A massive protest movement has emerged in response to an economic crisis, rapidly increasing wealth inequity, and diminishing employment and educational opportunities for an entire generation. The recent financial crisis, facilitated by Wall Street malfeasance, has only exacerbated a devastating decades-long trend that continues to socialize risk and privatize profit. This trend toward increasing economic injustice has disproportionately affected communities of color and left tens of millions homeless, jobless, and overburdened with student loans and underwater mortgages.
As educators and students, we have witnessed decreases in state funding for education, coupled with increases in tuition costs, the privatization of research, the commodification of campus spaces, the use of precarious and part-time positions, and attacks on collective bargaining. This has had a disciplinary effect on educators and students alike, hindering the pursuit of higher education, open and critical inquiry, as well as democratic participation.
SPEP stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which represents a direct challenge to these social and political inequities and economic injustices, as it reclaims social spaces for democratic deliberation and participation and pushes back against a growing suspicion of social solidarity and the public good. SPEP encourages its members to support these principles and practices in the Occupy movement through any and all of the unique resources available to them.