I don’t need to tell you that higher education has both feet in the grave due to inane administrations aping neoliberal policies by pushing austerity on students, staff, and faculty. I don’t need to tell you that this has been going on for decades, and I also don’t need to tell you why or where or by whom it started. You already know, and if you don’t, you can find it without me telling you. However, most of you listening are in the choir of misfits who are in the know. 

I also don’t need to tell you that we’re stronger when we can stand alongside all low-wage workers everywhere – including students, staff, other faculty (yes, even TT), and servers, custodial staff, WalMart checkers, the list goes on and on.

But I do need to tell you that we’ve already won.

Before you write me off as a dreamer, remember the slogan from May ’68: Be realistic. Demand the impossible.  

I’m not saying that there’s no more work to do. The work is endless. So listen. You’ll hear echoes of May ’68 in every tear-gassed sit-in, as during the protest at CCSF, every student power convergence, as in Ann Arbor at the end of March, and every adjunct who has won the vote to unionize. You know that we, the non-tenure track, the contingent, are now 2/3 of the faculty. 

Daniel Singer says in Prelude to Revolution: France in May 1968: “When two thirds of an institution’s members are doomed to failure, it is a perfect hunting ground for political activists, and the university was beginning to be described as a school of misfits.”

The etymology of misfit: 1823: a garment that does not fit the person for whom it was intended. 

Nothing about the situation in higher ed fits us. The outrageous tuition (who can imagine being a whole house in debt?), the underfunded faculty (2/3, remember, don’t make a living wage or have health benefits), and the overfed administration, whose bodies burst the seams. 

So take a look at this map of Campus Resistance in 2014 (US). Already there are sixty-five markers on the map and I’m sure there are more. Campus resistance is spreading through the US. And, as most trends do, it’s started at the coasts, and it’s moving inward. I could map for a whole week and still not cover all the locations where we’re taking power back for ourselves, as students, staff, and faculty. This attempt is just a start, plus I’ll need to add all the graduate student unions, student assemblies, etc that are still active but haven’t held a major event this year. And every day there’s a new marker or two to add. That says, above all, the phrase we’ve heard from Strike Debt and our own student group here at Columbia: You Are Not A Loan (referring, of course, both to student debt as well as adjunct credit card debt). 

Remember. We’ve already won.

The system is broken. We can give it a nudge so it tumbles over the cliff a little more quickly, and then we take it back. It’s all about the encounter, as Badiou says. So we begin: “The encounter is a beginning. But the beginning of what? It is at the point of acceptance: accepting or refusing what is happening to you.” At this point, our only option is to refuse. And we have to do it loudly. Otherwise, it remains in suspense. So talk. Loud. Share stories. Find allies. They’re everywhere, as you can see.

The Map: Campus Resistance in 2014 (US)

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Join UIC United Faculty Local 6456, P-fac, and CACHE (Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education) for our panel, We’ve Reached Critical Mass: Temp Workers Take Back Higher Education, featuring:

Scott McFarland, Executive Vice President of UIC UF, on the impending strike;
Jennifer Rupert, UIC UF, on the impending strike and lessons from the two-day strike;
Diana Vallera, President of P-fac, on winning a CBA after a 3.5 year struggle; and
Brianne Bolin, CACHE, on the national platform of campus resistance in 2014.

Solidarity is the name of the game, and UIC UF has done amazing work by joining TT and NTT faculty together. We can’t wait to hear from them and learn some lessons on how to build a strong force on our own campuses. By spreading the word and joining us, you’re spreading our power.

We hope to see you on Thursday, 7 p.m. in the Ferguson Lecture Hall, 600 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605.

If you’re out of town or simply can’t make it, it’ll be livestreamed by CACHE and archived there. However, the more of you show up, the better our Q & A, and the more riled up we’ll become to fight together.

#UICStrike
#adjunct or #adjuncts
#AdjunctsUnite
#WeekofRage
#1World1Struggle

Join & share the facebook event!

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by Dan Stuckey of BicyclePrinter

This May Day weekend radical bike ride will feature the current struggles and historical context of UIC and Columbia, told from the perspectives of a student, staff, and faculty member and culminating in stump speeches, rally calls, a bit of poetics shouted from a bullhorn.

After the colleges, we’ll be tying higher ed workers to workers everywhere by meeting at the Haymarket Memorial, where we’ll hear from Sharon Smith, author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States, perform human mic poetry lead by UIC United Faculty Local 6456′s Scott McFarland and his new book, O Human Microphone, and get riled up with the Haymarket martyrs’ speeches with Brit Schulte as August Spies, Ashley Bohrer as Albert Parsons, and Emmanuel Gutierrez as George Engel. 

Stage 1: UIC, Hull House, 800 S. Halsted St. (or 1030 W. Van Buren – same thing) 1 p.m.
Stage 2: Columbia, 600 S. Michigan, 2 p.m.
Stage 3: Haymarket Memorial, 175 N. Desplaines St., 3 p.m.

Brought to you by CACHE and Chicago Higher Education Week of Rage May 1-8.
Be there or be squarely in the red.

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More adjuncts have formed unions in the last twelve months than in the last ten years. Portland State University- American Association of University Professors and UIC United Faculty Local 6456 prepare to strike while Front Range Community College Chapter, AAUP put an equal pay for equal work bill, HB 14 1154 in the Colorado House. The temp workers of education are joining forces because, well, we’re the majority.

You know of many more struggles and take backs happening near you. Come share them with our panelists, and build an even stronger force. We’re all in it together. 

Featuring: 
Brianne Bolin, CACHE (Coalition of Corporate Higher Education)
Scott McFarland, Executive Vice President of UIC United Faculty
Jennifer Rupert, UIC United Faculty
Diana Vallera, President of P-fac, Columbia College

#adjunct or #adjuncts
#AdjunctsUnite
#WeekofRage
#1World1Struggle

This event will be livestreamed by CACHE so national allies and adjuncts may participate in the conversation. Check back for more details.

Originally posted on marois & moi:

credit: justin canning

credit: justin canning



I think it is important to start off by giving ASSÉ a much needed thank you. Their unrelenting passion for resistance and endless organizing helped to successfully facilitate a 10,000 person strong manifestation, defying P6 and bringing awareness to recent austerity cuts. Thank you for all your efforts and work, your inclusive attitudes and strong solidarity is appreciated. 

The manifestation did defy P6, after two or three announcements before it’s commencement stating the assembly was illegal, ten thousand people took to the streets against austerity. A couple hours later cops were coming into the crowd trying to “fight” (and I mean quite literally, fight, yes – like fist fight) protesters, blood was pooling on Sherbrooke, rubber bullets were flying, rocks were flying, teargas (which is a new type of teargas for the SPVM – we will get into this later) was in the air and rumors were…

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We want to connect with representatives from all active Chicago campuses. Know a group? DePaul Divest? SJP Loyola? GSU? UICGEO? Roosevelt Alum? DePaul Anti-Capitalist Coalition? UIC Socialists? IIRON Student Network? Either we miss you or we want to meet you. Let's work together. Invite your friends. We'll be scheming at 6:30 in the basement of 600 S. Michigan this Thursday. It'll go a few hours, so stop by anytime. Agenda will be posted tomorrow. Let's get ready for some direct action and creative resistance. May day, May day. . .

We (CACHE, the Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education) are compiling a map of all the United States higher ed uprisings, sit-ins, strikes, protests, town halls, and outspoken campus workers who are fighting against neoliberal mismanagement of education, a public right, everywhere. Please help crowdsource our findings. We are working this weekend, 3/29 and 3/30, to complete our initial start-up map, and will post the link as it is finished. We would love your support in accumulating this information.

Here’s how you can help – open the Reclaiming Higher Education Map riseup etherpad, find your state, then please list any of the information you have below:

  • Specific location (city, address if possible
  • Links to relevant articles about your struggle
  • Links to any affiliated unions (both local and parent sites)
  • Links to any leaked or public documents relevant to your situation
  • Email addresses of any contacts.

If you feel more confident sharing this via email, email us at cache.chicago@gmail.com. Solidarity!