March from CUNY Central Offices down 3rd Ave to Baruch @ 2PM
42nd St & 3rd Ave
Rally Outside CUNY Board of Trustees Meeting @ 3pm
Outside Baruch Vertical Campus building
E 25th St between Lexington and 3rd Ave
Recently, the CUNY Board of Trustees has put forth a motion known as the “Expressive Conduct” Policy.
Following the protests against the hiring of former General and CIA Director David Petraeus and reintroduction of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) into CUNY, it is clear that the “Expressive Conduct” Policy is part of the ongoing militarization of CUNY. The “Expressive Conduct” Policy aims to quell any dissent which occurs within the walls of the CUNY campus.
The recent proposal for the policy illustrates that there are two visions of what CUNY should be.
On the one hand, the Board of Trustees envisions CUNY to be a mechanism for capitalist class oppression. They want CUNY students to graduate to take on mini-manager positions within a system that benefits the capitalist minority over the oppressed and exploited majority of this city. This is a CUNY which is not only privatized but also gentrified with limited accessibility to the oppressed-nationality proletariat of this city.
On the flipside, there is the liberated vision of CUNY which Assata Shakur and Guillermo Morales, Black and Puerto Rican Liberation fighters embodied. They were socialists who were involved with the Black Liberation Army and FALN. Both Shakur and Morales were CUNY students— specifically City College alumni—who participated in the 1969 student strike that opened CUNY up for Black and Latino working-class students for the first time.
Although we are differ ideologically from Morales and Shakur, we are inspired and guided by their militancy. Their vision of what CUNY should be is not history. It is their vision of what CUNY should be that serves as our point of departure.
The “Expressive Conduct” policy has been put on the table after the protests that opposed General Petraeus coming to CUNY. The Board of Trustees are aware that the recent movement against the militarization of CUNY can lead to a broader struggle which can challenge the BOT’s vision of CUNY.
Students within CUNY are an insurgent population. Many of us are of oppressed and working class backgrounds. Access to CUNY opens up the possibilty of understanding this system of oppression and exploitation and fighting against it. What better way to curtail an insurgency by stopping it before it occurs.
If the creation of a educational curriculum tailored to the needs of reproducing the exploitative system is an example ideological repression, then the new “Expressive Activities” policy is an example of legal repression both which can be looked at as pre-emptive counter-insurgency measure.
This repression is also symptomatic of a wider increase of the repressive apparatus of the state throughout white supremacist capitalist-imperialist patriarchal society.
We see it all around us on our campuses, where hordes of public safety officers are omnipresent, especially when there are protests and political events on campus.
We see it at City College, where the administration raided and seized the Morales / Shakur Community Center over a weekend in October.
We see this with the surveillance of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Associations.
We see this with the suspension of comrades Khalil Vasquez and Taffy Sourov.
Outside of CUNY, we see the crushing of dissent through the imprisonment of military whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
We see it with the countless nameless oppressed-nationality and working-class people who are victims of mass incarceration.
We see it with the increasing numbers of ever-present cameras at the MTA train stations, buses, apartment lobbies and just walking down the street.
Particularly, we see this repression embodied in the so-called “boys in blue” (NYPD) who occupy the hood and stop-and-frisk us by the hundreds of thousands. The NYPD overstep their jurisdiction to spy on Muslims. This is the same NYPD which can be found to operate in occupied Palestine even.
This repression in wider society is a repression which is of a class character; it is used to keep one class in power and another class powerless.
This repression also exists within the CUNY system and one way it has manifested itself is through the “Expressive Conduct” Policy. The BOT is merely administrating the needs of the ruling class in this city to repress us and keep us powerless.
The only way for the powerless in CUNY to oppose this “Expressive Conduct” Policy is to fight and liberate CUNY for the people.
Abolish the Board of Trustees!
Guaranteed admissions for proletarians of NYC!
Community centers on every campus!