NYC Students Hold Week of Action Against Tuition Hikes, Student Debt
in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street
Student supporters of Occupy Wall Street
will hold actions every day this week at universities throughout New
York City to draw attention to issues such as student debt, tuition
hikes, university ties to Wall Street, workers’ rights and structural
inequalities within our schools and our communities. Actions are
scheduled to take place at various City University of New York (CUNY)
campuses, Columbia, the New School, New York University, Pratt,
Juilliard and more. A full calendar of NYC actions, locations and times
is available here:
The NYC student actions are also in solidarity with
Occupy Cal (Berkeley) students, who have faced repeated police assaults
and are calling for a strike and day of action on Tuesday, November 15.
Among highlights of the week’s events are:
- A protest at
Columbia on Monday, November 14 at 12 p.m. calling on law professor
Michael Sovern, chairman of the board of Sotheby’s, to end the auction
house’s lock-out of its art handlers.
- A guest lecture by Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy in
Washington Square Park on Wednesday, November 16 at 12:30 p.m. This is
part of the ongoing “People’s U” series organized by student group NYU 4
Occupy Wall Street.
- A city-wide student strike on Thursday, November 17. Students will converge on Union Square at 3 p.m.
rally and march on Monday, November 21 beginning at 3 p.m. from Madison
Square Park to Baruch College, where there will be a CUNY Board of
Trustees public hearing. The Board has decided on 5 years of tuition
hikes for students who are already struggling to cover costs.
- Teach-ins at colleges throughout the city about direct action, anti-oppression, privilege and the legacy of student activism.
New York City All-City Student Assembly, along with General Assemblies
at various NYC colleges, coordinated the week of action in response to a
number of disturbing trends, such as student debt in the United States
surpassing credit card debt.
“Students now face two choices–tens of thousands of dollars in
student loan debt or not attending school at all,” said Brittany
Robinson, a student at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. “Education
should be an inherent right, not a privilege.” According to the Project
on Student Debt, college seniors who graduated in 2010 carried an
average of $25,250 in student loan debt.
“The lack of emphasis on accessible higher education for everyone,
the quiet privatization of our campuses, the mistreatment of our
professors and the in-school policing of students and their non-criminal
activity is a disgrace to our country,” said Emma Francis-Snyder, a
student at CUNY Brooklyn College.
“This week of action will be an incredible demonstration of student
power,” said Dan DiMaggio, a student at New York University. “It is a
step toward an education system geared toward the needs of the 99%.”
The New York City All-City Student Assembly convenes students from
universities across New York and the region to discuss common concerns
regarding the state of higher education and to coordinate efforts
occurring on our campuses. We are inspired by and in solidarity with the
greater Occupy Wall Street movement. The Assembly meets every Saturday
at noon in Washington Square Park. Learn more at http://studentweekofaction.wordpress.com