The past week has brought a flurry of excitement, as the Free Cooper Union effort has led to over 50 students, faculty, and staff maintaining a sit-in occupation inside college President Jamshed Bharucha’s office on the 7th floor of the Foundation Building of the Cooper Union.
This occupation comes in response to the decision to begin charging tuition for the first time, ending a 154 year tradition of free education, as well as in the context of the broader unfolding tuition and student debt crisis across the country.
Many Occupy groups have protested outside in solidarity, The Illuminator has projected on the walls, Occupy Museums delivered sushi for dinner.
We stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, and next generation of art students who have lost this amazing gift from Peter Cooper, education which is “free as air and water.”
-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
United Against Pipelines Update
This Monday, hundreds of occupiers and climate activists from dozens of groups came together to challenge President Obama on the Keystone XL Pipeline and climate change at large during a fundraiser he was holding with the 1%.
Check out photos of the action on Flickr, watch livestream footage from StopMotionSolo, and join the protest this Thursday of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his promotion of the pipeline.
Occupy in the News
PressTV covered Obama being greeted in NY by Occupy protesters.
The Village Voice blog covers DebtFair, an action initiated by Occupy Museums to draw attention to debt and inequality within the art world. “Turn[ing] art fairs and auctions like Frieze New York and Sotheby’s on their heads” the fairs will display art about debt at many populist venues as well as “in front of banks or ‘more arrestable actions’ inside banks...”
At hyperallergic.com, Debtfair’s mission was described as such: “...to predicate compensation [for an artist] on their debt load, allowing patrons to make direct payments on their student loans or outstanding consumer credit. By correlating the value of an artwork with the fiscal situation of its producer, it’s an objection to capitalist exchange...”
The Arts and Labor Working Group, along with various affected unions, has been agitating for changes in the hiring practices of the Frieze New York art fair. Letters were sent out recently asking participants to boycott over Frieze’s unfair use of non-union labor.