Letter to the Editor:
Deepening budget cuts have prompted a group of students to mobilize and collectively express their grievances with Sacramento and local authorities on how funds are allocated. Amidst our generation’s slew of distractions, Occupy ELAC has managed to join together and create public discourse about our prospects for education. What does Occupy ELAC want?
Ask any occupier and you’ll get a unique answer. One of Occupy ELAC’s greatest, and weakest, quality is that its been a laboratory for participatory democracy and free thought. There is no unified political ideology or school of thought. Occupy ELAC is unified on one thing. They ardently believe education should be affordable and accessible to all.
With unit prices already set to increase for the Spring semester, Occupy ELAC wishes to draw a line in the sand and prevent costs from rising any further. They also hope to gradually reduce the costs of education; making it as available as possible to as many people as possible. Occupy ELAC also stands in solidarity with teachers and faculty members. They believe school faculty should have greater job security and fair salaries and benefits.
Although young and idealistic, the occupiers are also very pragmatic and realize some of these demands may not be attained during their time in college. In fact, they realize some of their demands may take tens of years to accomplish. However, Occupy ELAC seems to adhere to the old Taoist proverb. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
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I very much rcesept and appreciate your empathy for the fact that so many people really DO want the best for themselves and others but are misguided. Yes, a lot of people do not see the violence inherent in the system , and seek to usurp the system for the greater good , or the in this context the 99% , without seeing the violence underneath it all. However, it has been my experience that expressing anger towards someone for being misguided is lot less effective than well, providing guidance, yet I see this happen all too often. Of course not everyone wants healthy guidance or accepts it, but in my opinion it’s worth the try. This is totally cliche, but some of the most effective guidance I have provided to others has been by simply being the change and values I wish to see in the world. Which brings me back to my original sentiments in that I SO appreciate what you are saying and doing in this post. I love that you are seeking to understand instead of jumping to conclusions and criticisms about who these people are based on their stated philosophies. You inspired me to stop by the Occupy Philly tent city tonight on my way home from work (which was easy to do since it is a block away from the train station I park my bicycle at). Thanks!