TRUTH from Mark Torres!

Sisters and Brothers,

There is a new student group called Students United for a Free CUNY that is fighting the attempt of CUNY’s Board of Trustees to keep working class youth (especially Blacks and Latinos) from attaining a college education.  This courageous group of young women and men were brutality attacked by CUNY’s police force on Monday November 21st because they were speaking out against the GENTRIFICATION of the colleges.  
Part of this GENTRIFICATION PLAN has included imposing tuition (CUNY was free from 1847 until the 1970s when People of Color became the majority) and constantly raising tuition, underfunding CUNY, eliminating OPEN ADMISSIONS, using waiting lists to dissuade people from entering CUNY, making the application process more difficult, segregating primarily Black and Latino students into Community Colleges, underfunding and disbanding Black, Latino, Asian and Women Studies Departments and downgrading them to programs, recruiting European-American students to the Senior Colleges with scholarships and building dorms for them, and by creating a POLICE STATE on campus that on a daily basis harasses and attempts to deny students their rights to free speech and assembly.

The GENTRIFICATION OF CUNY is most glaringly apparent at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn which has been chronically underfunded and is now headed by a race traitor who has attacked vital programs that link the college to the community, and who has destroyed any sense of democracy on campus.  Clearly, the Board of Trustees wants to take Medgar Evers away from the Black community and hand it over to the Hasidic Community–NYC Divisive Race Politics 101.
Moreover, the New York City Department of Education graduates students who are not ready for college, over 3/4 of our high school graduates need remedial classes when they get to CUNY, and the CUNY Board of Trustees is “RAISING STANDARDS” to push out and keep out our future leaders and defenders.  Our youth are being squeezed between RACISM at the Kindergarten through High School levels and RACISM at the City University of New York.  

While we are clear that CUNY’s Board of Trustees are puppets of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Wall Street (10 out of the 15 appointed “Trustees” are directly tied to Corporate Interests and includes 1 Board member who worked in the FBI’s counterintelligence division), we need to speak out at the next Board of Trustees’ meeting and plan for the continued fight against CUNY’s Gentrification Plan.

Press Conference

You can find links of videos and reporting done on the attack of students by CUNY Public Safety and NYPD.

Students gathered at Baruch at 4pm on Monday, November 22.  It was a CUNY-WIDE march organized by Students United for a Free Cuny, a coalition of CUNY campuses dedicated (among other things) to having open admissions at CUNY, along with its original mission of being free for any NYC public school graduate.   Students were there, in part, because the Board of Trustees is known for making damaging decisions for students, without hearing from any students.  Further, since many of Trustees are not actually educators or affiliated with education in any kind of way (they are bankers or work in Finance) it would make sense that they hear from the people whose lives they are affecting.

Over the summer the Board raised tuition for the next five years, knowing that many students were not on campus, and there would be little push back from them.  On Monday the 22nd, the Board had a “public” meeting to discuss tuition increases.  Many students tried to register and were not allowed to, meanwhile, many PSC members were denied admittance.  There was nothing public about this meeting.

The protesters were met with hostility from police and public safety, which quickly escalated into a violent attack of students and professors.  Students United is holding a press conference FRIDAY @ 12pm on the steps of CITY HALL to discuss the attack.

Watch these links and show up.

There will be another protest on Monday November 28, @4pm at Baruch, more details to come.

LINKS REPORTING ON BARUCH COMPILED BY JULIAN GUERRERO

First, an overhead video shot from inside. See the footage at 3:50 to see how the police attack the demonstratorsABC (some of the best video I’ve seen of the police violence):

Students UNITED: Working List of Demands

Drafted by Russell

*This is a working draft and there are on going conversations about additions/modifications, etc. We have some great super smart members in our group, so there will be some tweeking, but enjoy the work in progress. 

We, the students of CUNY and the people of New York, walked out of class and into this board meeting today together, because singly, we are not being heard.
We demand, of the State of New York, of Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver, and the rest of the state legislature, represented here by the CUNY Board of Trustees, a better CUNY.

We demand that you repeal this tuition increase, NYSUNY 2020, and do not pass any other increase.

 

We demand free tuition and admission open to all with a high school diploma or GED, with special attention in admissions to New York City public high school graduates.

We demand that you fund adjuncts’ health care, and all the wages, benefits, and working conditions for our faculty and staff need to live in dignity.
We demand that you pay for this by continuing the Millionaires’ Tax, reinstating the Stock Transfer Tax, and pivoting spending within CUNY away from wealthy top administrators’ compensation and toward the education of students and compensation of faculty and staff.

We demand that you pass laws that support students: we demand a state resolution in support of the federal DREAM Act, state laws to protect undocumented students, and a change in food stamp rules to acknowledge “full-time student” as an occupation, so that immigration laws and hunger will no longer interfere with our education.
We demand that you fund a truly excellent CUNY—no more overcrowded classes and crumbling buildings, no more cafeterias with serious city health code violations, no more underfunding of the arts, humanities, and, especially, LGBTQ Studies, Africana Studies, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Women’s Studies and other departments that teach us about our histories and herstories. Fully fund student services—free childcare, affordable housing, and nutritious, affordable food.
We demand that CUNY resources such as libraries, health clinics, computer labs and other campus amenities be opened up to the neighborhoods of New York.
Finally, we demand that you reform CUNY’s governance. All major decisions at CUNY, especially curriculum changes like the proposed “Pathways Project,” should be made by a “People’s Board of Trustees,” to be elected by students, faculty, staff, and community members. The current board represents the interests of the wealthy who comprise it and the politicians who appoint it, not the people of CUNY.”

BROOKLYN COLLEGE IS ORGANIZING!!

They are joining with the Puerto Rican Alliance to protest Columbus Day!

They are also appearing at the faculty council meetings, (which is the governing body over the faculty at Brooklyn College)

They are working on solidifying a time and place to meet regularly.  So if you are a Brooklyn College student and have somewhere this group can meet reach out to biolajeje@gmail.com.

Check out their blog out here.

PALANTE!

 

International Movements

originally here
by Sara Jerving
excerpt:
Justin Zongo, was detained by police and died while under their custody—students assert he was tortured to death, while the government reports meningitis as the cause. Zongo’s death fueled further protests among students. This anger—coupled by other bottled-up tensions—sparked Arab Spring-style demonstrations among other sectors of society—the military, police offices, merchants, and even the presidential guard. The protesters have called for an end to high levels of unemployment, the rising cost of living, inadequate delivery of public services and state repression under a president who has reigned for 24 years. Last month, President Blaise Compaore’s armed guard launched a mutiny against him, demanding that housing subsidies be paid. Compaore responded by dissolving the government and firing the head of his presidential guard, the chiefs of the army, air force and police.
A representative of a teacher’s group involved in the strike, Emmanuel Dembele, told The Associated Press that the group had outlined their demands to the government since early January.
“So far nothing has been done, only promises, promises we are not buying again,” he said. “It is up to the government, if they make positive steps we are going to resume classes.”

CHILE!

originally found here

In Chile, the average monthly minimum wage is $385, while the average monthly college tuition costs $485. Upon graduating, Chilean students are on average saddled with $40,000 in debt.

But Chilean students are no longer willing to accept this state of affairs, and have taken over university campuses demanding accessible education for all of the country’s students. The students argue that the country has the resources to provide free public education for all Chileans, if only some of policies of neoliberal privatization begun under dictator Augusto Pinochet are reversed. High school and university students have taken to the streets, refusing to resume classes until the Ministry of Education approves the system of systematic changes that the Student’s Federation is demanding. Despite their radicalized movement, and a dangerous hunger strike by more than thirty students, President Sebastián Piñera has refused to meet their demands, saying that, “nothing is free in this life.”

Brittany Peterson, a freelance multimedia journalist currently based in Antofagasta, Chile, reports on the latest developments in the protests.