CUNY student walkout

From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011:

CUNY student walkout

New York–Over 100 students at Queens College City University of New York (CUNY) walked out of classes on March 31, protesting state budget cuts that would affect not only the cost but the quality of their education. Students are alarmed at the impending teacher layoffs and the curtailment of curriculum. The students marched onto one of New York’s busiest highways, the Long Island Expressway, completely stopping traffic.

A participant said: “Cynicism is very widespread. U.S. schools teach that revolution begins moderately but then becomes radical. U.S. cynicism is seen even in TV satires, which deep down express belief in Margaret Thatcher’s statement ‘there is no alternative’ to capitalism. Even in 2008 people went along with capitalism. The myths of the Tea Party harness the anger against capitalism. There are few capitalist ideologues on campuses but many accept the idea, ‘It sucks, but it’s all we’ve got.’ Consciousness is a big problem.

“I have been working with student organizations since 2008, with disappointing results. The Tea Party has taken the advantage. But today’s demonstration reminds me that only after the worst of the Great Depression was over was there the most fight and the greatest gains for labor.”


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