Archive for the ‘newspapers edited by SLAM! members’ Category

This oral history project is a work in progress, and we’re learning as we go. We want to share our interview recordings with current student activists and radicals everywhere in the hope that they’ll find wisdom here to enrich their work. We’ll be posting edited segments from the interviews, which are being done in a totally random order. This material is posted under a Creative Commons license. Please feel free to share these links, but please ask permission if you’d like to publish the material (these highlights will probably be going into the book). Thanks!

 Brad Sigal, interviewed 9/8/12 by Suzy Subways

Brad Sigal was in SLAM! from 1996 until 2000, when he left New York. Sigal was part of citywide SLAM! and tried to start a chapter at John Jay College. He transferred to City College of New York (CCNY), where he worked on campaigns to keep admissions open and the college serving the Harlem and Washington Heights communities, as well as catalyzing radical student activism via the Messenger newspaper and graduate student government. He lives in Minnesota, where he is active in rank-and-file union work, the immigrants’ rights movement and socialist politics.

Repression at John Jay College

Sigal tells the story of how the administration at John Jay College, CUNY, tried to talk him out of registering SLAM! as a club there in 1996, because “There’s anarchists and communists in it, and it’s a really bad group of people.” 1 minute, 15 seconds.


The Pre-University Program at the Morales/Shakur Center at CCNY

The Pre-University Program, run by the Dominican Youth Union out of the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center at CCNY, brought hundreds of high school students from Harlem and Washington Heights to the campus each weekend for events and academic support. 1 minute, 37 seconds.


How CCNY students defeated the CUNY Card and built solidarity with the community

Sigal explains how important it was to CCNY activists in the 90s to keep the campus open and accessible to the surrounding neighborhoods. Students defeated the CUNY Card initiative at CCNY, opposed arming campus security with guns, and walked picket lines with workers at Harlem Hospital. 2 minutes, 30 seconds.


CCNY administration shuts down the Messenger and grad student government

CCNY President Yolanda Moses shuts down the Messenger newspaper and the graduate student government after activists win the elections. 3 minutes, 57 seconds.


How activists found out about the surveillance camera aimed at the door of their center

A CCNY janitor tells student activists that the smoke detector outside the Morales-Shakur Center is actually a hidden surveillance camera, aimed right at the door. 2 minutes, 22 seconds.


The Little Red Study Group

Sigal tells the story of the Little Red Study Group, which he helped to form with other SLAM! members hoping it could lead to a revolutionary organization for the core founders of SLAM!, who were moving on after graduation. 7 minutes, 47 seconds.

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“Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Six Years of Struggle by CCNY’s Banned, Stolen, Defunded, Defamed, Award-Winning Student Newspaper, 1998-2004″ is now available as a PDF for download, thanks to former editor Brad Sigal.

Click here to download it!

City College of New York (CCNY) has been in the news for raiding and shutting down theDont_Shoot_cover Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur community and student center on October 20th without any notice to students or the community. Students have repeatedly demonstrated and held sit-ins to get the center back, and CCNY has suspended two student leaders. This type of repression is not happening for the first time, by far, as you’ll read in these 10- to 15-year-old issues of the Messenger newspaper.

The Messenger was named after a 1920s Black socialist magazine started by Chandler Owen and A. Philip Randolph, the labor organizer, who had attended CCNY. This anthology includes most of the Messenger‘s articles from 1998 to 2004 under editors Brad Sigal and Hank Williams, important articles from previous publications, and some tools for students starting radical campus newspapers.

“The articles herein will update CCNY students on their campus’s recent history and can serve as a resource for the next generation of CUNY students fighting for social justice and student rights,” Rob Wallace writes in the preface. Enjoy!

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