Statement from our community supporters:
This morning, we dropped five banners throughout New Orleans in solidarity with the National Day of Action in Defense of Public Education.
“CLASS CUTS? CLASS WAR! SAVE UNO”
We happen to be women. We happen to not be UNO students. We happen to be very angry.
Budget cuts stemming from the current “global economic crisis” of the financial elite are restricting access to and affecting quality of higher education at UNO, in New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, and across the country. The people hurt first and most are poor, women, people of color, single mothers, and first generation students.
SOLIDARITY WITH ALL CLASS WAR.
We chose to work off campus because we wanted to address how these injuries to the university system impact the city at large. The “brain drain” that results from disassembling higher education leaves us vulnerable to perpetual wage-slavery, political corruption, police abuse, and the highest incarceration rate in the world.
SOLIDARITY WITH ALL PRISONERS.
We’d like to see all universities run less like corporations and more like places of learning. We suggest starting by drastically cutting LSU System President (and recently appointed interim UNO Chancellor) Lombardi’s $600,000+ salary. This money could be better spent on a number of things: lessening the appalling wage gap between LSU System Administration and campus workers, improving quality of education while reducing tuition costs, and ensuring retention of UNO faculty and staff, to name a few.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORKERS.
Finally, we’d like to see an immediate end to the suspensions imposed upon the three UNO student organizers who have been made examples of by the cowardly school administration and bumbling UNO Police Department. The targeting and harassment of students on their own campus is absolutely unacceptable, only breeding fear and repressing growth.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS
Statement from UNO students:
WHAT: UNO Students Drop Banners Across New Orleans
WHEN: Thursday, October 7th, 2010
WHY: UNO is being destroyed! Actions taken in conjunction with National Day of Action to Defend Public Education: http://www.defendeducation.org
UNO is being destroyed; our educations and futures are being yanked out from under us. On Thursday we stood up with students fighting budget cuts around the U.S. to raise our voices: WE MUST SAVE UNO!
Factuly and staff lose their jobs, scholarships and campus resources get the axe, buildings remain filthy and uncleaned as staffing is cut back, class sizes double while tuition goes up… meanwhile UNO & LSU’s system president John Lombardi makes $600,000+ a year. LSU Board of Supervisors President William Jenkins makes $375,443, and the next 6 people under Jenkins on the Board of Supervisors make $357,000-$255,000 each. All to preside over a collapsing education system.
Yes, you read that right: $600,000 a year!
WHY haven’t these GLUTTONOUS POLITICAL BUREAUCRATS presiding over the DEATH of UNO taken even a penny in pay cuts?
OUTRAGE! As if this weren’t bad enough, another 35% cut to UNO funding is planned, on top of the cuts already made in the past 2 years. Why must WE SUFFER while the fatcats roll in dough?
NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL!
We’ve asked them for help, we’ve petitioned them and begged them, and where has that gotten us? More cuts for us, more pay-raises for those up top. Well, now we’re not asking them. We’re TELLING them: THIS IS OUR UNIVERSITY.
John Lombardi and his UNO PD goon squad led by Police Chief “crybaby” Harrington don’t scare us. The undercover cops at yesterday’s UNO block party, and the NOPD officers protecting Lombardi’s Administration building from UNO’s own students will not deter us. We want Lombardi gone now! He does not represent UNO’s interests.
We seek to push the university struggle to its limits. Though we denounce the privatization of the university and its authoritarian system of governance, we do not seek structural reforms. We demand not a free university but a free society. A free university in the midst of a capitalist society is like a reading room in a prison; it serves only as a distraction from the misery of daily life. Instead we seek to channel the anger of the dispossessed students and workers into a declaration of war. We want a society where our future can no longer be threatened with destruction, a future where the rich and the their political puppets are no longer the ones in control of the decisions that effect our lives.
Students at both Tulane University and Loyola University also hung banners in solidarity with the students fighting cuts at UNO. Our generation will not turn it’s back on each other, we know that for any of us to have a decent future, we need the right priorities in the present, and that means fully funded, accessible higher education for ALL!