Occupy Everything! A look at the NYC and New School student occupations

17 Nov
Ripped off of Daniel (dcsds.org)

College Park Stop: 20 Nov 2009 6pm

Friday 20 Nov

ArtSoc 1213

6pm

Folks from NYC are coming in to chat about the usefulness and recent history of student occupations . . .

Unpacking the radical transformations in higher education over the past decade, we’ll take a look at the corporatization of private universities like the New School, the privatization of public universities in Europe and the United States, and the backlash against the rising costs of tuition, the lack of employment potentials, and the ubiquitous burden of student debt.

Then we’ll talk specifically about the New School and the series of events leading up to the December and April occupations there.

Finally, we discuss occupation as a political tactic and medium of dissent, attempting to answer questions like:

Is occupation a means to an end, or is it a “pure means?”

Is it effective in the sense that it ‘gets something done,’ or is it better employed as an affective form protest?

What is affective protest? And why not lobby for reform, picket, or join the student senate?

Above all, we hope to offer what we’ve learned from our experiences at the New School to other university communities with a desire to resist and affect change.”

WHY STUDENT OCCUPATIONS?

An occupation is a break in capitalist reality that occurs when people directly take control of a space, suspending its normal functions and animating it as a site of struggle and a weapon for autonomous power.

Occupations are a common part of student struggles in France, where for example in 2006 a massive youth movement against the CPE (a new law that would allow employers to fire first-time workers who had been employed for up to 2 years without cause) occupied high schools and universities and blockaded transit routes.

In 1999, the National Autonomous University of Mexico City was occupied for close to a year to prevent tuition from being charged. Both of these struggles were successful.

In Greece and Chile, long and determined student struggles have turned campuses into cop-free zones, which has in turn led to their use as vital organizing spaces for social movement involving other groups like undocumented migrants and indigenous people.

Facebook: College Park Stop Nov 20

Facebook: DC Stop Nov 21

Facebook: Frederick Stop Nov 22

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