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From a friend:

"Notes from the strike

I spent the day on the picket line with some of our brothers and sisters at NYU and I was so inspired that I just wanted to pass along a bit of the experience. It's a long email so if you're not interested don't feel obligated...

First of all, I know most of you know this but the strike is indefinite - that's heavy, to say the least. It's also a strike for recognition - I mean, just to get a contract which is also incredibly daunting. But they have so much energy, it's really impressive. They're running two big pickets every day from 8-5 and all members do 3 five hour shifts a week. They are receiving strike pay fom UAW. Today was the 4th full day of striking.

I won't go into all of the details and news... many of you probably get the CGEU emails and are already familiar. But if you're interested there are a few blogs and websites detailing the situation. Some of the most amazing stuff has been the overwhelming faculty support - who were to some extent inadvertantly organized by the administration; on the first day of the strike a scandal also broke involving the administration's surveilance of professors' coursetools sites (blackboard is the program, officially). I'm including some links at the bottom for more info on all of this....

Let's see.. of course they were happy to have support from UofM and a number of folks asked me if I knew various people here. One woman in the Spanish department gave me an enormous hug when I told her that I knew Luis Cabrera- apparently she was his student as an undergrad. It's nice to see some of our undergrads growing into militant grad union members.

A GESO organizer from Yale seemed to not believe I was who I said I was - she thought I was masquerading as Urmila - we cleared that up, though.

The chants were good, though they didn't really take to "workers side/bosses side"... apparently Michigan chants don't fly in New York. And I had to curb my natural inclination to follow "3,5,7,9!" with "Michigan it's contract time!" - the right response, in this case was "come and join our picket line!" I've been trying to remember some of our other classic chants for tomorrow but I'm having a hard time recalling. If anyone wants to remind me that would be great.

I wish I could somehow instantly transport all of you out to New York tomorrow - it's been so great but it's a little sad without the familiarity of the GEO crew. Nonetheless, seeing so many people like us taking this huge risk - an open ended strike just for a basic contract - really renewed some of my own sense of what we all do this for, all the meetings, all the office visiting, etc. It really is important and it really is about something larger."

tx urs
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