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Journalism students interview Occupy London evictees

Students were keen to hear from the Occupy representatives and got a chance to practice their interview technique as they shared about this global grassroots crusade and recent eviction. 

Posted: 28 February 2012

image for news story Journalism students interview Occupy London evictees
Martin Eiermann, member of Occupy London

University of Roehampton journalism students honed their interview skills in classroom press conference with Occupy London evictees, just hours after their St Paul's exit.

Jamie Kelsey-Fry and Martin Eiermann, both of whom have been involved in Occupy London for the past several months and were amongst those recently removed from the cathedral steps, spoke about their experience and gave journalism students a chance to interact and ask questions about this global grassroots crusade and current media focal point.

The students were keen to hear from the Occupy representatives and got a chance to practice their interview technique as the room filled with questions and discussion and students were challenged with the possibility of getting their story in print.

Senior Lecturer Kate Wright said: “I think it makes that sense for Journalism lecturers to skip whatever exercises they had planned for a particular day, if a major news story breaks. Students learn so much from really being part of it: interviewing eye witnesses first-hand, selecting direct quotes, and writing up news copy to a tight deadline -especially if they have a real chance of getting their first piece of work included in local newspapers. I'm very grateful to Jamie and Martin for coming along, unslept, unshaven, and before they'd even eaten properly, to be part of that process. My first years are buzzing with excitement.”

“This is the first time in history that you have a grassroots movement that’s global and wired”, said secondary school teacher Jamie.

“This is not a single issue movement; it is an umbrella movement under economic justice. Occupy has targeted the fact that the global economic system is unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic.”

Occupy London has now moved onto what some are calling ‘Occupy Two’, an outreach concentrated phase that will be aimed at schools, universities and local communities, raising awareness of their campaign and sharing their tools for open democratic debate. The plan is to ‘Occupy’ a different neighbourhood in each of London’s 33 boroughs; setting up camps for the day and helping explain the way of people’s assembly to empower and administer the tools needed to tackle issues specific to that area.

“Some believed that this was the end, but it is only the beginning. We see this as a movement, and movements have to move”, said Jamie.

“There might not be a central hub, but there is a very strong network of people. I think the thrust will be a lot of individual people focusing on individual working groups,” said Martin.

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