Filed under: Austerity, Education, Northwest, Police
Report from South Sound General Education Union at Evergreen State University in Olympia, Washington.
November 7th, from around 1-1:30 pm at the Evergreen State College in Olympia WA, the IWW South Sound General Education Union organized a rally of over 100 people for the school to not hire another cop and to instead hire two full time positions, with one in political economy and one in an art program that faced cuts this recent Summer of 2018. The attendees at the rally were concerned community members and people of the working class at the college: students, faculty, and staff (except those who can hire/fire/expel people).
Chants were sung regarding the absurd priorities of the administration, with 5 people doing speeches that contextualized the local struggle to the wider fight against capitalism, statecraft, and their spawns; one of the speakers talked about how this rally happened two months after the murder of Yvonne McDonald, a Black Woman of Olympia, Washington, whose murder case has been ignored by the city police.
This rally was significantly a response to the administration firing over 21 workers during the Summer of 2018, primarily staff but as well a few faculty. Art programs such as theater and photography took the biggest cut of workers, while the school somehow still has the money to hire faculty for their business school. Political Economy, a department that investigates the root of social and material relations which has been supposedly under highest priority for a new faculty member, has been neglected by the administration for years, with nearly all of its members retiring without a replacement in line. These decisions reveal that the school desires to become an institution that only upholds academics that have the utmost obedience to the present order, hence its investment towards the business school and the austerity to programs that potentially foster frameworks that are critical of the status quo.
As well, as a reaction to the spring 2017 protests last year, the school received orders from the Washington state government to hire more cops and to give them heavier weapons such as AR-15. As of now, the school is trying to hire another cop, which will give the highest administrators more power to shut down working class movements on campus.
A demand delivery by the IWW South Sound General Education Union was made to the president and provost office area at around 1:35 pm. Here are the demands made to both the president and the provost:
• “The immediate end of the hiring process of another campus police officer.
• The immediate hiring of two full time positions, one in Political Economy and one in the Art
programs that you have recently cut this Summer of 2018, particularly in either theater or
People then clapped and exited the room once the demand letter was read out loud, with most of them ending up near the forest to debrief about the rally. Reflections were made that will strengthen the union and the movement against the hierarchical rule of the school.