Seize the time! Occupy everything, demand and fight for everything!
Statement by the Bail Out the People Movement in support of students and activists in Denver Colorado who are embarking on an occupation of the largest university campus in the state.
Bail Out the People Movement, like many others, is inspired by the tremendous movement that has been unleashed around the country. The occupation movement has captured the imagination of so many who have been suffering under the conditions of a system that is in a deep and intractable crisis. BOPM salutes the achievements of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This movement must not and cannot be stopped.
Of course, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is not perfect; no movement is. Clearly, this movement will not be able to realize its full revolutionary potential unless the most thoughtful and serious activists within its ranks struggle to overcome any and all barriers to the movements full union with communities of color, and those who because of race, religion, gender or class bear the brunt of inequality and oppression. Activists in communities of color and others have taken on the task of developing consciousness and using the space opened up to help bring about such a full union.
We stand with all people struggling and fighting and say continue forward. Seize the time! Occupy everything, demand and fight for everything!
As the weather grows inclement we hope the movement does not wane and continues to grow, so we salute activists in Denver, Colorado who are embarking on an occupation of the largest university campus in the state. Like the students and activists there, we call on all students to seize your colleges and universities against cuts, tuition increases and for more educational opportunities for oppressed people of color and more opportunities to learn the history of their different cultures. We call on workers facing layoffs and plant closures to seize your work places, families facing foreclosures and evictions, seize your homes and apartments.
Statement issued by students and activists in Denver, Colorado:
Occupy the Campuses/Decolonize Our Minds
The college campuses across this country are a microcosm of the financial problems that our communities are facing. Students are struggling with high levels of debt, corporations have become a higher priority than the students on campuses, university workers are denied their right to organize for better working conditions and the education we receive only serves to further a dominant paradigm that supports an economic system rife with exploitation.
As students, we carry with us the historic burden of being a radical voice and often the deciding factor that has pressured movements to go beyond minor reforms and move towards fundamental change in the dominant societal structure. Therefore, we are calling for an occupation of the Auraria Campus that will be the opening salvo in a national movement to occupy university campuses. A network of campuses across the country is prepared to stand in solidarity with our call to action.
We present these basic demands as a living document and as a foundation that can be modified through democratic practices initiated during this occupation.
- After three straight years of seeing our tuition raised and our programs cut, we feel the poor are being shutout of the educational process, further widening the gap between an elite population that has access to the levers of powers and the rest of the population. To address this injustice and inequality, we ask for a four year tuition freeze for all state run institutions in order for this incoming class to have the opportunity to graduate at the rate at which they entered the higher educational system. We do not want our tuition to become part of an austerity program to solve problems that have been created by corporate greed.
- In this economic situation we find ourselves in, we are in solidarity with the working class, as they are part of our campus community. We demand a halt to the unfair labor practices in regards to the campus staff and demand that they be permitted to engage in the process of collective bargaining with the university system so they may have a voice in the labor practices that directly affect their lives and families.
- By focusing solely on dominant paradigms in the educational curriculum, the university continues to produce community members that only have the necessary tools to continue the current structures of government, which have driven this country towards the economic crisis we find ourselves in. We demand that alternative paradigms be included in the educational system. One way which this could occur is through further course offerings that support Indigenous societal models that provide the necessary tools for students to work towards this paradigm shift we speak of.
- To support point 3, Indigenous students are aware that there are certificate programs and degree options for Latino studies, African-American studies, and Asian studies, but in their traditional homeland here in Colorado, they are unable to have a comprehensive program for Indigenous studies. This needs to be immediately rectified.
- All corporate funding at this University should have to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the student body prior to being permitted to enter into partnerships with the University’s educational system.
- Students should be encouraged to complete their course work in order to gain their degree. Any actions that encourage students to leave their select programs should not be allowed on campuses. This would include military recruiters that encourage students to enlist in the service and put their educational aspirations on hold.
- The current wars of colonial occupation engaged in by the United States government, in our names, have drained the resources of this country and have had a direct impact on the financial structures necessary for achieving a proper education in this country. We demand an immediate end to these wars to alleviate these pressures. We ask the government to fund books, not bombs.
- The demographics of this and many universities across the country do not mirror the communities they are located in. We demand more emphasis be placed on programs to recruit and aid minority students in the university system.
- We demand that the universities utilize their purchase powers to drive down the cost of educational materials, making them affordable to all students.
- We believe in respecting the human dignity of all of our community members. We demand that all undocumented local residents be permitted to pay in-state tuition to attend college.
- President Obama has called for debt forgiveness for the Egyptian government and the Libyan government for their commitment to entering the democratic world. We students, with this occupy movement, are an example of participatory democracy in action and therefore call upon the President to provide debt forgiveness for all students currently enrolled in the university system.
Bail Out the People Movement
147 W. 24th St. 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011