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Academics and Students Call for a Nationwide University Shut Down on May Day

Nancy Fraser, David Harvey, Judith Butler, Cornell West, Etienne Balibar and other students and intellectuals sign a petition calling for a moratorium on May 1. The following pledge is being circulated by students, staff, faculty, and administrators across the United States. Sign and circulate this call to action.

Left Voice

April 13, 2017
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Left Voice’s second issue, “Women on the Front Lines”, is now available for purchase. For every magazine sold, we will donate a dollar to a worker controlled factory in Argentina.

The following petition is being circulated by students and faculty across the country. Please sign and circulate this nationwide call.

The original text of the petition is below:

The following pledge is being circulated by students, staff, faculty, and administrators across the United States. In the face of a climate of increasing bigotry and violence, we call on the university community to engage in a moratorium on business as usual and take action in solidarity with the immigrant worker strike on May Day.

We face a moment of great uncertainty. Elements of the social safety net and basic rights provisions are being rescinded and amended more swiftly than they can be challenged through traditional legal and legislative interventions. Millions of immigrants live under daily threat of separation from their families and communities by intensified ICE raids.

Many of the attacks we face directly affect the university. The arts, humanities, and sciences face not only funding cuts but an assault on the concept of free inquiry itself. Climate change data is being removed from the public domain, university budgets are being held hostage by state governments and the threat of political retaliation by the federal government, white supremacists have been emboldened to commit hate crimes on our campuses, and basic facts have diminishing import in the national debate.

May Day 2017 will be a day of struggle against the Trump administration and the structural conditions under which it originated. A day in which workers across the country, waged and unwaged, will strike, march, rally, boycott, and make our voices heard against the sexism, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia of this administration and against the global system of production that makes it possible. This charge will be led by immigrant workers, hundreds of thousands of whom have already pledged to strike, with several hundreds of thousands more expected, in what could be one of the largest strikes in US history.

We call on the academic community to live up to the promise of higher learning by halting business as usual on May Day as an act of solidarity. While the nation’s workforce pauses to engage in a day of action, universities must pause as well; for staff, adjuncts and student workers on our campuses know well the severity of neoliberal policies and the precarization of work conditions, while students are already facing the terror of ICE raids.

We call on universities nationwide to engage in a moratorium on university operations this May Day so that students, staff, and faculty—domestic and international, documented and undocumented—can engage in a day of demonstrations and teach-ins in solidarity with A Day Without Immigrants. We call on university administrators and faculty to cancel classes, close offices, and postpone maintenance to demonstrate our solidarity with immigrant workers and our support for thoughtful strategies of resistance.

As administrators, we pledge to place a moratorium on all normal university operations to allow faculty, staff, and students to participate in this momentous day of civic engagement, with pay and without retaliation.

As faculty, we pledge to hold teach-ins or join our students participating in protests in lieu of regular coursework.

As staff, we pledge not to work and to afford our student workers the same opportunity.

As students, we pledge to attend teach-ins, demonstrations, and marches instead of classes.

And as members of the university community as a whole, we pledge to take action to defend all those who face retaliation for their participation in the moratorium and other May Day strike actions.

In solidarity,

Linda Martín Alcoff (CUNY and International Women’s Strike)
Sonia E. Alvarez (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Amanda Armstrong (University of Michigan and IWS)
Elisabeth Armstrong (Smith College)
Cinzia Arruzza (The New School and IWS)
Colleen Asper (Yale University and IWS)
William Aviles (University of Nebraska at Kerney)
George Baker (UCLA)
Etienne Balibar (Columbia University)
Joel Beinin (Stanford University)
Seyla Benhabib (Yale University)
Tithi Bhattacharya (Purdue University and IWS)
Omri Boehm (New School for Social Research)
Ashley Bohrer (Hamilton College and IWS)
Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for Advanced Study)
Chiara Bottici (New School for Social Research)
Samantha Bowden (Rutgers University)
Daniel Bozhkov (Hunter College, CUNY)
Lorna Bracewell (University of Nebraska at Kerney)
Tim Brennan (University of Minnesota)
Robert Brenner (UCLA)
Natalia Brizuela (UC Berkeley)
Katarina Burin (Harvard University)
Ximena Bustamante (CUNY and IWS)
Judith Butler (UC Berkeley)
Jordan T. Camp (Brown University)
Conall Cash (Cornell University)
Benoit Challand (The New School)
Ajay Singh Chaudhary (Brooklyn Institute for Social Research)
George Ciccariello-Maher (Drexel)
Christen Clifford (The New School)
Joshua Clover (UC Davis)
Gus Cochran (Agnes Scott College)
Drucilla Cornell (Rutgers University)
Alice Crary (New School for Social Research)
Altha Cravey (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research)
Elyse Crystall (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Erik Davis (Macalester College)
Rochelle Davis (Georgetown University)
Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith College)
Doreen Densky (New York University)
Alexis Dianda (The New School and IWS)
Ashley “Woody” Doane (University of Hartford)
Kate Doyle Griffiths (CUNY and IWS)
Susana Draper (Princeton University and IWS)
Mark Driscoll (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Lisabeth During (Pratt Institute)
Zillah Eisenstein (Ithaca College and IWS)
Arturo Escobar (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Samuel Farber (CUNY)
Liza Featherstone (Brooklyn College)
Rochelle Feinstein (Yale University)
Erik M. Fink (Elon Law School)
Kevin Floyd (Kent State University)
Amy Foerster (Pace University)
Erik Forman (CUNY/SUNY)
Hal Foster (Princeton University)
Frances Fox Piven (CUNY)
Anne-Lise Francois (UC Berkeley)
Nancy Fraser (New School for Social Research and IWS)
Elaine Freedgood (New York University)
Eli Friedman (Cornell University)
Charles Fruehling Springwood (Illinois Wesleyan University)
Coco Fusco (University of Florida)
Christina Gerhardt (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa)
Jeremy Glick (Hunter College)
Jeff Goodwin (New York University)
Andrej Grubacic (California Institute of Integral Studies)
Melissa Gruver (Purdue University)
Lisa Guenther (Vanderbilt)
John Gulick (Brooklyn College, NYC College of Technology)
John Halle (Bard College)
Marc Handelman (Rutgers University)
Donna Haraway (UC Santa Cruz)
David Harvey (CUNY)
Christina Heatherton (Trinity College)
Nancy Holmstrom (Rutgers University, Emerita)
Christopher Isett (University of Minnesota)
Aaron Jaffe (Juilliard and IWS)
Aaron Jakes (New School for Social Research)
Joy James (Williams College)
Pranav Jani (Ohio State University)
Donna V. Jones (UC Berkeley)
Branden W. Joseph (Columbia University)
Susan Kang (John Jay CUNY)
Rebecca Karl (New York University)
Joe Keady (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
Robin D. G. Kelley (UCLA)
Deepa Kumar (Rutgers University)
Despina Lalaki (CUNY)
Kristin Lawler (College of Mount Saint Vincent)
Nicole Legnani (Princeton University)
Zachary Levenson (UC Berkeley)
William S. Lewis (Skidmore College)
Jacques Lezra (New York University)
Laura Y. Liu (The New School)
James Livingston (Rutgers University)
Lisa Lowe (Tufts)
Stephanie Luce (CUNY)
Dana Luciano (Georgetown University)
Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel (Rutgers University)
Liz Mason-Deese (University of Mary Washington and IWS)
Todd May (Clemson)
Michael McCarthy (Marquette University)
Yates McKee (CUNY)
Eduardo Mendieta (Penn State)
Frann Michel (Willamette University)
Karen Miller (La Guardia Community College, CUNY)
Adam Miyashiro (Stockton University)
Jason W. Moore (Binghamton University)
Bill V. Mullen (Purdue University)
Premilla Nadasen (Barnard, Columbia University)
Karen Ng (Vanderbilt)
Dmitri Nikulin (New School for Social Research)
Michelle Esther O’Brien (New York University)
Kevin Ohi (Boston College)
Johanna Oksala (University of Helsinki, Pratt Institute)
Amy Abugo Ongiri (Lawrence University)
Yekaterina Oziashvili (Sarah Lawrence)
Dushko Petrovich (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Ross Poole (New School for Social Research)
Charles Post (CUNY)
Vijay Prashad (Trinity)
Jasbir Puar (Rutgers)
Michael Principe (Middle Tennessee State University)
Sid Ray (Pace University)
Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson (Loyola Marymount University)
Avital Ronell (New York University)
Andrew Ross (New York University)
Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (New York University)
Matt Saunders (Harvard University)
Mira Schor (Parsons The New School for Design)
Catherine V. Scott (Agnes Scott College)
Nandita Sharma (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa)
Wilson Sherwin (CUNY)
Jeffrey Skoller (UC Berkeley)
Anthony Paul Smith (LaSalle University)
Ann Snitow (Lang College, The New School)
Eva Soto Perelló (Portland State University)
Carol Stabile (University of Oregon)
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Princeton University and IWS)
Millie Thayer (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Andrew K. Thompson (Fordham University)
Miriam Ticktin (New School for Social Research)
Saadia Toor (College of Staten Island)
Jennifer Tyburczy (UC Santa Barbara)
Ivonne del Valle (UC Berkeley)
William Villalongo (Cooper Union)
McKenzie Wark (The New School)
Cornel West (Harvard University, Princeton University)
Blanche Wiesen Cook (John Jay College, CUNY)
Didier William (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)
Deva Woodly-Davis (The New School)
Rocio Zambrana (University of Oregon)
Catherine Zimmer (Pace University)


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