The social movement known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is growing and raising issues of direct relevance to the faculty, students and staff of the University of California, including contracting opportunities and increasing debt loads for our students created by a system of privatized education and a refusal to provide high quality affordable public higher education.
The Council of UC Faculty Associations, on behalf of all UC faculty, is making a petition supporting OWS available for UC faculty to sign. The text of the petition reads:
We, members of the faculty of the University of California, write in solidarity with and in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement now underway in our city and elsewhere. Many observers claim that the movement has no specific goals; this is not our understanding. The movement aims to bring attention to the various forms of inequality – economic, political, and social – that characterize our times, that block opportunities for the young and strangle the hopes for better futures for the majority while generating vast profits for a very few.
The demonstrators are demanding substantive change that redresses the many inequitable features of our society, which have been exacerbated by the financial crisis of 2009 and the subsequent recession. Among these are: the lack of accountability on the part of the bankers and Wall Street firms that drove the economy to disaster; rising economic inequality in the United States; the intimate relationship between the corporate power and government at all levels, which has made genuine change impossible; the ned for dramatic action to provide employment for the jobless and protect programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in part by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes; and the disastrous effects of the costly wars that the United States has been conducting.
Only by identifying the complex interconnections between repressive economic, social and political regimes can social and economic justice prevail in this country and around the globe. It is this identification that we applaud, and we call on all members of the University of California community to lend their support to the peaceful and potentially transformative movement.
We urge you to read the petition and support it by clicking here.
This petition was originally developed by faculty at Columbia and Barnard. For an excellent short article on this growing movement and how it relates to higher education, read Prof. Jonathan Cole’s post on OWS “Occupy Wall Street as the Conscience of America.“ Jonathan R. Cole is currently the John Mitchell Mason Professor and former Provost and Dean of Faculties of Columbia University (1989-2003)