The starting point for many of us is the realization that we often feel that we operate in a stifling, uncreative and even repressive environment. We have come to understand this not just as an abstract critique of the modern university but in our everyday experience. This has increased over the past couple of years, most obviously in the arrests and subsequent racist treatment of two members of the university community, the elitist position taken in issues of academic freedom, culminating in the physical suppression of student protest over Gaza. We want to challenge the University’s understanding of itself as standing outside of and above the community except when there is money to be made or a PR opportunity. We don’t see it as a neutral institution, setting standards whilst remaining aloof from conflict. Conflicts within society should be expressed and explored as part of university life. In suppressing this, the University itself becomes a focus and source of conflict.
Continued at http://autonomousnott.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/alternative-education-in-nottingham-some-thoughts/