Tuesday, January 24, 2012

London Mills

Forty three years ago today, on January 24th 1969, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) shut down following student riots. LSE consistently ranks as a top 20 school in one thing or another most years. Four Fabians (Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw) came up with the idea to start LSE at a breakfast party at Borough Farm, near Milford, Surrey, on 4 August 1894.

LSE students wanted to highlight their belief that it was their democratic right to influence the appointment of Dr. Adams (in 1967), who had served in Rhodesia. They “occupied some buildings”. The schools administrators decided there were some buildings they would prefer to not have occupied, and so put up some metal grating to dissuade the students from entering those buildings. The students thought that the grating disrupted their freedom of expression, and so they removed them, with sledgehammers. This angered the administrators who had a couple dozen students arrested. This in-turn angered the students who staged a sit-in in front of the police station, in the middle of the road. Since everything was pretty much at a standstill the administrators shut down the campus.

In 1969 USA campuses were being disrupted by anti-Vietnam war protests. Protests conducted by the very people who risked being drafted to fight in that war. These English protests by contrast were sparked by a dislike of African involvement by a Director who had already been in his position for over a year. Nobody was shot, no teargas was lobed, no-one was hospitalized due to brutal police beatings, but it was rather inconvenient.

In 2009 John Ata Mills was elected President of Ghana; one of the most stable and peaceful African countries.

In 1969 John Ata Mills was a student at LSE.

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