Originally disseminated by McGuire to his “Community List” March 7 Update: A correction.

::

Youngbloods, Elders and Friends,
March 5, 14:52:24 EST 2010

I write to express my support for the Open Letter to the Student Movement by a broad cross section of Hunter College activists (reproduced below) and to express my anger at the students from private colleges who assaulted Hunter activist Luz Schrieber and Professor Tami Gold yesterday, when the “invaders” vandalized Hunter College and terrorized Hunter students and faculty. Hunter activist Leanne Tory-Murphy aptly noted that white students from private colleges invading Hunter screaming “occupy everything” sounds “like something out of a colonist’s handbook circa 1750, especially when you look at who is chanting it.” March 7 Update: Schrieber writes on the Facebook wall of Don’t Fuck With Hunter College, “The person who assaulted me is actually a Hunter student- sad.” In another post on that wall, she writes : “I joined this group in order to make comments on its wall. I do not support this or any other group created to alienate people. I was NOT attacked by an NYU student and the comment that was posted was not done with my consent. Although I did write the the details of my assault, it was not meant to bolster sentiments to become territorial.”

Andy Folk’s response to the Hunter students’ letter (see below) sidesteps the fact that although a few white Hunter students participated with the downtown anarchists, the organized activists at Hunter College and the entire Hunter community are united in outrage at the vandalism, violence, threats and physical and verbal assaults perpetrated by some of the so-called “anarchists” yesterday.

Andy, you accuse the broad range of activists united in condemnation of the invasion of Hunter College of attempting to create “false consensus.” Look at the students and faculty who signed the open letter beneath yours. They represent a cross section of the people who have been organizing at Hunter. This is not about ISO’s agenda, as you claimed in your letter.

Do you understand who Luz Schrieber is and what she represents to the Hunter movement? If you don’t understand the consensus being expressed about the tactics of the so-called anarchists at Hunter yesterday or if you don’t understand how consensus is built in the CUNY movement, then I suggest that you and the downtown anarchists step back and observe the CUNY movement and listen carefully to their criticism of what happened yesterday.

Several witnesses I trust told me that yesterday Luz Schrieber and Tami Gold were physically assaulted by so-called “anarchists” and that a white man screamed at Luz “I’ll put herpes in your cunt!”

Let me be plain. Anyone who physically assaults Luz or Tami is an enemy of the people. Any man who said what was reportedly said to Luz is guilty of verbal assault and needs to be criticized and reeducated. At Hunter there is consensus on that.

If you can’t understand the basis for the consensus expressed by the Open Letter, then you do not understand the history or reality of the CUNY student movement which I have participated in as an activist for over 45 years. Our movement has historically been led by people of color, primarily from the Black, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Asian and immigrant communities. Our movement is about survival. Our movement is about knowing who among us and in our communities is most at risk. And our movement is about protecting our people. The actions of the invaders yesterday put our people at risk.

Black, Latino and immigrant activists are generally motivated by a love for their people that guides their actions and connects them to the elders and institutions in their communities. People of color understand the importance of the struggle to build, organize and control institutions as a tool in their historic fight for survival against racism and imperialism. White middle class activists, often motivated by feelings of personal alienation and resentment of institutional authority, have a tendency to lapse into nihilism and adventurism As Chris Day pointed out in his open letter, CUNY activists recognize that when white adventurisms create unnecessary confrontations, the people who bear the consequences are usually Black and Latino.

It is for this reason that most of the successful militant actions of the CUNY student movement have been organized and led by organizations that were predominantly, or exclusively, led by Black and/or Latino students.

When we won the strike for Open Admissions, our main supporters were Black and Puerto Rican community activists. Until the mid 1990’s CUNY students saw their main base of support in the Black, Latino, Dominican and immigrant communities, not from students at predominantly white private colleges or SUNY. White activists have historically played an important role in the CUNY movement. But for white activists to participate, we needed to learn to respect the leadership of the people of color and their communities.

It is not respectful for white private college students to try to organize a wildcat occupation of someone else’s school when they are asked not to by that school’s organizers.

If the private college students who were responsible for the chaos yesterday want to act in solidarity with the CUNY movement in the future then they must accept the criticism coming to them from the Hunter student activists and demonstrate that they are learning to deal with their own racism and that they have learned to respect the CUNY students who they say they are trying to help.

In Struggle,
Ronald B. McGuire
Harlem University ‘69 (expelled)
Ron McGuire can be reached at ronmcguire@att.net




- Original Message -Andy Folk

From: drudge@gmail.com
To: march-4-education-ny@googlegroups.com
Cc: CUNY Contingents Discussion ; cuny_unity@yahoogroups.com ; cuny-disorientation@lists.riseup.net
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 11:50 AM
Subject: [cuny-disorientation] Re: [March 4 NY] Fwd: [cuny_movement] Open letter to the Student Movement- On March 4 National Day of Action- FORWARD WIDELY

This note is very troubling to me, both for the legitimate points it makes and how the story is being skewed to fit one faction’s agenda. I urge those who signed the letter to give second thought to the ramifications of creating a strawman out of your allies.

It is my belief that while there will always be disagreements on how to act, specifically internally or externally to the power structures that be, these differences are suppressed when student organizers create an image of false consensus that renders one ideology democratically canonized and another antithetical to the self-appointed process. That is precisely what I am witnessing now, and although I personally did not make it to any of the Hunter organizing meetings this is the sense I get from those who have attended them.

It seems that the ISO agenda at this point is to blame all damages, disagreements, etc on New School students as a mass, even those who were took personal time to organize a succesfull walkout for the collective cause of defending public education. Most of whom, faculty included, did not vandalize anything or cause any damage. Is it so hard to believe that some Hunter students might have a preference of activism outside of your process? Why is it so important for you to blame everything on outside agitators, something I think you can hardly prove, as I witnessed NYU, New School, and Hunter students working together in various actions yesterday and over the last two years.

To move forward, I ask you to drop this false charge that all damages were done entirely by outside agitators! The concerns you raise are for more complex for you to pawn off so quickly.

Solidarity,
-Andy Folk