Whether it’s for the first day at school, the first day of the football season, the first cut (which is the deepest, apparently), or just the first time, Third University wants to help you to be prepared. Not in a Baden Powell, proto-fascist organisation way. Or in a dodgy Aston Villa way. But in a way that helps to keep you safe. Helping you to keep yourself safe. That’s what’s currently exercising us.
So here’s the thing. We want to help you to tell your story, and there are some opportunities coming up for doing just that. Leicester is hosting Local Democracy Week, 12-19 October. John Coster has stated that:
“Now more than ever it’s vital that Leicester people get the chance to speak out and be heard about the issues which matter most to them and we’ve come together to try to create opportunities and provide platforms to make that happen.
“Our message is that if local democracy is to work, everyone’s opinion has to count and everyone has to be encouraged and enabled to express it. We also believe that there is so much we can learn from each other which could make our city a better place for us all.”
We are also aware that in the run-up to national protests on 9 and 30 November, people might be wondering how to use social media to get their ideas and stories across. From inside a protest; or outside a protest; or from a range of coffee shops; or by working with young people, or marginalised people, or unionised people, or officials, or whatever. We also think that we might usefully begin to situate those emerging stories historically. To understand how their own stories are connected to other narrtives and critiques. To understand how to work for change. This might be to connect their November 30th to other historical November 30ths.
To support this process of connecting critiques, we will be supporting two things. These things might be actions or activities or conversations. They will surely be storytelling.
The first will take place during local democracy week, and will be virtual and real. It might take the form of a tweetup or set of SKYPE chats or blog-posts or iPadio broadcasts or something else. They will take place between locations in New York, Ayr and Leicester. They will attempt to create a set of historical narratives about protest.
The second will take place during Community Media Week (2-8 November) and will involve social media training for activists. It will involve discussion about how to keep safe and still tell your story, and how to connect to others telling their story.
There will be no curriculum. Just people with different expertise. And a series of protests. And a desire to support and safe-guard.