Student sets up organisation to bring together Manchester action groups
The Student Consciousness Movement is to act as an ‘umbrella organisation’
Meet the latest student-led organisation, called the Student Consciousness Movement (SCM).
SCM has been set up by third year Manchester student Marcell Mapp, in the aim to act as an umbrella organisation for all of the student-action groups and initiatives which have been recently set up.
Marcell was motivated to start the group, partly due to a negative experience, where he felt specifically targeted by police at a recent SAFER protest: “They didn’t speak to anyone else but me and one encroached into my personal space, causing me to trip over”.
Marcell was also motivated to start the movement due to being an activist since May with organisation, Black Lives Matter. He has come to university and feels that he is just seeing the “same injustices and mental emancipation.”
The Student Consciousness Movement states: “The education system has become corrupted with its own self-interest and now views students as commodities and not as the backbone of the system that we truly are.
“The time to join together and take matters into our own hands is now.”
In recent weeks, Manchester has seen multiple protests, action groups and events take place, with a student having even been ‘racially profiled’ by university security.
In light of the SAFER protest, Marcell told The Manchester Tab: “One of the policeman came directly over to me, despite me sitting down with my flatmate who was in my social bubble. They didn’t speak to anyone else but me despite it not being clear I was involved in the protest.
“The policeman told me to ‘leave the area now’ and when I asked under what grounds, the police officer threatened me with a fine if he came back to find me there again. He told his colleague to come ‘deal’ with me..
“The same officer confiscated our speaker without reason, and encroached into my personal space, causing me to trip backwards. The officer told me, ‘you fell purposely’.
“At one point, I had six officers around me, refusing to give me any reason or information about the speaker. We weren’t even given a proper receipt, it was written on a scrap of paper. I have sought advice from a lawyer and they tried to contact the police department, but we have just been ignored.”
Due to not only recent events, but taking inspiration for the group from the black consciousness movement in South Africa during apartheid, Marcell told The Manchester Tab, he “wanted to create a student led movement which could regain a collective group mentality.”
Marcell said: “In South Africa during apartheid, black people were conditioned into thinking they could not get any better. I am seeing the same situation here.
“Students are so entrenched in conditions that they don’t feel they can get any better”.
Marcell hopes that this movement will regain a collective consciousness and promote a group mentality among students. The aim behind the movement is to: “Unite all the groups who are doing so many different things, i.e. UoMRentStrike, SAFER and 9K4WHAT.
“These groups are dotted around, but I think it would be beneficial to have one umbrella organisation which they can all be under.”
In uniting these groups, Marcell hopes that the movement can aid communication and operations, coordinate activities and mean that groups can all promote one another.
Marcell said: “This movement is not solely for Manchester. It has started here, yes, due to recent events, however Manchester is the catalyst for change.
“Students in places such as York and Sunderland are already interested, so there is so much potential to grow.”
Marcell stressed that the movement is, “decentralised” and that “no one is in charge as per say”. The movement is so that everyone has a voice and everyone’s opinions are included.
Marcell said: “There are so many negatives at the moment, and it is hard to have a positive consciousness because us students have all become ingrained in these conditions”.
Despite the positivity of this movement and the opportunities Marcell has become a part of to help promote change, Marcell said: “It is very overwhelming, but I’ve had good support from my closest and some of my lecturers. It is hard but it is worth it.”
Student Consciousness Movement is looking for groups to get involved – they want to unite as many organisations as possible and to be that link between groups. They are, “invested in hearing everyone’s voices and opinions. It is integral that everyone’s perspective is included”.