As part of the kickoff of a week of anarchist-themed events, about 20 students gathered in the Pit Monday afternoon to learn about social divisions and workers’ rights at UNC.
Hosted by student anarchist group, UNControllables, and the Counter Cartographies Collective, an activist group that makes politically-focused maps, the discussion was the first event in a weeklong series to foster student support of anarchist ideas. Radical Rush Week, as the series of events is called, will include programs on gender, tuition, surveillance and other subjects as well as a concert and service activities.
radical rush week
The UNControllables and other groups will host several political events this week:
- Today, 7 p.m. at Wilson Library: discussion on tuition increases
- Wednesday, 4 p.m. at Internationalist Books: panel on
Chapel Hill social movements
- Friday night at Nightlight: multi-band punk show
“I hope that this will make people more aware of the way the geography around us constructs our lives,” said junior Alicia Chen, a member of the UNControllables.
During the event, participants drew on a large map of campus and discussed questions like: “Where do you see corporate logos on campus?” and “Where do we see, feel or otherwise sense borders on campus?”
“One of the main things we’re trying to do is trying to think critically about the University as a space,” said Liz Mason-Deese, a geography graduate student and member of the Counter Cartographies Collective. Mason-Deese said the group decided to focus on labor and workers because the event took place on Labor Day.
Participants in the event also helped fill out graphs marking how they spent their time and how much debt they would have after graduation. Mason-Deese said she wanted the event to start a conversation about the larger economic and social implications of student debt.
Chen said she thought the event was a success and that she was looking forward to the rest of the events in Radical Rush Week.
“I really like it because I feel like it’s making me more aware of the way the different things on campus make an impact on me,” she said.
Chen said she wants participants in Radical Rush Week to learn about ways to affect social change.
Freshman Megan Ledford said she attended the event to learn more about the UNControllables and the group’s ideas.
“I just find it really interesting,” she said. “I like to hear a lot of views on things.”
Freshman Jack McGrath said curiosity brought him to the program.
“They seem to group anarchism with social justice and also anti-capitalism,” he said. “I’m not necessarily interested in joining them, but I just wanted to check it out.”
McGrath said he emailed the UNControllables over the summer to ask about the group’s events for the fall semester. He said he thought attendance would be higher at other Radical Rush Week events because the first one was held on a holiday.
“I’d really like to develop some political opinions while I’m here,” he said. “(The UNControllables) seem really passionate about it.”
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