Occupy Summer School in the Metro!
Yesterday, as I was accompanying Adam Reich to the Occupy Summer School on the downtown 2 train, he pointed over my shoulder at someone reading a Metro, because the girls were on the front page:
We also were on the second page:
Since Occupy Summer School (OSS) is half over, I think it’s a good time to update you on what’s been happening.
- Last Monday we introduced ourselves, met the students, talked a little bit about Occupy, agreeable disagreement, and had a discussion about what they wanted to focus on using “stack.” Among the issues they came up with: inequality, Black Lives Matter, taxing the rich, how teenagers are unfairly targeted, and gender issues.
- Tuesday Ale and Mo, a high school activist, came and talked to the girls about activism. We discussed how organizing actually works, what were the props for events, like stickers, flyers, signs and banners, how to get the word out among networks via text or twitter or other social media, and so on. We ended the day by quickly planning a protest against overly lengthy standardized tests.
- Wednesday Tamir’s friends from Local 79 came and talked about unions and union organizing. The girls didn’t know much about unions, and were interested to learn how power can be created through numbers.
- Thursday Gerald provoked a fantastic discussion on #BlackLivesMatter and related topics. This was the first time where the girls really took over the discussion and the grownups in the room were merely listening and every now and then joining the discussion.
- Friday Marni dazzled the girls with her approach to creative protests. She brought her own entourage, which ended up being how we got into the Metro. The day ended by planning a bake sale where women would be charged 78 cents and men one dollar for the same brownies, to illustrate the difference in pay.
- This Monday I spoke to the girls about “why high school is free but college is expensive,” and then about debt more generally. We ended the day by planning a protest around a $100 ticket one of the girls had gotten for “doubling up” in the subway with her cousin, who didn’t have a student Metro card. The demand was to be unlimited metro rides for high school students on all days, not just school days.
- Yesterday Adam came and talked to them about sociology, what is power (power is the opposite of dependence), and his work helping orgainze workers at Walmart. By the end of it he had two volunteers who wanted to join the cause.
I can’t wait for the rest of OSS! I’ll write another update at the end of next week when it’s over.