Early this morning, Columbia Prison Divest distributed this press release in regard to their “Week of Engagement”
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
We, Columbia Prison Divest, have organized a number of activities and events on Columbia’s campus during the week of April 14th–18th, titled “People, Prisons & Profit: Where do we fit in?” The purpose of this Week of Engagement is to continue the ongoing campus-wide conversation about what divestment from the private prison industry would look like and why it is important, in a way that is accessible to as many community members as possible. We are also organizing to reiterate our previously voiced demands, including a long-awaited meeting with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.
We have created this Week of Engagement to demonstrate that members of the Columbia community will not support an industry that profits off of the commodification of human bodies and the destruction of vulnerable, marginalized communities. But our work is not occurring in isolation on Columbia’s campus alone. We are also organizing in solidarity with the actions of divestment campaigns at several campuses across the nation, including the University of Central Florida and schools in the University of California system. We position ourselves within a growing anti-mass incarceration student movement that works to hold ourselves and our schools accountable to investment practices that are just and humane.
Columbia Prison Divest’s Week of Engagement will consist of events, performances, discussions, and interactive activities across campus in collaboration with a number of Columbia student groups, including Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI), AlterNATIVE Education, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), cIRCa, Radical College Undergraduates Not Tolerating Sexism (Radical C.U.N.T.S.), LUCHA, Columbia Prison Reform & Education Project (PREP), Freedom School, Original Green (O.G.), and Potluck House.
Our schedule consists of the following:

On Monday April 14th, CPD will be tabling and flyering in Lerner and on the sundial, and will also host a teach-in on Education as it pertains to the prison industrial complex at the Malcolm X Lounge from 6-8pm with PREP and AlterNATIVE.
On Tuesday April 15th, CPD will be tabling again, and will also be hosting a film screening from 7-10 pm in 409 Barnard Hall with a discussion facilitated by neuroscientist and Columbia professor Dr. Carl Hart.
On Wednesday April 16th, CPD will be featuring student art, music, and spoken word performances at the sundial with cIRCa, and will also be facilitating a conversation about criminalization from 7-9pm in the Malcolm X Lounge with LUCHA and SAMI.
On Thursday April 17th, CPD will have an interactive display on the Low Steps during the day, and will also host both a teach-in with SJP on Low Steps at 3pm. In the afternoon, we will co-host discussion on sexual violence, punishment, and healing with Radical C.U.N.T.S. from 5-7pm in the Malcolm X Lounge, before participating in and supporting Take Back the Night’s annual march and speak-out.
On Friday April 18th, CPD will close the week on Ancel Plaza (in front of East Campus) from 2-5pm with a speak-out/cypher, and then finally end the week with a kickback co-sponsored by the IRC’s Original Green committee at Potluck House (606 w. 114th St.) at 7pm.


Columbia Prison Divest openly invites any and all members of the community interested in becoming more involved with the campaign to attend any and all of the aforementioned events, and to approach us with your questions, comments, and contributions.

Early this morning, Columbia Prison Divest distributed this press release in regard to their “Week of Engagement”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

We, Columbia Prison Divest, have organized a number of activities and events on Columbia’s campus during the week of April 14th–18th, titled “People, Prisons & Profit: Where do we fit in?” The purpose of this Week of Engagement is to continue the ongoing campus-wide conversation about what divestment from the private prison industry would look like and why it is important, in a way that is accessible to as many community members as possible. We are also organizing to reiterate our previously voiced demands, including a long-awaited meeting with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.

We have created this Week of Engagement to demonstrate that members of the Columbia community will not support an industry that profits off of the commodification of human bodies and the destruction of vulnerable, marginalized communities. But our work is not occurring in isolation on Columbia’s campus alone. We are also organizing in solidarity with the actions of divestment campaigns at several campuses across the nation, including the University of Central Florida and schools in the University of California system. We position ourselves within a growing anti-mass incarceration student movement that works to hold ourselves and our schools accountable to investment practices that are just and humane.

Columbia Prison Divest’s Week of Engagement will consist of events, performances, discussions, and interactive activities across campus in collaboration with a number of Columbia student groups, including Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI), AlterNATIVE Education, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), cIRCa, Radical College Undergraduates Not Tolerating Sexism (Radical C.U.N.T.S.), LUCHA, Columbia Prison Reform & Education Project (PREP), Freedom School, Original Green (O.G.), and Potluck House.

Our schedule consists of the following:

On Monday April 14th, CPD will be tabling and flyering in Lerner and on the sundial, and will also host a teach-in on Education as it pertains to the prison industrial complex at the Malcolm X Lounge from 6-8pm with PREP and AlterNATIVE.

On Tuesday April 15th, CPD will be tabling again, and will also be hosting a film screening from 7-10 pm in 409 Barnard Hall with a discussion facilitated by neuroscientist and Columbia professor Dr. Carl Hart.

On Wednesday April 16th, CPD will be featuring student art, music, and spoken word performances at the sundial with cIRCa, and will also be facilitating a conversation about criminalization from 7-9pm in the Malcolm X Lounge with LUCHA and SAMI.

On Thursday April 17th, CPD will have an interactive display on the Low Steps during the day, and will also host both a teach-in with SJP on Low Steps at 3pm. In the afternoon, we will co-host discussion on sexual violence, punishment, and healing with Radical C.U.N.T.S. from 5-7pm in the Malcolm X Lounge, before participating in and supporting Take Back the Night’s annual march and speak-out.

On Friday April 18th, CPD will close the week on Ancel Plaza (in front of East Campus) from 2-5pm with a speak-out/cypher, and then finally end the week with a kickback co-sponsored by the IRC’s Original Green committee at Potluck House (606 w. 114th St.) at 7pm.

Columbia Prison Divest openly invites any and all members of the community interested in becoming more involved with the campaign to attend any and all of the aforementioned events, and to approach us with your questions, comments, and contributions.


Take Back the Night

This Thursday, April 14th, Take Back the Night is having their annual march and speak out to end sexual violence and rape culture. The rally starts at 7:45pm right outside of Barnard Hall and will last until 10pm. The guest speaker will be Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood, a Columbia University student and activist.

The Speak Out is after the rally at 10pm in the Event Oval in the Diana Center (LL1). This is a safe space for the students and community to anonymously share their stories. 

For more information, check out the FaceBook event: http://tinyurl.com/TBTN2014

See you all there!!!

photo courtesy of Columbia-Barnard Take Back the Night

Historical Perspectives on Domestic Worker Organizing

Domestic Worker Organizing event

TALKITES!

Add this to your calendars!!! On April 16 the BCRW will host Historical Perspectives on Domestic Worker Organizing, featuring Elizabeth Quay Hutchison and Premilla Nadasen. They will look at the changing labor relations of domestic service over the course of the 20th century.

Check out the event here!

President Bollinger Responds to Prison Divest

President Bollinger responds to Columbia students’ question about Columbia’s investment and complicity in the prison industrial complex, 

On Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, Columbia students pushed the panel and audience at an event held in Low Library to consider the university’s role in ending the legacy of slavery in the United States. The event - Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities - was meant to explore “the history of slavery in New York City, the intersections of slavery and Columbia University, and issues of race at Universities in the 20th century”, according to an email sent out to the Columbia community.

After an address by MIT Professor Craig S. Wilder (author of the book which the event was named after) and remarks from Columbia’s own Eric Foner, Ansley T. Erickson, and Karl Jacoby, the event featured an audience question-and-answer session which Columbia student activists took advantage of. Upon informing the panel and audience that Columbia reported having $8 million invested in the nation’s largest private prison company, student activists asked the panel to reflect on the connections between Columbia’s investment in the prison industrial complex now, and their former investment in the institution of American slavery (a recording of this question can be viewed here). Professor Craig S. WIlder responded by saying:

Mass incarceration is one of the critical issues - generational issues - effecting our nation, and I am fully in favor of …divestment from private prison corporations…

After the panel took another audience member’s question, another Columbia student (as seen in the video above) asked Bollinger - who was also in attendance - to respond directly. Professor Foner responded first, invoking the history of the student movements that forced Columbia to divest from companies who did business in South Africa, and stated:

That was the result of a very long and large student movement on this campus…I do think history shows that eventually they will respond to a large scale movement of one kind or another

Foner went on to state that he did not believe “running into the office and presenting the investments is going to win”, but he encouraged students to put more “nonviolent” pressure on the issue.

After Foner’s response, Bollinger - who spoke on his dedication to affirmative action in his opening welcome and introductory remarks for the event - responded directly: 

You really have the opportunity to make your case in this process…I am thrilled that you have raised a number of questions that make people like me feel uncomfortable. These are hard problems. They’re difficult, and you want to come and make your case as strongly as you can, and we’ll try to be as fair and judicious and yet passionate about this as well. 

Be sure to follow TALK Magazine for more updates on Columbia Prison Divest’s activities (and to check out President Bollinger’s charming smile for the camera in the video at 3:48). 

African Women’s Rights and Resilience Symposium

http://bcrw.barnard.edu/blog/african-womens-rights-and-resilience/

C-SJP Discrimnation Update II: C-SJP Releases Official Statement

From C-SJP’s facebook group: 

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine Statement Regarding Barnard Banner Removal 

On March 10th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine hung a banner on Barnard Hall. The banner was placed after members of C-SJP went through the required bureaucratic channels and processes in order to give voice and presence to our week-long events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), a global period of action and awareness-raising that has been occurring throughout the world for the past ten years. This morning we awoke to find that our banner – which simply read “Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine,” and featured the logo of our group (the silhouette of historic Palestine) – has been taken down by the administration of Barnard College after they caved to pressure from other groups. Barnard administration offered no explanation, and no warning that they planned to remove our banner. 

Columbia SJP is a student group at this university—no different from any other group—and has equal access to the same platforms and resources that are made available to all students. Barnard College students went through the necessary banner placement review process, which included clearly stating the banner’s message in advance. Had our request been rejected, it would have been an act of censorship and an infringement on our freedom of expression as a student group at this university. The fact that our banner has been taken down now is a direct violation of our freedom of expression. The removal of our banner this morning has left members of Columbia SJP, Palestinian students on campus and other students that are often marginalized and silenced, feeling that Barnard College does not follow its own anti-discrimination policies. We are alarmed to know that ‘Palestine’ and ‘justice’ are not acceptable in Barnard’s educational space and that certain voices are discriminated against by the College. 

We do not equate the State of Israel with all Jewish people, and we staunchly believe that making such a conflation is anti-Semitic itself. Not only does the population of Israel include many non-Jews, but increasingly Jews across the world (and in SJPs) affirm that the state of Israel’s discriminatory policies do not speak for them. Oppressive and violent policies of any regime, particularly one as closely and lucratively supported by the US as the Israeli regime of military occupation, should be criticized freely without censorship or backlash. As a group with members from multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds, what we are speaking of and calling for is justice and equality for all peoples. Students for Justice in Palestine is a diverse anti-racist group; our national movement’s platform states that we are against all forms of discrimination, which includes anti-Semitism. However, on this campus we are unable to even utter the word ‘Palestine’ without being called anti-Semitic. This kind of accusation only works to silence our voices and to silence our respectful engagement with our community. It tells Palestinian students on campus that their university discriminates against the presence of the name of their country in its public space. 

We have seen President Deborah Spar’s recent statement, which attempts to explain Barnard’s actions: “We are removing the banner from Barnard Hall at this time and will be re-examining our policy for student banners going forward […] Barnard has been and will remain committed to free speech and student groups will still have the ability to flyer and promote their events throughout campus, but until we have had time as a community to discuss the banner placements on Barnard Hall and better define a policy we will not be hanging student banners on Barnard Hall.” Lionpac has stated that they “believe that the banner space is not appropriate for any political message, by any student group,” and that “the banner was not taken down in order to suppress a particular political viewpoint.” These explanations are not consistent with Barnard’s previous record. It is disturbing that it has not been Barnard’s policy to remove political messages in the past and that it elects to remove only this particular political message, and changes rules only in response to this banner. This behavior suggests that there is, in fact, a suppression of our voice. 

Our banner aimed to publicize the events and conversations we are having this week as a student group, and we are outraged that our attempt to engage in meaningful and productive conversation about justice and solidarity with Palestine was faced with such backlash. Claiming that the existence of this banner is unacceptable is tantamount to declaring that Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine as a group should not exist, since the content in question is nothing that is not already part of our name and in our logo, as we have already stated. This does not stray so far from saying we should not be able to book Low Plaza or that we should not be able to organize events. This attack denies our voices and space as students on this campus, and we will not stand by as this happens. 

It is our hope that Barnard College understands the great importance of protecting students’ freedom of expression. For years our group has contributed to the richness of this campus, provoking critical thought and conversation. We insist that Barnard Administration hear our voices and return the banner to its place. We also ask for a meeting with the administration in order to discuss the repercussions of this act of silencing on our community. 

Columbia SJP.

C-SJP Discrimination Update: LionPAC Releases Statement

Columbia LionPAC released a statement earlier today in response to C-SJP and other students’ allegations of discrimination. 

LionPAC strongly believes in freedom of speech and respects that SJP has the right to freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate and advocate their political viewpoint on college walk, or through posters on campus. We respect that SJP followed the proper protocols to book the banner space, and we recognize their respect for the policy. We believe that the banner space is not appropriate for any political message, by any student group. The hanging of a banner on Barnard Hall advocating a specific political message gives the impression that Barnard as a school publicly endorses the banner’s message. In this case, SJP’s banner depicts a map of Israel as one unified State for Palestine. It is a completely green map with no internal boarders, annihilating the existence of any Jewish state or the possibility of a two-state solution. The location of the banner makes it appear as if Barnard as a school is publicly endorsing SJP’s message that Israel as a Jewish state does not have the right to exist. The banner was not taken down in order to suppress a particular political viewpoint, but rather to ensure that people feel comfortable walking into Barnard Campus and do not feel as is Barnard is endorsing SJP’s message.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Alleged Discrimination by Barnard College Against Students for Justice in Palestine

image

In a controversial move, the Barnard College administration took down a banner put up by the anti-apartheid group Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (C-SJP). The decision has caused allegations of discrimination by Barnard College against pro-Palestine groups on the heavily Zionist influenced Columbia University campus.

A number of pro-apartheid and Zionist organizations, including Columbia’s Hillel and LionPAC, were outraged at the posting of the banner on the front of Barnard Hall. LionPAC’s facebook page thanked Barnard President Deborah Spar’s (DSpar) for her “swift and thoughtful response to our concerns about the SJP banner outside Barnard Hall.” 

DSpar’s response was as follows:

"Thank you for your thoughtful email and for bringing this matter to our attention. We are removing the banner from Barnard Hall at this time and will be reexamining our policy for student banners going forward. It has been a long-standing tradition to allow any recognized Barnard or Columbia student group to reserve a space and hang a banner promoting their event. However, we understand your concern that in hanging the C-SJP banner next to the official Barnard College banner it inadvertently gave the impression that the College sanctions and supports these events. These Barnard Hall banners have always been student-created and, as such, reflect the diversity of student interests and concerns, but are not meant to convey an endorsement. Barnard has been and will remain committed to free speech and student groups will still have the ability to flyer and promote their events throughout campus, but until we have had time as a community to discuss the banner placements on Barnard Hall and better define a policy we will not be hanging student banners on Barnard Hall.”

Read More

TALKmag Zine Launch Party TONIGHT

image

TALKmag is hosting our first ever ZINE launch party tonight, at 9pm, at the IRC (552 W 114th St).

Our zine aficionados and fellow talkistas Justina Walker and Troy Frost have compiled and edited an amazing zine around catcalling *meow*.

We’ll have PG-rated wine (sparkling cider) and cheese (mac n’ cheese), so bring ya kids, bring ya friends, cuz we’re gonna be launching up in here.

facebook event here.

See ya soon!

peace,

the TALKistas

Israeli Apartheid Week Kicks off in NYC—list of events

This week is Israeli Apartheid Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about the apartheid in Israel of Palestinians, and to the growing campaigns against it, including boycotts, divestment, and sanctions campaigns.There are many events going on in New York City this week, so we’ve provided a rundown of IAW events in the City!

Read more about Israeli Apartheid Week here


Tuesday March 4th at 6:30pm
Presented by John Jay SJP
Film screening and discussion with director Alice Rothchild: Voices Across the Divide: a film exploring the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through rarely heard personal stories from 1948 that tell the other narrative of “the birth of Israel”—al Nakba. 
John Jay College-East End of Cafeteria of the New Building at John Jay College of Criminal Justice 
899 10th Avenue

RSVP is REQUIRED - click below
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voices-across-the-divide-by-alice-rothchild-tickets-10568094455

Facebook event page
https://www.facebook.com/events/394717210664445/?ref=br_tf


Wednesday March 5th at 6PM
Presented by CUNY LAW SJP
Challenging Apartheid and Repression from the US to Palestine
Speakers: Bina Ahmad, Radhika Sainath, Hazem Jamjoum, Diala Shamas
Event Description: “Apartheid” refers to a regime of violent, institutionalized racial segregation that contravenes international law. The continuous dispossession of Palestinian refugees, policies of colonization and restricted movement within the Occupied Territories, and legally-sanctioned discrimination within Israel proper are but a few examples of Israel’s transgressions that are reminiscent of South Africa’s apartheid era. As members of the progressive legal community, we have a role to play in reversing the US’s role in perpetuating repression and violence, both in Palestine/Israel and here at home. Join CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine for an exciting panel discussion with attorney-activists and scholars to examine the roots of Israel’s apartheid system and how people of conscience around the world are challenging Israel’s systemic oppression.
CUNY School of Law-Room 1/202
2 Court Square, Long Island City, NY 11101

RSVP is not required
Facebook event page
https://www.facebook.com/events/133042600199693/?context=create

Read More