, great people. The networking and community the occupation helped build were priceless.
Of course, not everything was positive. We were too unorganized for my liking, possibly because many of us couldn’t be around all the time due work and school. This led to many people not knowing what has been done, or what to do, and what was decided at previous meetings. The importance of organizing and planning were clearly brought to the front of my mind, and can be a big lesson for us to learn from.
I am very proud with how the group was able to come together after the University sent 8 armed police officers to kick us out. We were able to get back on our feet, and now focus our energy on helping other groups as an action solidarity network. The experience itself has been a great learning experience for me, and I assume many others. I am very excited, and confident about the future of UMN Solidarity.