On Friday, September 28, 2001- a call for a student strike.
In response to George Washington University's decision to shut down the Foggy Bottom Campus, the pre-emptive discipline concerning students' hosting of guests, the denial of student and faculty access to all campus services, including the expensive education and dormitory facilities, students in the United States are called upon to stand together in solidarity the values of the educational establishment: the stifling of free will and expression in the classroom, the omission of 'controversial' subjects from the curriculum, and the adherence to a comfortable status quo of teacher guidebooks, popular textbooks, and recycled assignments. Further, we must let it be known that we will not stand by as our education is sold to the business world.
Even the American university has sold itself to corporations, whether it be sponsorship of team apparel, ownership of university bookstores, ownership of athletic facilities, or even departmental research sponsored by private corporations and conducted by students and professors. We must not sit in our seats as educations becomes marketable.
We must take our education back, away from an educational-industrial complex in which efficiency and output numbers determine the relative value of students and teachers. We don't need all-star professors who lock their office doors; we don't need test-prep corporations, we don't want blue-booklet final exams, boring teachers, and passive students.
We need a genuine education, and on Friday, September 28, 2001, students from across the United States will be called upon to vent their frustration about this mundane educational assembly line that we call higher learning.
During this strike, students and teachers from high schools and universities should remember that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, meeting in Washington DC from September 29-30, serve to undermine education on a global scale by implementing structural adjustment programs that privatize public services in exchange for loans to chip away at insurmountable debt. The IMF/World Bank symbolize and encompass values that undermine democracy in our world today. Without democracy, there is no real education.
Not only should American students and teachers stand in solidarity with each other against the increasingly blurred lines between business and education, but American students and teachers should stand in solidarity with victimized students throughout the world, whose educations suffer, or are outright denied, because of an imposed obligation to 'catch up' in the game of global capitalism.
Anybody interested in promoting this student strike, either through artwork, or the coordination throughout campuses of materials for the strike, please e-mail email@example.com with a proposal of ideas for publicizing and mobilizing. A list of endorsers will be made available soon.
Note: it is the obligation of every student to determine the extent to which a student strike can be locally successful; there is no organizing authority from which to gather information about what will happen. What happens, and whether or not this actually solidifies into a national event will be determined by the passion of everybody involved. Mobilize your campus!
(Circulate widely: post on bulletin boards, staple to telephone polls, wheatpaste lampposts, etc. E-mail to students, faculty, alternative student newspapers.)