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Archive for October, 2009

photo by Jed

photo by Jed

On June 5th in Philadelphia, Slamistas Kazembe Balagun, Lenina Nadal, Jed Brandt, John Kim, and Sasa Ynoa spoke about SLAM’s innovative approach to organizing and why we were fighting for free university education. This was a combined event called “How do we build radical movements?” with Dan Berger, who (along with Chris Dixon) interviewed people in four revolutionary study groups – Another Politics is Possible (NY), the Activist Study Circles (SF), the LA Crew, and the New York Study Group – talking about leadership, organization, and politics. Their article and an interview by Suzy Subways with 5 women of color from SLAM appeared in the radical journal Upping the Anti, issue #8.

Click on the following links to hear the audio:

Dan Berger

Kazembe Balagun

Q&A with Kazembe, Lenina, Jed, John Kim and Suzy

Q&A continued, with Sasa too

Q&A continued

Due to battery-related challenges, the audio recorder ran out before
the end of the event. Video will be coming soon!

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Student Activists Under Attack at City College of New York for Honoring Black and Puerto Rican Liberation Heroes

Door to The Morales / Shakur Community and Student Center

by Brad Sigal | Fight Back News Service

December 18, 2006

New York, NY – The New York Police Department is on the defensive because of mass outrage over the police’s murder of Sean Bell. Bell, a 23-year old unarmed African American man was killed by the NYPD in a hail of 50 bullets Nov. 25 a few hours before he was going to be married. His murder has sparked large protests against racist police brutality.

Two weeks later, the right-wing New York Daily News tried to create a diversion from the issue of racist police brutality by attacking student activists at the City College of New York (CCNY), accusing them of promoting “cop killers” and “terrorists.” On Dec.12 the Daily News ran a cover story and editorial attacking CCNY’s Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center, a student-run activist space on the flagship Harlem campus of the City University of New York (CUNY). The Daily News editorial demanded that Shakur and Morales’s names be removed from the Center. (more…)

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A Culture of Resistance

Lessons Learned from the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM)

By Suzy Subways

This interview with 5 women of color from SLAM appeared in the radical journal Upping the Anti, issue #8.

In March 1995, 20,000 students from City University of New York (CUNY) were attacked by police after surrounding city hall to protest a draconian tuition increase. This protest, organized by the CUNY Coalition Against the Cuts, marked an upsurge in student movement activity that continued into 1996, when the group transformed into the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM), a multiracial radical organization. Before disbanding in 2004, SLAM established chapters at CUNY colleges in all five boroughs of the city. This roundtable focuses on the chapter at Hunter College in Manhattan and explores SLAM’s legacy of building a left culture in New York City and across the country. (more…)

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Click here to download the paper.

The Struggle for CUNY: A History Of The CUNY Student Movement, 1969 – 1999

By Christopher Gunderson

Contents

1 Introduction

5 A Brief History Of Cuny

7 Cuny Student Activism Before 1969

9 The Global Context

12 The Open Admissions Strike

22 The Effects Of Open Admissions

24 Struggles In The 70S

30 The New York City “Fiscal Crisis”

38 The Fight For Hostos

42 Tuition Imposed

45 Cuny Student Activism In The 1980S

46 The 1989 Student Strike

52 The 1991 Student Strike

58 After The Strikes

60 The 1995 Struggle

66 Student Government

66 The Attack On Remediation

67 Conclusions

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SLAM protest 1998

SLAM protest 1998

In this 1998 photo, you can see SLAM’s famous demonic Giuliani head puppet. We frequently got phone calls from groups all over the city to borrow it for protests. You can also see SLAM founding member Sandra Barros at right, in the maroon jacket with yellow armbands. Is Jed the person she’s talking to? Is that Ramiro in the front middle?

Below is the caption written in 1998, before the Open Admissions struggle was lost. It was copied from SLAM’s original website at http://www.geocities.com/slamcuny/ All geocities websites will be taken down at the end of October 2009, so we are transferring the content here as it was originally presented:

Protest on March 23, 1998 at CUNY Board of Trustees meeting. We demanded that they not vote to end remediation and open admissions– they tried to vote and lost! There were about 200 students at the protest.

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Defend Open Admissions and Remedial Education at CUNY!

Click here to see the 10 DEMANDS of the CUNY Coalition for Open Admissions. SLAM is one of the groups in the coalition…Join SLAM to get involved. CCNY SLAM!, 138th Street & Convent Ave, Harlem, NY 10031


Now Available:

8-page newspaper broadsheet

“The Struggle at CUNY: Open Admissions & Civil Rights”

Mayor Giuliani & some on the Board of Trustees are calling for an end to CUNY’s policy of Open Admissions — which allows all NYC high school graduates a chance at college. CCNY SLAM has put out this timely and excellent newspaper that details the struggle around open admissions, the community colleges, workfare on campus, and the student movement at CUNY. This pamphlet argues that the attacks on CUNY are part of the larger attack on communities of color and on economic democracy. It also includes a cool 2-color poster you can put up all over campus!

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This 10 point program was put out by Hostos Students for Open Admissions and the Hostos Student Government in Spring 1998. Contact information is at the end of the document.

An Open Admissions Program For a Democratic City University

We demand:

1. Defend and Extend Open Admissions

Open Admissions has guaranteed that every New Yorker with a high school diploma or G.E.D. can attend a college in the City University. A victory of the Civil Rights Movement, Open Admissions meant working people, the poor, people of color, and immigrants whose segregated, inferior public education may have failed to adequately prepare them for college-level work would not be denied the chance for a decent education a second time by being denied access to college.

Since Open Admissions was won in 1970, more than 450,000 students have earned their degrees from CUNY. Since 1970, more people of color have graduated from CUNY than have graduated from any other institution in the history of this country. Open Admissions has been one of the most significant democratic educational achievements in this country since Reconstruction.

2. Stop the Plans to Stratify CUNY by Race and Class

Because the city_s public school system reflects and reinforces racial and class inequalities, any plan to establish a few elite colleges with descending tiers to a non-college immersion basement is inherently racist. Community colleges should not be used as a remedial dumping grounds. Open the senior colleges to students who are prepared for college work, but may need some remedial work. No non-college “institutes.” CUNY must be a public university responsive to the communities it was created to serve. (more…)

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