There have been a number of big and/or intense actions on university campuses in recent days, as detailed on various web sites. (See for example here, here, and here.) I’ve not followed that stuff much at all, from (what were, I think,) the first ones in New York to the more recent ones in California. I think this is important and exciting stuff. I wish someone would sum up what’s happened so far for me, in a short-ish and readable article with a “for further reading” section at the end.

I wonder how much of all this is the result of longstanding projects and relationships and how much of this is the result of things (you know, things – relationships, networks, etc) that are being built much more quickly. I particularly wonder about how this stuff is spreading. Are (some of) the same people involved from one effort to the next? If so, at what level – planning, or just spreading the idea? Are people hearing about occupations then being inspired to occupy? If so, by what means? And what people? Few or none of the possibilities here are mutually exclusive. My hunch is that this stuff is being spread something like the following – radicalized students who are plugged into some informal information networks hear about one occupation through somewhat passive outreach (by passive outreach I mean here material that one sort of has to be looking for to find, not a clear or well worked out definition I know), get fired up, try to spread information further in other parts of their social and information networks. What I wonder most about is the participation of less politicized students. How much is it happening? If it is to much of a significant degree, how is it happening? How much outreach is being done beyond the circles of the usual suspects? (I don’t mean that dismissively, I can’t think of a better term.) I think this has a lot of bearing on what might be done by those of us who aren’t involved and who live far away. Among other things, I wonder if some kind of coordinated outreach might be done, and if that would be actually useful, to let more people know about all this – beyond the usual suspects.

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