A very small anti-Israel, pro-Palestine demonstration is currently occurring on Broad Street in Oxford. From the Upper Reading Room, we could see them coming down Brasenose Lane & into Radcliffe Square. This was about five minutes ago; from the noise, they seem to have passed under us (though not through the Bodleian quadrangle) and are presumably on Broad Street now. There are a LOT of (very bored) police officers for such a tiny group.
Something tells me they’re not going to end the occupation… still, better not to be in the same league as effective but lunatic Mel Broughton (who is apparently a landscape gardener, oddly enough), who was finally sentenced to a decade in prison on Friday, for conspiracy to commit arson. In my v early days at the OxStu, I had the privilege of being ‘person who rang up M Broughton to have him swear at them, in the certain knowledge of gleaning interesting-for-which-read-terrifying quotes’. Then I ended up on a BBC documentary. This article, though, says it all better than I ever can — the author also seems to have had the privilege of telephone chats with Broughton. I particularly like the exchange in the first two comments:
And there’s something wrong with being ideologically-driven is there?
That rather depends on whether you’re ideologically driven to burn shit down.
Something rather cooler that’s been happening on Broad Street – the unveiling of a 7-foot Antony Gormley sculpture, to stand on the roof of Exeter College. It’s part of the Another Time series, tho I can’t find which number this sculpture is (here is a picture of IV). I remember seeing a Gormley retrospective (with Jenny, incidentally) at the Baltic, just after we finished our GCSEs. Mostly, I must admit, I remember how cold I was and how much it rained that day. Because I have no soul.
Lots of student theatre coming up – am seeing Don Carlos at the Playhouse tonight (most of the company seems to be from Oriel, the poor little things are looking dead from lack of sleep, and the online booking system’s just crashed, the director must be hyperventilating — still, the reviews say it’s brilliant, I’ll have to let you know) & reviewing the press preview of The Recruiting Officer on Thursday. The second is the great invisible show of Hilary, but according to the very enthusiastic email from the rather wonderfully-named Helen Gush (she is the Marketing Manager, after all), it does exist, and will be previewing at Hilda’s tomorrow night.
I am in no way eating a biscotti in the Bod.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.