Musharraf missed


in Daily updates, Oxford, Politics

Protestors outside the Oxford Union, while Pervez Musharraf was inside

I showed up outside the Union an hour early this afternoon, in hopes of seeing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf speak. Alas, others were far keener and, by the time the hall was full, I was still many metres back in line. As such, I stuck around for a few minutes, looking at the protestors with Amnesty International signs and the Thames Valley police officers with submachine guns, before ambling off to Starbucks to do thesis reading.

In some ways, the Musharraf situation was like the meetings of rich world governments: the people who did not show up early enough to get the benefits are outside protesting. Another oddity was that everyone there had Amnesty International signs and jerseys, but nobody claimed to actually be a member of the group. Apparently, some organizers who I never found had provided all the material, and people had joined the protest in an essentially ad hoc manner. Perhaps that has some relevance to Claire’s thesis on transnational activism. Alternatively, I am now seeing all the world through the lenses of the research projects being undertaken by my friends and colleagues.

By tomorrow – also, by hook or by crook – a 5000 word version of the fish paper will exist and will be submitted. Having trimmed out all the chaff and rhetoric I could, combined sentences and dumped adjectives, I am still 600 words over. For a paper that started off at 6800 words, this isn’t too bad. Of course, the final cuts will be the hardest. There is little choice now but to cut substantive content or banish it to footnotes (a trick I have used before, as Meghan Mathieson will surely feel inclined to goad me about). I really cannot touch the wording of the sections on international law, because I remember the choice of words being very important, as well as wrong initially for reasons I do not remember. Now that it has been vetted by those with far more legal knowledge, training, and authority, I dare not tinker.

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