Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011-10-18 "Occupy the Campuses - Seize the time! Occupy everything, demand and fight for everything!"

from "Bail Out the People Movement" [bailoutpeople@organizerweb.org]   
Statement by the Bail Out the People Movement in support of students and activists in Denver Colorado who are embarking on an occupation of the largest university campus in the state.
 Bail Out the People Movement c/o Solidarity Center, 55 W 17th St #5C
[212-633-6646] [http://bailoutpeople.org]
 Bail Out the People Movement, like many others, is inspired by the  tremendous movement that has been unleashed around the country. The  occupation movement has captured the imagination of so many who have  been suffering under the conditions of a system that is in a deep and  intractable crisis. BOPM salutes the achievements of the Occupy Wall  Street Movement. This movement must not and cannot be stopped.
Of course, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is not perfect; no  movement is. Clearly, this movement will not be able to realize its  full revolutionary potential unless the most thoughtful and serious  activists within its ranks struggle to overcome any and all barriers  to the movements full union with communities of color, and those who  because of race, religion, gender or class bear the brunt of  inequality and oppression. Activists in communities of color and  others have taken on the task of developing consciousness and using  the space opened up to help bring about such a full union.
We stand with all people struggling and fighting and say continue  forward. Seize the time! Occupy everything, demand and fight for  everything!
 As the weather grows inclement we hope the movement does not wane and  continues to grow, so we salute activists in Denver, Colorado who are  embarking on an occupation of the largest university campus in the  state. Like the students and activists there, we call on all students  to seize your colleges and universities against cuts, tuition  increases and for more educational opportunities for oppressed people  of color and more opportunities to learn the history of their  different cultures. We call on workers facing layoffs and plant  closures to seize your work places, families facing foreclosures and  evictions, seize your homes and apartments.
 Statement issued by students and activists in Denver, Colorado:
 *Occupy the Campuses/Decolonize Our Minds*
 The college campuses across this country are a microcosm of the  financial problems that our communities are facing. Students are  struggling with high levels of debt, corporations have become a higher  priority than the students on campuses, university workers are denied  their right to organize for better working conditions and the  education we receive only serves to further a dominant paradigm that  supports an economic system rife with exploitation.
 As students, we carry with us the historic burden of being a radical  voice and often the deciding factor that has pressured movements to go  beyond minor reforms and move towards fundamental change in the  dominant societal structure. Therefore, we are calling for an  occupation of the Auraria Campus that will be the opening salvo in a  national movement to occupy university campuses. A network of campuses  across the country is prepared to stand in solidarity with our call to  action.
 We present these basic demands as a living document and as a foundation that can be modified through democratic practices initiated during this occupation.
 1. After three straight years of seeing our tuition raised and our  programs cut, we feel the poor are being shutout of the educational  process, further widening the gap between an elite population that has  access to the levers of powers and the rest of the population. To  address this injustice and inequality, we ask for a four year tuition  freeze for all state run institutions in order for this incoming class  to have the opportunity to graduate at the rate at which they entered  the higher educational system. We do not want our tuition to become  part of an austerity program to solve problems that have been created  by corporate greed.
2. In this economic situation we find ourselves in, we are in  solidarity with the working class, as they are part of our campus  community. We demand a halt to the unfair labor practices in regards  to the campus staff and demand that they be permitted to engage in the  process of collective bargaining with the university system so they  may have a voice in the labor practices that directly affect their  lives and families.
3. By focusing solely on dominant paradigms in the educational  curriculum, the university continues to produce community members that  only have the necessary tools to continue the current structures of  government, which have driven this country towards the economic crisis  we find ourselves in. We demand that alternative paradigms be included  in the educational system. One way which this could occur is through  further course offerings that support Indigenous societal models that  provide the necessary tools for students to work towards this paradigm  shift we speak of.
4. To support point 3, Indigenous students are aware that there are  certificate programs and degree options for Latino studies,  African-American studies, and Asian studies, but in their traditional  homeland here in Colorado, they are unable to have a comprehensive  program for Indigenous studies. This needs to be immediately  rectified.
5. All corporate funding at this University should have to obtain the  free, prior and informed consent of the student body prior to being  permitted to enter into partnerships with the University’s  educational system.
 6. Students should be encouraged to complete their course work in  order to gain their degree. Any actions that encourage students to  leave their select programs should not be allowed on campuses. This  would include military recruiters that encourage students to enlist in  the service and put their educational aspirations on hold.
7. The current wars of colonial occupation engaged in by the United  States government, in our names, have drained the resources of this  country and have had a direct impact on the financial structures  necessary for achieving a proper education in this country. We demand  an immediate end to these wars to alleviate these pressures. We ask  the government to fund books, not bombs.
8. The demographics of this and many universities across the country  do not mirror the communities they are located in. We demand more  emphasis be placed on programs to recruit and aid minority students in  the university system.
9. We demand that the universities utilize their purchase powers to  drive down the cost of educational materials, making them affordable  to all students.
10. We believe in respecting the human dignity of all of our  community members. We demand that all undocumented local residents be  permitted to pay in-state tuition to attend college.
11. President Obama has called for debt forgiveness for the Egyptian  government and the Libyan government for their commitment to entering  the democratic world. We students, with this occupy movement, are an  example of participatory democracy in action and therefore call upon  the President to provide debt forgiveness for all students currently  enrolled in the university system.

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