Anushka Nagji

Anushka Nagji

Victoria’s Occupy movement launches community outreach

The local leaderless Occupy movement remains active, with assemblies aimed at attracting student protestors throughout January.

On New Year’s Day, they offered soup, fresh salmon and musical entertainment in Centennial Square.

This week, they’re headed to campuses around the region.

The People’s Assembly of Victoria may have faded from the spotlight, but the local leaderless Occupy movement remains active, with assemblies aimed at attracting student protestors throughout January.

“We’re trying to open up a space for discussion, space for dissent and space for finding solutions,” said Anushka Nagji, a People’s Assembly of Victoria participant and law student at the University of Victoria. “(We’re exploring) ways to empower and access students, to hook them into the movement.”

The People’s Assembly of Victoria will facilitate a special assembly at noon today (Jan. 11) outside the University of Victoria’s McPherson Library.

The University of Victoria Students’ Society will not be officially represented at the event. However, the student group supports the assembly’s interest in bringing to light issues such as rising student debt, said society chairperson Tara Paterson.

The Camosun College Students’ Society is also in the early stages of collaboration with the People’s Assembly of Victoria, which will likely have an on-campus presence during January, as well as during a student action campaign, All Out, on Feb. 1.

“They’re interested in issues we’ve been fighting for for a long time,” said Camosun College Student Society external executive Madeline Keller-MacLeod. “Lots of our students are supportive of the movement, so we definitely welcome it.”

Nagji has no set goals for Occupy Victoria, outside of her personal hopes for increased democracy and the dismantling of bureaucracies, she said.

“What is attractive and exciting to me, about Occupy right now, is that I’m creating those goals with other people,” she said.

The People’s Assembly of Victoria will continue to target specific community groups in the months ahead, Nagji added, noting that Occupy Victoria would like to better represent a more diverse cross-section of the population.

nnorth@saanichnews.com