World famous academic to speak at Tent City University

By staff writers
21 Nov 2011

Occupy London's Tent City University, located between St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Stock Exchange, is to host leading Spanish academic Professor Manuel Castells.

The world famous sociologist, regarded as one of the key thinkers of the new millennium, will give a free teach-in on Friday 25 November 2011, at midday.

Castells is the latest in a line of top-name speakers, a trend which is gaining the Occupy movement a reputation for feeding the mind as well as strengthening practical resistance to economic and political injustice.

A half hour lecture by Castells entitled 'The crisis always rings twice: from financial crisis to fiscal crisis to political crisis' will be followed by a question and answer session.

Professor Castells, who has taught at Oxford, MIT and UC Berkeley, is probably best known as the author of The Network Society.

He is a leading theorist on the potential of networked organisation in enabling change, and the role of social movements in shaping urban space.

Martin Dittus, a supporter of Occupy LSX and member of the tech team said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Manuel Castells here for a rare UK lecture. Castells was one of the first to write about the new kinds of social organisation we are experiencing here at the occupation. I think he’s delighted that so many of his ideas are coming to practical fruition here.”

Academics and activists, trade unionists and clergy, celebrities and cleaners - people from all kinds of backgrounds, with varied expertise, are proving keen to participate in education and debate with Occupiers.

The trend is likely to increase with the establishment of the Bank of Ideas, based at a reclaimed redundant UBS complex in Hackney, which sits alongside the City Tent University as a seat of alternative learning close to the heart of Britain's tarnished financial centre.

On 19 November internationally renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood visited Occupy London to make the connection between her concerns about climate change and the economic crisis.

The occupation was also addressed by Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, who spoke of the need to make the links between those in power and an international agenda to oppose wars, including one possibly looming with Iran.

* Tent City University: http://tentcityuniversity.occupylsx.org/
* Manuel Castells: http://www.manuelcastells.info/en/
* Bank of Ideas: http://www.bankofideas.org.uk/
* Occupy London Stock Exchange: http://occupylondon.org.uk/

[Ekk/3]

[1] http://tentcityuniversity.occupylsx.org/

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