University of Antarctica

Occupy Antarctica: A Special Report

UNIVERSITY PEAK, ANT – Outrage over capitalist finance mistakes and the twirling of the globe into recession has hit the University Peak Campus.

The first warning told of impending flash mobs disrupting classes and the pathways leading from building to building. Now, what began as a protest over electricity hikes and water spikes has turned into a melee of outdoor camping and disorganized demands.

"I would not travel outside or near these loci of protest," reports Bill Gullickson, a maintenance worker. When asked to discuss their views and purposes, the protesters had this to say: "Can we not all see it? Can we not all see on the television and on the Internet? How people are rising up all over America and the World? We are a part of the World. We are a part of this World now," said Sophomore Krim Falonan.

Protest diverged in form, some students calling themselves 'Global Renegades' left the campus heating grid and made the trip to McMurdo to ignite protest there, while others prepared a budding symbology for the nascent movement. 

As days grow into longer units of time, protesters have adopted avatars and posted agenda materials to them highlighting their individual gripes with the current macrosystems. The Occupy Together meetup page lists 2,687 Occupy communities worldwide. UANT students brought the movement to the 7th continent rather later than it appeared in the Americas and Afro-Eurasia, but when it arrived, it immediately took on momentum. The avatars themselves have been growing in number everyday.

As for the aim of the movement, initially, journalists such as Shannon Bond for the US based Financial Times indicated it was not easy to disentangle a sense of unity from the Occupy Movement. Later, around December 2013, calls for it to focus on a single "Robin Hood-tax" style single-demand gained steam. Some argue there are still no clear and cohesive demands, or sets of demands, and that the overall jist remains an inchoate anger at the influence of special interest groups on elected representatives in Western and other governments- Antarctica not excepted. Conversely, occupiers of the University Peak Campus have asked for lighter workloads, higher wages in campus jobs, more spectator events, and more public spiritedness. "We want less influence of bigwig and fatcat alumni on campus activities than there is today. If you graduated thirty years ago, move on with your life!", said Junior Brie O'Brian.

Protesters have blockaded transport networks in and around campus by placing avatars in key locations, at times bringing traffic to a standstill. Other unfortunate incidents include public property destruction and vandalism of university signs. In early December, the Occupy Antarctica Movement released its first statement on multinational organizations: they demanded new scrutiny by the Antarctica business and university community to protect local interests and asked for measures to prevent the purchase of Antarctic landmarks by wealthy international cartels.

Two days ago, however, the scene again turned ugly when gigantic avatars were found towering over the automobiles and homes of university administrators and selected professors. The absence of night during Austral summer is blamed for facilitation of all-night construction projects. Other avatars simulated urination on the UN Charter and various WTO documents.

In solidarity with the northern movements, participatory democracy is pointed to as the major push of this Movement. While efforts are still underway to reach consensus with the other occupy groups about the content of the protest and the key points, students involved, like senior Kenzo Monzi have agreed that it is, "about time for the around the world global statement to be applied."

While Occupy Antarctica has been pointed to as a peace rally and an example to follow based on the sordid reports of northern mayhem, only yesterday a foreboding sign appeared in the form of avatar violence.

"This is sick, the product of a sick group of people bent on the destabilization of our entire way of life", proclaimed Junior Spartina Binikos, "Take these avatars and stand outside in the cold yourselves! Then we will see how much you believe in this pretend cause. Remember Medieval pilgrims took months and years to reach their destinations- does this group have that kind of fortitude? No, they all go home to their student house or off-campus residence and into the comfort of central heating. It is pitiful what I see on this campus, yet also menacing, because what I see are these snowtesters, and when I do, I get the feeling that people's fetishes and fantasies are fulfilled somehow through them. I don't like it. I don't know. People are sick."

This is not the first time snow avatars have been seen on UPC. To inaugurate the first Christmas railway service to and from McMurdo, an avatar was placed on the road with a ticket to see if the train would stop for people freezing in the suburbs of the station, and it did. As well last summer, when the Million Man Munch eating contest stimulated people to leave avatars at the scene of the contest after it was postponed for lack of chili, the shipment having been delayed at sea. "When I saw how many people had left them as indicators that they would be participating in the contest," an organizer said, "I knew right then and there we would not have enough food. I think they came for the free food."

If you feel threatened in or around campus, contact the ESCORT Service. UANT NewsCentre 1 is an official service created by voters in 2003.


Media Contacts:

Bill Capote, NewsCenter 1 Director,
Email Bill Capote 

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