Occupation from the Outside

By Anique Baillon


The occupation of the amphitheater LS01 this week has gained attention from students and campus media, but also from regional media sources. Following the recent media attention gained by the evacuation of Tolbiac, and the occupation of Sciences Po’s Paris campus, the media appears eager to report on the occupation on our campus. Since the vote on Monday evening, news sources have published information about the situation. Le Figaro, L’Union, L’Hebdo du Vendredi, France 3, Ouest-France and L’Ardennais all published online articles. France 3 was the only media source to send camera crews and report live from the campus.

These articles are all relatively short and repeat much of the same information. They report between 30 and 50 people occupying the amphitheater. However, many did not report on the number of people that voted for and against the occupation, and none reported the number of students present at the General Assembly. All published the same basic idea that the occupation is occuring in protest of the Immigration and Asylum Law passed on Sunday, the Vidal Law about university selection, and police brutality in France. Most also include a brief statement from the administration denouncing the protests. There are also repeated mentions of the fact that this campus is fifty percent international students.

L’Ardennais provided only the most simple explanation of the occupation. L’Hebdo du Vendredi included an interview with Stanislas Benoist, the newly elected president of Les Républicains Sciences Po on this campus. L’Union and Le Figaro gave broader student opinions and perceptions of the occupation. They both manage to express the sense of confusion that has been felt by students since the occupation was announced. L’Union and Ouest-France were the only sources to post the entirety of the communiqué of the occupiers.

France 3 gave the most complete information, particularly due their publishing of a three minute video which included interviews with students. They showed the students waiting outside the campus to give food and blankets to the occupiers late Monday night. Interviews with clear explanations of the motivations of the occupation are included, as well as the arguments against it. They are also the only news source to report on the events of yesterday morning, when students waited in front of Sciences Po until the reopening of the campus at 10:00 a.m.

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