Sorry it’s very basic – I meant to elaborate on the notes a bit but left it too long and lost my grasp of the meeting’s subtleties. Still gives a good sense of what we talked about (thanks to Anastasia for taking the notes!).
PS. Remember to fill in the Doodle so we can plan our next meeting! http://www.doodle.com/c8vsqc27cnwe55p7
ORC 15/10/12 @Cuts Café
Simon introduced ORC and ORC projects
Sam introduced Guidelines of Research. Particularly interested in subverting copyright. Also in Participatory Action Research Network (PARN), because UCL is void of spaces for radical research, so wanted to help open that space at UCL, but also working with other unis and colleges in London. UCL planning post-Olympics to buy & knock down housing estate in Stratford to build biochemical faculty. As researchers, UCL members and activists this is highly relevant.
Discussion of similar projects to ORC
Hussain talked about the University of Lincoln – Social Science Centre
network of like-minded lecturers doing teach-ins
Set up a membership collective but they cannot accredit BA and MA degrees because it is too expensive (maybe distance learning will offer a solution there)
An alternative, cooperative way of organizing teaching (no official link with the university but set up by some radical lecturers)
‘Sustaining free universities’ network convergence in Oxford
FSO (‘For Strategic Optimism’)
(they occupy banks and then deliver lectures as the ‘University of Strategic Optimism’ à see piece in Occupied Times
‘Campaign for public university’
General discussion about ORC
Q. Differences between activist and participatory research? – Simon: this is more of a space to discuss different methodologies
Information about a campaign about housing benefits and ‘Taxpayers against poverty’ (300 members)
Group is not exclusive to academics – thinking about how to relate different types of research (e.g. NGO or community research)
Anastasia: Connecting with occupyresearch.net – learning from other activist-research groups (also from past movements e.g. Global Justice Movement)
Need to think about how our research benefits action (not only about ethics and methodologies which can become ‘academic navel-gazing’)
Create a repository of research but we also need to disseminate it
Disequilibrium between the mainstream institutional work
Research on exhaustion in activism – interesting because it can help us think about tactics
- But we also need to talk about the persistence of activism not only exhaustion
Outreach as another project for the collective?
Sustainability of political activism and campaigning (and subcultures) –
Activist-research of activism?
Collectivizing research on the topic?
Occupyresearch.net – create links with it (think how we can use it as a repository) – Anastasia to liaise
Tap into already existing journals (before existing our own)
Establishing a direct action research group
Creating a list of references – e.g. a Zotero group?
Disseminating already existing research done by activists?
Ask the GA in terms of information that they need?
Simon: this list of projects is not exhaustive (there are other things that we can do)
Start from what we want to do and then think of research
Are we creating a skill or are creating research fit to action?
Occupy is increasingly diverse but Occupy London – the GA is not well-attended
Think of an action (e.g. in terms of copyright)
Event about learning from the past and burnout – link up experienced and young activists (and activist researchers) – archiving interviews
There is already existing material (that we can think of archiving)
It’s not laboratory research but it’s research aimed at creating a more ethical society, a more inclusive democratic process
PARN network is going to do a skillshare – we can do a ‘learning from the past’ session
Exchanging research with other people – ‘Research study group’ – reviewing and commenting on each other’s work
Simon to write up a blog post based on the minutes of this meeting
Setting up a doodle to arrange our next meeting – possibly within the next fortnight?
Meeting of the radical education group tomorrow night