An email from the New School director of communications and special projects was just forwarded to The Observer. The school is aware of the massive labor union and student protest today associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement and informs students that should they choose to participate, they should protest in Foley Square where the demonstrators have a permit.
The New School email is hardly a spicy read, but it’s already sparked the beginning of a reply-all nightmare, with one recipient feeling compelled to respond with his feelings on the protest, the New School’s role in it, and, as he mentions, “UN, IMF, WTO, WB, Basel, etc.”
The New School missive:
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 19:16:11 -0400Subject: [GPIA] Fwd: Important information about protests tomorrow
It has come to our attention that New School students may be participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests tomorrow. We have received notice from the New York Police Department that the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has secured a permit to legally protest in Foley Square (near the courthouses). If students are planning to join the protest, they are strongly encouraged to do so at Foley Square.
While we neither condone nor oppose the protests, our top priority is the safety of our students. We would like your help in getting the word out to New School students through whatever means you feel is appropriate – social media, word of mouth, etc.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss.
Giulia (Julie) Prestia
Director, Communications and Special Projects
And the reply to all:
From: Jose Reymondez
Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Subject: RE: [GPIA] Fwd: Important information about protests tomorrow
Considering the origins of this school, I’d like not only to see this institution endorse this movement but support it with its facilities and and resources. For the students, if you’re getting this degree because of a concern with what is wrong with the world and wish to do something about it, I suggest you join the movement. The general assembly process offers you and the your communities more potential for impacting the lives you want to live then the degree does.
This is not to denigrate the degree but as an alumni I have seen the brightest and most talented of my peers struggle to find work or find work beneath their abilities. Sadly the non-profit and government labor markets favor those who buy in to the current systems, settle for reform, imagined or real, while it punishes the creative among us who would change or replace the system for lasting solutions. If, for example, you are the kind of person who is getting a degree to get a nice UN salary, do some shopping, then you should go to liberty plaza and see how much more potential collective action has than consumption.
As you guys learn about states, global governance (UN, IMF, WTO, WB, Basel, etc) and even civil society, keep mind that these may not just be necessary evils but not necessary at all. There are horizontal alternatives that my coursework never taught me that I had to find out for myself.
In short, everyone go to the marches, go to liberty plaza as much as possible and participate and help out and converse.
We’re still waiting on the internal emails from the other universities. If you’ve got one, send it to ajeffries (at] observer daught com.