Occupy has caught young students’ attention — and some are planning to join the May 1 general strike
In a short video released last week, a group of students from New York’s Paul Robeson High School stand in an unremarkable classroom: school bags slung over wooden chairs and busy pinboards in the background. Their message, however, is a radical one: at front and center of the shot, a young man holding a white sheet of paper announces a mass high school student walkout on May 1, the day of the Occupy-planned general strike.
“Dear New York City. We the students of public education are here to inform you of the injustice that is taking place in our school system,” he begins, surrounded by members of the school’s student leadership, some staring defiantly into the camera with arms crossed. After listing student grievances including the privatization of the public school system, budget cuts, school closures against community wishes and over-policing in schools, the young man announces the May Day walkout to nearby Fort Greene park in Brooklyn.
It would be easy to dismiss high-schoolers’ plans to participate in May Day actions — which included calls for “No School” alongside those of “No Work” — as an excuse to skip class. But the video from Paul Robeson High shows a politically aware and angry student body, which is keenly drawing connections between educational policy and broader political issues — most notably the production of racist systems. Read the rest of this entry →