From the Picket Line

For those of us in UK acad­e­mia, it’s been impos­si­ble to miss the strikes over the last four weeks, with aca­d­e­mics from across the coun­try stand­ing their ground for a fair and equi­table pen­sion. There are many incred­i­bly detail­ing the devel­op­ments and explain­ing how this is about for a walk of life that just does­n’t have to be sub­ject to the warped val­ues of the Neo-lib­er­al project.

Per­son­al­ly, what I’ve found inspi­ra­tional is the cov­er­age from the pick­et line and the indus­try of oth­ers. Nat­u­ral­ly, there have been the march­es, the ban­ners, and the teach-ins. But, with such gen­er­a­tive care and warmth, what has brought spe­cial cheer to me have been the many out­stand­ing exam­ples of cre­ative impulse: of craft (like that record­ed by Jacob Phelps below), of design (from Kat­ja May, Kat Jung­nick­el, etc. at Gold­smiths), and of poet­ry (no less from the fab­u­lous Michael Rosen).

Giv­en it would be hard to add to all the amaz­ing com­men­tary on the pen­sion strikes, what I want to pay spe­cial homage to here is the dance (and a lit­tle song) from the pick­et line. Brows­ing the not-so-dis­tant twit­ter archive, I’ve tried to dig out a few out the high­lights from the last few weeks that can’t help bring a smile to my face. It must be said, that among all the won­der­ful exam­ples, Lan­cast­er goes gold hands down for the PEF (Pick­et Excel­lence Frame­work), and Imo­gen Tyler deserves a spe­cial award of excel­lence for her unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to impact dis­sem­i­na­tion, Twitter-wide.

Here’s to all the dancers (and musi­cians) on the pick­et line


For exam­ple, from Jason Hick­el, David Ker­nohan, via Medi­um, etc. Karen Gre­go­ry has put togeth­er a list of UCU Strike Read­ings. Lucy Robin­son’s strike scrap­book also deserves a spe­cial mention.