What Are You Doing for the Next 2 Months?

Thousands of students and educators will join the 9/17 Wall Street occupation

On Saturday September 17th, movement organizers hope to funnel 20,000 protesters into Manhattan’s financial district, set up kitchens and tents, and occupy Wall Street for the next several months.  Proclaiming we are the 99 percent,  many of the  7,500 persons who have indicated an intention to participate are the highly educated working poor, underemployed with graduate degrees, or even fully employed but unable to meet their education bills like this woman (see her blog and related stories),who writes, “I have a masters degree & a full-time job in my field—and I have started selling my body to pay off my debt.”

After a September 1 test run resulted in nine arrests, Adbusters and Alexa O’Brien of US Day of Rage expect a vigorous police response, including intelligence gathering via the same social media tools that the organizers are employing, undercover participation in the event, provocation, and civil rights violations.

The Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild will provide a corps of trained observers in lime green hats and advises participants to ink legal contact information on wrists or ankles.

Want to participate? There will be co-ordinated actions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Austin, and a related mass demonstration October 6 in Washington, D.C. You can follow on Twitter and support the effort by sending donations to the food committee.

If successful, it will be the boldest project of the occupation movement on U.S. soil since the grad-student-led occupation of the Wisconsin capitol and the 2010 campus takeover and general strike in Puerto Rico.

Addendum: I’ve been meaning to advertise this CFP for a Pedagogy special issue on the topic of graduate students, edited by Lenny Cassuto. This seems like an appropriate post in which to fulfill that promise! If you have an idea for a contribution shoot Cassuto a brief query by Thursday, September 15.

One more thought: If you missed it, there’s an exceptionally worthwhile Chronicle Review column by a visiting Australian economist on the relationship between higher ed desperation and the “growing inequality and polarization of American society.”

The most striking feature of this polarization is the rise of an elite containing about 1 percent of the population, which has received most of the benefits of economic growth over the past several decades, and now accounts for roughly 25 percent of total income…

h/t: Paul Farrell


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