I hate student activism

April 10, 2009

Fuck Bob Kerrey, but fuck insular university politics more.

Let’s be clear: the man is scum. Here’s hoping he loses his job. But when it comes right down to it, this isn’t about him. It isn’t about Jim Murtha, it isn’t about new building input, it isn’t about non-voting
student representation on the Board of Trustees. Beyond the walls of a small, isolated, and largely privileged academic institution, these are non-issues.

But this space isn’t just part of that institution. It’s part of New York City. And in this city, already struggling under a recession precipitated by capitalist greed and incompetence, 7,000 more people stand to lose their jobs in the name of budget restructuring. Mayor Bloomberg’s plan would cut 4% from almost all areas of city spending, 1.5% from education, and from the uniformed sector – mostly the NYPD – only 0.5%.

Homelessness rates have skyrocketed in New York, with the family homelessness rate in particular having exceeded the all-time record high. And there are buildings in this same city which stand empty, and anyone
who seeks shelter in them faces a host of legal repercussions. More and more billions of federal dollars are being poured into the financial sector, while those who aren’t bankers face the constant risk of losing
their livelihoods at a moment’s notice.

There’s good news: all over the world, people are occupying. Universities. Offices. Factories. New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico, England, Scotland, Greece, Japan. We are taking what’s ours, because
we’ve had that power all along, and it’s now clearer than ever that it will never be given to us. This is an act of solidarity with everyone in New York City, and every effort anywhere to reclaim space in the name of
liberatory change instead of private interests.

And yeah, we’d like Bob Kerrey gone. However, in the global narrative of occupation and resistance, that bastard’s voice doesn’t even register. But ours will.

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