University of Minnesota Solidarity Network

Tag Archives: solidarity

Reflections on an Open Occupation for Movement-Building

Within, against, and beyond the U of Minnesota

by RENE G. –

Finding Each Other

Wisconsin students called for a nationwide student walkout on March 11th, 2011, at 2pm, to stand in solidarity with their teachers and other workers who are under attack, being stripped of their collective bargaining rights.  Finding their call through a facebook event, and inspired also by the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East, a few organizers in the neighboring state of Minnesota decided to make it happen.  The day before, we plastered the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with posters for a walkout and general assembly.  The turnout was decent for only a day’s notice with a generally apathetic student body: about a hundred people attended, with about thirty sticking around through the end of the assembly (see video at The UpTake). Speakers from the Industrial Workers of the World talked about the insufficiency of the currently dominant strategy of trying to recall the Republican senators in Wisconsin—because it was not as if back in November before the vote, the working conditions were all that great—and, instead, why a general strike was necessary.  Meanwhile, on long sheets of butcher paper, participants wrote their grievances, visions for a better world, and strategies for how to get there.  The facilitators of the assembly drew out these reflections and—recognizing that they had so much potential power gathered together—the participants were inspired to commit to some plan of action, and through some debate they settled on occupying a University building. Read more of this post


UK Interview with the Occupiers, Pre-eviction

Check out this “UK Exclusive Interview: UMN Solidarity Occupation” from The New Current.  It was conducted in the midst of the occupation, just before the occupiers were evicted on Thursday night.

Post-eviction, we are continuing to develop our movement, building on the many relationships formed during the occupation.  To learn more, show your support, or get involved, stop by the Social Sciences building, 1st floor, from 1pm-5pm Mon-Fri, to chat with us.

Our demands

Because we are residents of Minnesota, and because this is a public, land-grant university,

We demand the right to peacefully occupy space at our university,

We demand that the general public has reasonable access to university resources;

We demand that the university respect the rights of all workers to organize and to earn at least a living wage;

We demand tuition and fee reductions;

We demand that regents be democratically elected by the university community;

We demand that the university treat student groups fairly and equitably with respect to funding and space. We demand student groups on the 2nd floor of Coffman Union be able to keep their spaces.

In doing so, we stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin, and students and workers worldwide.