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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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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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Current Events and Activism at CUNY

The following activities are not sponsored by SLAM! unless it explicitly says so. This calendar will include any events we are aware of, sponsored by many different organizations that are active at CUNY. Listing here does not imply endorsement; it is for informational and networking purposes. To get an event listed here, or for information on any events that don’t have a contact listed, email cunyslam@hotmail.com (Last updated 3/25/98)

Media Coverage of Our Events and Protests:

* New York Times Coverage of our Protest at the Feb. 23, 1998 Board of Trustees Meeting!!!

* El Diario Coverage of our March 19, 1998 Protest at Herman Badillo’s Office (Spanish only) (more…)

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The following pamphlet was produced by the CCNY Coalition in the Fall 1997.  It explains the real deal on why CUNY Card is a scam and why we should organize against it.


The Facts about CUNYCard

What is CUNYCard?

CUNYCard is a new ID card administrators are attempting to implement at campuses across CUNY, including City College. The proposed card may act as a library card, and, if students choose, as a Citibank debit card and MCI calling card. The card also has the potential to be programmed as a xerox card, a vending machine card and an access card for restricted parts of campus.

Though the proposed card sounds neat, CUNY-Card is actually an attempt by administrators, Citibank and MCI to violate students’ pocketbooks and privacy. That’s why CUNY administrators, working on it three years behind closed doors, have said almost nothing publically about CUNYCard. They don’t want public debate about it. This pamphlet, made by students and faculty, will attempt to update the CUNY community on the proposed card and explain why administrators don’t want you to know about it until it’s too late. (more…)

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Some Thoughts on the History of CUNY SLAM

http://leftspot.com/blog/?q=cunyarticle

In Spring 2006, two important commemorations will occur to celebrate the history of militant student and community struggle at the City University of New York (CUNY), one of the largest and most important public university systems in the U.S., made up of 17 separate campuses and over 200,000 students spread throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

On March 25 there will be a 30-year anniversary celebration of building takeovers by South Bronx community members and Hostos students to save Hostos Community College in 1976. Hostos is a CUNY campus with a largely Latino and immigrant student body located in the South Bronx.

On April 1 there will be an event commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM!) in 1996. SLAM! is a multinational radical student organization. It grew out of a mass movement to stop tuition increases and cuts to Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) at CUNY in 1995. That movement included sit-ins that led to mass arrests at City College and Hunter College, and culminated in a (non-permitted) massive march of 20,000 students on City Hall not long after Rudolph Giuliani was elected Mayor of New York. SLAM! continues as an active radical CUNY student organization.

The Struggle Over Who CUNY Serves

CUNY is not like most university systems in the U.S. CUNY was founded in 1847 as the “Free Academy” to educate the working class and had free tuition from 1847 until 1976. The large majority of students are from working class and poor families, and the majority of students are oppressed nationalities. (more…)

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