Re: email protest info in support of U of T grad strike

From jjf <>
Date Sat, 29 Jan 2000 01:46:12 -0000

[: hacktivism :]

Such protest is a good example of where hactivists can get involved. There is a similar situation happening at a university in England, a protest against tuition fees which were introduced here two years ago. 

The university in question is a pretty small one (I doubt many people outside academia have heard of the School of Oriental and African Studies) and the subject has been alive for too long for the media too give a shit about it - basically they aren't reporting it. 
However, reports are appearing on websites (bytes are cheap) and they are reaching a lot of people. Hey, within 48 hours we had messages of support from over 30 UK universities, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and Russia! These messages are more than mee words on a screen. They represent the interests of people who will give us their support if we ask for it. They show that mass media don't have to be a one-way thing. They turn the established channels of indoctrination on their heads.

This is a case in point of the fact that the medium we have at our hands now is the most powerful weapon of resistance ever invented because it does for the pen what the rocket-engine did for the sword. We are fast, we are everywhere. Now all we need is dedication.


SOAS-occupation central:

> [: hacktivism :]

>  Greets all
>                This is a worrysome situation
> these students are in....
> Schools of higher learning are well known for
> their singlemindedness and shortsightedness,and
> the "ruling class" of said institutions as in
> touch with reality as the dinosaurs...
> If left to their own devices,this could become an
> epidemic we would not want to see....
> I have written to the addresses herein &
> requested more is not to late yet to
> perhaps help.
> I thought someone here might be willing to check
> it out also..
> these kids need any help they can get at this
> point.
> peace
> ZoeScanner
> ***********Kelly wrote:****************

> From: kelley <>

> Hi,

> sorry for cross posts and possibly being
> perceived as spamming the list.
> perhaps i am, but i think the following is
> important.  in addition to
> supporting the email protest and forwarding this
> announcement to other
> email lists/colleagues, if you have time, please
> try to at least drop the
> grads a note of support   they are feeling very
> beaten down at this point
> and i can't tell you how much words of
> encouragement or a sense that other
> people care what's happening in Toronto means to
> them.    I have much more
> information that I can forward to anyone who is
> interested.

> if you are a harvard alum or know harvard alum or
> even boston area
> university alums it can't hurt to email them this
> information as well.  U
> of T's president, Pritchard, is leaving his post
> to take one at Harvard.
> It certainly can't hurt to make folks in the
> Boston area aware of this so
> they, if they're inclined, might put pressure on
> Harvard.  these grads are
> going to get fired monday unless they sign, so at
> this point i don't think
> anything can really make matters worse!

> further below you will find an update from Robin
> Griller on things you can
> do to help support the strikers as well as an
> update on what's been happening.

> thanks,

> kelley
> p u l p  c u l t u r e

> President Robert Pritchard
> <>

> Michael Finlayson, VP Administration, Human
> Resources
> <>
> Adel Sedra, Vp and Provost
> <>
> 416-978-2122

> Bob Rae, Governor
> <>

> Please send copies of e-mail to
> <>

> You can
> visit the TA's web site <> for
> information and sample
> letters.

> ----fwd----

> Hi all,

> As you may have heard we the teaching assistants
> at University of
> Toronto have been on strike for over two weeks
> now. The central issue is
> tuition waivers. Given that the average ta earns
> $4,100, it becomes very
> difficult to pay the $5200 tuition. Unlike big
> american universities, U
> of T teaching assistants must pay full tuition.
> The administration is
> fighting a nasty fight. First they cancelled
> courses taught by graduate
> students, then they tried to get the faculty to
> restructure their
> courses to eliminate our work. When faculty
> resisted, they decided to
> hire scabs and eliminate us. At the most recent
> negotiating session,
> they kept our bargaining team there for 12 hours
> before they announced
> their new offer, which was worse than the offer
> we rejected before the
> strike. As part of this offer, they informed us
> that if we do not accept
> the offer by February 1st, they will fire all of
> us.

> The university of Toronto senior administration
> thinks that it is
> perfectly acceptable for it to treat its staff
> like dog shit on their
> shoes and we could use help in our dispute. There
> are a number of ways
> that people can help:

> (1) Phone the President, Robert Prichard,
> (416)978-2121 and Provost,
> Adel Sedra, (416) 978-2122 to let them know that
> you are disgusted with
> the university's behaviour. Let them know that if
> students get degrees
> without their teaching assistants (we do 40% of
> the teaching at U of T)
> they will not be getting a proper education (the
> University is
> pressuring faculty to make their courses all
> multiple choice) and that,
> as a result, U of T degrees will have to be
> looked at with scepticism
> should the strike not be settled;

> (2) Also let them know that you may have to
> consider advising students
> who are considering attending U of T as graduate
> students that they may
> well be better off accepting offers from other
> universities. It is quite
> possible that this dispute will be an extended
> one and that incoming
> students next fall could be walking into the
> dispute; this would not be
> a good way to start a graduate program.

> (3) Please ask your academic associations,
> graduate student
> associations, faculty associations/unions,
> departments, etc. to
> officially censure the University of Toronto for
> its behaviour. Follow
> this up with official open letters to the
> university administration.

> (4) If you are scheduled to speak at the
> University of Toronto this
> term, please inform them that you will not speak
> on campus for the
> duration of the strike.

> (5) If you are a University of Toronto alumnus,
> please inform the
> university that this dispute may lead you to have
> to reconsider future
> donations to the university. This is very
> important; the administration
> here cares about only one thing, other than their
> own paycheques, and
> that is the size of their endowment fund. Hit
> them where it hurts.

> I am not an official of the union (our local is
> the Canadian Union of
> Public Employees local 3902), just a teaching
> assistant at university of
> toronto who is sick of being treated like dirt.

> Thank you,

> Robin Griller

> kelley
> p u l p  c u l t u r e

> =====

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