AAUP: We Support ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests

In a statement released today the AAUP has spoken out to back “the dedicated students whom we teach at institutions of higher education are being forced to pay more for tuition and go deeper into debt because of cuts in state funding, only to find themselves unemployed when they graduate”.

The statement continues:

“Over the last several years, we have watched as those at the very top have prospered while the fortunes of those below the very top have stagnated or declined.  The gap between rich and poor is greater than ever before in our lifetimes, and we need to stand up for those who are trying to improve their circumstances and provide for their families.”

Occupy Wall Street is a movement that has achieved global recognition for their protests against the current climate and culture of cuts. Their website states that:

“Even as banks got bailed out, American children have witnessed their parents get tossed out of their homes and lose their jobs. Public school kids have lost arts, music and physical education.”

“Now our kids can see activists take these issues to the streets in a democratic forum at Occupy Wall Street.”

Zeke Miller at Business Insider reports that the former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has had harsh words for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling it “a natural product of Obama’s class warfare.”

In an interview with CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, Gingrich said “the real American tradition” is having the chance to “go out and work hard, the Steve Jobs experience. You can create a better future. You can do something better.”

“We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise and frankly, a strain of hostility to classic America starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country,” he added. “And I regard the Wall Street protests as a natural outcome of a bad education system teaching them really dumb ideas.”

The AAUP consider that the majority of college and university faculty positions are now insecure, part-time jobs.

“In addition, attacks on collective bargaining have been rampant throughout the nation, as our job security, wages, health benefits, and pensions have been either reduced or slated for elimination.”

Therefore, they say, it is time to stand up for what is right:

“We applaud the action the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken to highlight the inequity and unfairness of the society in which we live.”