With relationships between management and labour as fractious as they are in today’s society, the current round of UCU strikes was always going to be controversial. With tempers frayed surrounding the issue, and compromise seemingly impossible, many languish despondently, convinced of the hopelessness of the situation.
Not one student. Isaac Lee, a 21 year old Chemistry Undergraduate hailing from Hong Kong has taken a proactive approach regarding all this, hurling a molotov cocktail into the ground floor of the Arts and Social Sciences Library. Lee’s actions have polarised opinion on campus. The Bristol Marxist-Leninist Society (LemSoc) released an official action endorsing the act – arguing that they supported the advancement of class struggle through any means. One mildly singed second year, on the other hand, stated that while she supported workers rights and equitable treatment for university lecturers’, Lee had perhaps gone “a bit far” with his anarchist antics.
Concerns abound that if the situation continues to deteriorate at its current pace, the university could rapidly deploy the Combined Cadet Force, heightening fears of a brutal crackdown.
Will Lee’s actions herald a full throttled spiral into total UoB Anarchy, or will the violence prove to be a necessary step in securing long fought for economic concessions? Lee himself had little to say regarding this, only that he thought the whole thing had been a “bit of a laugh.”
In the shadow of the now scorched ASSL, no sign of a resolution is in sight.