it is not only the students who are being attacked

The Assault on CUNY Adjuncts

by Jason Schulman

Increased class size, and overwhelmed under supported Professors affectthe level of education that students are receiving. Wake Up People! We are not autonomous beings floating around by ourselves, we are all inter-connected and until we realize that we are not nearly as powerful as we have the potential to be.


CUNY Tuition Increase

originally here

On Thursday, July 21 the CUNY Board of Trustees approved a resolution calling for an additional $150 per semester tuition hikes for full-time students at senior and community colleges. This latest tuition hike comes after the passage of new state legislation authorizing CUNY to increase tuition by up to $300 per year for the next five years. (The CUNY Trustees recently approved a senior college tuition hike of $230 for 2011-2012. This new hike comes on top of that.)

That means $380/semester for Senior Colleges and $150/semester for Junior Colleges.

Tuition Increased Temporarily Blocked…WHAT NEXT?!

Information on the next hearing:

Tuesday, August 30 at 11 AM

Room 308 at IAS Part 15 of the State Supreme Court

80 Centre Street in Manhattan

[80 Centre St. btw Worth & Leonard St., just NE of Foley Sq.; TRANSIT: J (not M) train to Chambers St. (north exits to Foley); #4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall (north exit to Reade St. or Foley); N, Q to Canal (east exit, nearest Brooklyn, thru J platform to Centre St.; R (not N) to City Hall (Broadway & Warren stairs); A, C to Chambers (at Church); #1 to Franklin St. (at West Broadway); E to WTC (north exit to Barclay & Church); #2, 3 to Chambers (W. Broadway); Broadway bus; 3rd Av./Bowery bus; Trinity Pl/Church St. bus; Chambers St. bus. -t.]



We need to continue moving forward on all fronts. Using our resources to continue the battle towards a FREE CUNY.  Higher Education based on MERIT not MONEY.



[taken from an email that has been circulated around to various student organizing groups]

A state Supreme Court judge signed a temporary restraining order blocking the $300 tuition increase passed by the Executive Committee of the CUNY Board of trustees “unless and until the Board of Trustees as a whole meets and takes action in accordance with the law.”

Judge Eileen Rakower ruled today in a lawsuit filed yesterday by three Lehman College students, Ateo Peruyero, OyeWale Badru and Francisca Villar, (Peruyero, et al. v. Board of Trustees, etc., et al. NY County Index No. 108549/2011) The students asked the court to nullify the tuition increase voted on by the CUNY Boardof Trustees Executive Committee on July 21st on the ground that state law requires the entire CUNY Board of Trustees to vote on any tuition increase and that this authority cannot be delegated to the Trustees’ Executive Committee.

Following oral arguments this morning by attorneys representing the students and CUNY the judge stated that the petitioners had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim and that there would be irreparable harm if the court did not block the $300 tuition increase until the entire board of trustees could consider it.

The restraining order signed by Judge Rakower after a hearing this morning states:

‘Until this Petition is heard, Respondents are enjoined and restrained from:
(i) taking any action to implement the Tuition Resolution passed by Respondent Executive Committee on July 21, 2011, or
(ii) charging or collecting tuition in excess of the  levels charged by CUNY during the spring 2011 academic term,
(iii) unless  and until the board of trustees as a whole takes action in accordance with the law.”

Judge Rakower scheduled the next hearing on the case for Tuesday, August 30 at 11 AM in room 308 at IAS Part 15 of the State Supreme Court at 80 Centre Street in Manhattan.

The restraining order will be in effect until the next hearing date unless CUNY appeals the case.

If CUNY does not appeal, then CUNY cannot raise tuition until the trustees schedule an emergency meeting to consider the issue. Any meeting of the trustees would have to comply with the state Open Meetings Law.

I am grateful to all those who raised money so we could afford the filing fee and costs. We have received $310 so far and $260 more is pledged.  At this point we will not need to pay an appellate fee since we got the TRO. However, I ordered a transcript of today’s proceedings and we will have more expenses if CUNY chooses to appeal the case.

Thanks again for your support that made today’s decision possible.

Ronald B. McGuire
c/o Mark Yu
75 Wall Street – Apt. 20J
New York, NY  10005

Zapatista Movement

The Global Zapatista Movement

Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC)
January 16, 2004
By Luis Hernández Navarro

entire article here

For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism

In 1996, the EZLN called for the first Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and against Neoliberalism. Seven months later, the meeting gathered together a diversity of feminists, union leaders, peasant leaders, nongovernmental organizations, youth, ecologists, intellectuals, and political leaders from dozens of countries. A year later, with less impact, a second meeting was held in Spain.

The meetings became benchmarks in the formation of the global justice movement. Many of the promoters of the network of networks recognize in the two Zapatista meetings the direct precedent for the current cycle of protests against globalization. Over a thousand Italian activists took what they dubbed “the Zapatista train” to participate in the protests that sought to block the 55th Annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF on Sept. 26, 2000 in Prague. According to Andrew Flood, Irish anarchist writer, Prague can be seen as the “day for global action against neoliberalism,” announced in the working group on political action in Chiapas 1996.

These meetings did not give birth to a new International order after the socialist model. Many of the participants returned to their countries not only to promote solidarity with the Zapatistas but also to fight their own fights. In late 1996 Subcomandante Marcos received a strange gift from Denmark: a used pipe. The present had belonged to the Danish Minister of Foreign Relations. The pipe was sent not by the Minister but by a group of demonstrators who entered Parliament to protest against their government’s domestic policies that had nothing to do with Mexico. There they found the minister’s pipe and they took it. They figured the best destination for their trophy was to send it to the military chief of the EZLN. Among the activists were several who had participated in the meeting in Chiapas.

After the 1996 meeting, the solidarity committees began to function in a more systematic way in Europe and the United States. In 2000, there were 79 permanent Zapatista solidarity committees in Europe—active in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, and, to a lesser degree, England. This number doesn’t include the Scandinavian groups in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, or the collectives that operate outside the network in Athens and the Czech Republic, or nongovernmental organizations, political parties, and social forces that do solidarity work with Chiapas but not as their main activity. Likewise, groups linked to the Catholic Church that form part of the peace movement relatively distanced from the rebels are not in the count.

In the U.S., there are approximately 45 Zapatista solidarity groups. Four coalitions stand out for their large memberships: the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, International Service for Peace, Global Exchange, and the inter-religious Foundation for the Organization of the Community-Pastors for Peace. Also significant are the projects carried out by Peter Brown based in San Diego, and the many local groups such as Tonantzín in Boston, the New York Zapatistas, or the Zapatista Alliance in Pittsburgh.

Many of the solidarity committees gather for coordinating meetings annually. Here they exchange information and agree on joint actions. In contrast to other experiences of international solidarity, the EZLN has not defined a specific orientation to guide the action of these groups nor has it sent permanent representatives abroad. The operation of the committees is autonomous and decentralized. They maintain permanent contact among themselves. Many are directly involved in support to sanitary, educational, and economic projects in the autonomous townships. They also often find themselves shoulder to shoulder in campaigns for immigrants’ rights, against racial discrimination, and in resistance to globalization and war. Their power is unequal. The committees in Belgium and Switzerland have fewer people but considerable influence: they knock on doors of politicians in Brussels and Geneva and make their voices heard there. The Italian committees have a huge capacity for mobilizing people and financing their own activities and travels. They have promoted three commissions of observation of human rights, and involved churches, NGOs, and government representatives in their work. Their members come from many backgrounds. Aldo Zanchetta is a businessman with a Catholic upbringing from the Tuscany region, Doris Palvio is a well-known Danish surgeon responsible for the group Tinku, and Sigfrido Miralles is an anarchist-union workers retired early from the telephone company.

These committees are great at mobilizing resources. Ya Basta! in Italy was key in giving the Zapatistas the Golden Lion Award in Venice and in offering them honorary guest treatment in the city. When the Mexican rebels visited in 1996, they were received with applause as they navigated down the canals. The Germans, Catalonians, and Italians have also played vital roles in the distribution and sale at solidarity prices of Rebeldia coffee, produced directly by rebel coffee growers.

According to Ignacio García, a key figure in European solidarity, these collectives are “a network. Up to now we had platforms, that is, sums of initials and organizations. We called it the alphabet soup. People who weren’t associated with an organization had no place. But now the networks are spaces that are always there, always open, that work without anyone knowing exactly how. Initiatives are left open. We never stop giving talks. We listen. It’s a living space, not a bureaucracy.”


CUNY Protests Tuition Hikes

by Julian Guerrero

Entire Article Here

Since 2003, tuition has gone up 44 percent, with very little response in comparison with students fighting against cuts and hikes in Europe. In this way, the board’s tactic of incremental increases in tuition has been effective at blunting the student backlash in New York City.

“Speakers were allotted three minutes each to voice their opinions about the proposed budget. Nearly all of the administrators, including some faculty members, praised the board of trustees’ budget proposal. They claimed that the success of their campuses, in terms of expanding their campuses and increasing their enrollment of “high quality” students, justified the unfair tuition hikes and faculty cutbacks.

Each administrator who gave this kind of statement only infuriated students more. Students openly heckled and jeered administrators and the board of trustees.

Every student that spoke to the board told them to reject the proposed budget, with many citing examples of the hardships that students face. Several speakers said that the proposed tuition hike would force students out of CUNY midway through their journey to attaining a college degree, as well as push CUNY further from its mission statement as an educational institution for the working class.”







The Time is Now

Originally published in February 2011 in Mirror Magazine.

By Rocio Rayo

How far will we let people push us before we push back? How many rights will we give up, before we speak up and demand equality and justice? Who will we allow to be oppressed before we stand up with them?

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:  Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free…Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.  That however is not the case in most places around the world.  Including the leading economic powers of the world.

This was apparent last November when students began protesting in London.  The Independent reports that the general consensus that brought the students out was,  “…anger. The rights afforded by education are not simply the reserve of the elite, a claim implied by some commentators.”  The Independent further reported that:  “the fury on display also seemed to contain other strands, such as a sense of ‘them and us’, and the conviction that direct action was the only way to convey the desired message to those in power. If such sentiments come to be shared more widely, this may turn out to be no unseasonal squall, but the first storm in a new winter of discontent.”  This is an example of students organizing and unifying for a common goal.  Sometimes talking and holding meetings is not enough to make people listen. The students in London after the riots had the attention of the world.

At the same time in New York City, one of the most “progressive” cities in the world, last November, the City University of New York’s Board of Trustees voted to raise the tuition beginning in Spring 2011.  A 5% increase for Spring 2011, along with a 2% increase for Fall 2011.  When students are already struggling to enroll in school, while working, or raising a family, how can this tuition increase be in compliance with Article 26 of  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights?  This is an example of narrowing the pool of people allowed to obtain higher education not by means of merit but by what their financial means are.  The CUNY students did not riot though.  We barely protested.  The information for the minimal protests that were taking place in resistance to the increase was not given out until the last minute, and there was not a feeling of fire, or organization.  When will we have swallowed enough to be mad?  When will we be ready to fight?  There is a small group who I know is ready, and will be ready.  However, until our communities are sick of being targeted, or witnessing injustices, the people in charge will continue to exploit and neglect.

This feeling of “them and us” is not one that is new.  In Bill Quigley’s “Time for a U.S. Revolution – Fifteen Reasons” he states:  “the government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.”  He goes on to say that:  “The 1776 Declaration of Independence stated that when a long train of abuses by those in power evidence a design to reduce the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the peoples right, in fact their duty to engage in a revolution.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day just passed on January 17, 2011, and his words still resonate loudly today.  Dr. King preached over forty years ago that “a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.”  At a sermon given here in New York Cityat RiversideChurchhe said that “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”   We had a day off of work, and school, but if we are continuing to allow injustices at any level, how well did we honor Dr. King, and his struggle?

Whenever there is a small group of people telling a larger group of people that they aren’t good enough to have an education, that is bullying, and an abuse of power.  We must defend ourselves.  Malcolm X says:  “…don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense…call it intelligence.”  It is time to stand up, together. Let’s go.