How British art students occupied their college in 1968

1968 US leaflet in solidarity with French workers and students

From British daily The Morning Star:

The art school revolt

(Tuesday 27 May 2008)

IN FOCUS: The Hornsey College of Art occupation

ROCKING THE ESTABLISHMENT: Hornsey 1968: The Art School Revolution by Lisa Tickner.

NICK WRIGHT remembers the year when art students shook the Establishment.

On May 28 1968, the art and design students of Hornsey College of Art occupied the main building in Crouch End.

It was in a building that subsequently became the TUC education centre and a place where thousands of workers sharpened their negotiating and organising skills.

The occupation ended after some weeks in the betrayal of negotiated agreements and expulsion of students deemed to be agitators and subversives.

Staff were sacked, departments closed and the college remained shut for most of the year while the authorities and the local Tory council assembled the instruments of repression and exclusion that enabled them to reopen the college on their terms.

I found myself fingered at a student union meeting, confronted by a court tipstaff and served with an injunction that excluded me from the college on the grounds that my presence would be “prejudicial to the academic good order of the establishment.”

A visitor hoping to get a new perspective on the political and social significance of the year 1968 from the current exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California will find that hope unfulfilled. The subject is a worthy one for a retrospective, but, while the exhibition has its entertaining aspects and is not devoid of interest, in the end it disappoints: here.

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2 thoughts on “How British art students occupied their college in 1968

  1. Pingback: French workers’ mass anti-austerity fight | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Jewish British poet Michael Rosen’s memoirs | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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