Dear campus occupiers, when I watch you, my hope sinks

Dear campus occupiers, when I watch you, my hope sinks
Dear campus occupiers, when I watch you, my hope sinks

Dear campus occupiers, our young people are the future: every time I hear or read that hollow, stupid and unnecessary statement, the enamel spontaneously falls off my teeth. Water is wet, the Pope pretends to be Catholic and our young people are the future – well, it will no longer come to José and Gerard, who are together 180 years old and are waiting for the end hand in hand. Those who are young today will soon help determine the course of the planet.

Quite crazy.

I’m not looking forward to that, I have to say. When I watch you like this, with those tents and flags in the Ghent UFO building, I lose hope. What a sad display. So good, so docile, so boring. You only do what you have been officially given permission to do by Mr. Rector, do not get in the way and clean up everything. That’s not a protest, that’s playing protest, like children playing shop – with plastic carrots and fake money. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took turns going to Hotel Mama for a few days, for clean underwear and fresh sandwiches. At American universities, campus occupations are already being called a student intifada. Here it looks more like a Chiro camp. Do you play Fat Bertha to pass the time? Is the skipper sometimes also allowed to sail over?

Your requirements platform is also a shabby mess. End Genocide. End Fossil. In addition to a boycott of Israeli universities and an end to the massacre in Gaza, you also want Ghent University to adopt a more sustainable approach. An honorable question in itself, but I don’t understand why you are mixing the debate about fossil fuels with your desire for peace. This way you can stay busy and suddenly put all your dreams on the agenda. Given the fact that Comac, the student brigade of the PVDA, is co-driving your actions, this would culminate in total revolution, the overthrow of the Military-Industrial-Capitalist Complex. Everything has to change, because the whole world is enslaved, we are all victims of the ruling powers, we are structurally oppressed and that should be stopped! It is a conspiracy theory that can rival that of QAnon, but on the left – so everyone participates in virtue flaunting in their own parish. It’s fortunate that it stays that way in your case, because revolutions often end in eager bloodshed. For a good cause, right? If you put all the bad guys under the ax or before the firing squad, only the good guys will be left. Logically. Always works.

In America people are already talking about a student intifada. Here it looks more like a Chiro camp

That brings us to the heart of the matter. The moral of the story. You, through your spokeswoman Siska, did not make a very good impression in that area either. She was in last weekend The seventh day to explain your actions, and that went completely wrong. If our young people are the future, the future will look suspiciously like the present – I was thinking as I gritted my teeth in front of the TV.

Initially, Siska – she uses a pseudonym to underline the collective dimension of your actions – got off to a good start. She knows her files, is articulate, sharp and smart. I don’t rule out that we will hear a lot more from her in the future, when José and Gerard have long since shared an underground love tomb. Siska is already ready for Flemish politics, because at the end of the interview by Lieven Verstraete and Lisbeth Imbo, when The Lasting Question came up, she took out The Debate Sheet – an index card with responses to questions that people would rather not answer. As soon as a politician reaches for The Debate Sheet, the journalist knows that the interview will continue going in circles. Although that is also educational. Disgusting. It happened to Siska when asked about Hamas.

As committed students, you have probably heard about the centuries of persecution of Jews that culminated in the camps. There are many books about that. Every now and then Canvas programs a documentary about that hell. Well, on Saturday, October 7, 2023, the largest pogrom since the Holocaust took place in Israel. More than a thousand innocent men and women, children and students were raped and slaughtered. More than a hundred taken hostage.

But Siska did not want to condemn Hamas, she kept repeating that the activists are “against racism, sexism, discrimination and anti-Semitism” – and I wondered: which of those four sections does killing babies fall under?

Dear students, listen for once to the advice of a slightly older, white cishet man: bring reason and focus to your action. Condemn Hamas, and then go full throttle in your opposition to the insane hell that Netanyahu and his far-right war gang have turned Gaza into. This criminal and sickeningly disproportionate retaliation must stop. Leave your tents, mobilize for that one cause, fill the streets and let the protest against the bombing of babies resound from a hundred thousand throats. You are just in time to call on the Flemish people to drive through the village and city on Saturday evening, honking loudly, with their bicycle, scooter and car, so that no TV viewer can hear anything said or sung during the Eurovision final – yep, While you were lying in a tent, Europe collectively dropped its pants this week. So put yours on and get started!

The future is counting on you.

Peaceful greetings

Joël De Ceulaer, senior writer

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Dear campus occupiers watch hope sinks


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