I just saw this recent New York Times column titled Occupy Wall Street Protesters Shifting to College Campuses. I want to note that – at least in some crucial ways – the occupy movement isn’t shifting to campuses but returning there.
Here, from the excellent site Student Activism, is a map of campus protests and occupations in the United States from 2009-2010. Protests and occupations in defense of public universities and the right to college education:
“The red markers are building occupations, the blue ones are demonstrations, the green ones are strikes, and the yellow ones are other newsworthy stories.”
To give a sense of continuity and in case you haven’t already seen this disgusting video from yesterday, here is a police officer indiscriminatingly pepper-spraying a row of sitting, peacefully protesting UC Davis students. Students fighting for public universities and the right to college education:
The University of California regents are considering raising tuition 81% over the next four years, moving the world class system further away from a right citizens have to develop their talents to a debt-financed commodity they indentured themselves to access as consumers. Here’s one response to the video, and here’s an open letter to the Chancellor from a faculty member.
You may also have seen this video of police attacking Berkeley students fighting for public universities and the right to college education:
But this has been ongoing since before the protests. Here’s an image of police attacking Berkeley students fighting for public universities and the right to college education from two years ago in November 2009:
This was days after the University of California increased tuition 32 percent. Here there was an actual occupation of the school itself, where at least 40 students took over and occupied Wheeler Hall. The image is from Aaron Bady, who wrote this great post in 2009 about the event when it happened back then. He shared an email he circulated about how to discuss the occupation with his students, which ”is unavoidable because at least a half dozen of my current students were out there last Friday, and at least one of them was beaten by police batons.”
But this dynamic existed elsewhere previous to the current Occupy movements. Here’s an image of police attacking students at University of Puerto Rico fighting for public universities and the right to college education from earlier this year:
Students were protesting massive waves of layoffs of government workers, campus faculty and an estimated 100% tuition hike. Here’s the wikipedia entry on the Puerto Rico student strikes as a starter, which have been an ongoing affair since 2010.
This is also in other countries. Meanwhile here’s an image of police attacking students in Chile fighting for public universities and the right to college education from earlier this year:
Their demands include free public education and increased state support for public universities. Here’s the wikipedia entry on the Chilean student strikes as a starter. These protests date back to 2006, where students fought high application fees they couldn’t afford.
There’s more, of course. There were protesters at McGill in Canada last week facing tear gas and riot police for protesting tuition increases over the next five years. Massive student protests in the UK have been ongoing since 2010 due to the huge increases in student tuition that are being introduced there. Where else am I missing?
Students understand the fleecing that is taking place, where the government looks to cut taxes on the rich while disassembling and privatizing what remains of security, infrastructure and the elements of the state that works for people. In line with ignoring youth unemployment, the abandonment of cultivating the capabilities of the next generation as a right is a betrayal worth fighting. Education and the indenturing debts now associated with it is one of the most obvious and important fronts in this battle.
Note: post updated to include google map at beginning, and caught mistake alluding to Puerto Rico as another country.