The Faculty Association (tenured and tenure-track faculty) at Southern Illinois Carbondale followed through on their threat to strike last Thursday while the other 3 threatening unions reached last-minute agreements. Today the strike entered Day 5, as negotiations with university officials on Sunday night collapsed. The Occupy Carbondale movement has been organizing contniuous demonstrations to support the pickets stationed at the entrances to the university. On Thursday, the first day of the strike, dozens of students marched through the campus and through the busy student center before heading to reinforce the picket lines:
On Saturday, November 5, over 50 Carbondale residents rallied off-campus at the town square in support of the strikers. Throughout the strike students have been joining the 100 or so faculty on the picket lines. Also, some faculty and staff who are not part of the Faculty Association refused to go into work at the university during the first two days of the strike and joined the pickets. This professor was brough to tears by the unexpected support she received when all her students from her class showed up on the picket line:
– On Friday, a group Ameren workers refused to cross the picket lines to finish installing a gas line. As a result, the Key Control office was left without heat.
– The strike has affected nearly 7,000 students.
– Groups of students have organized spontaneous demonstrations when they learn there is no class for the day.
– The university has locked striking faculty out of their university email accounts and “Blackboard” courses.
– Meanwhile a group of reactionary teachers, under the name “Faculty for Sensible Negotiation” is openly encouraging teachers to return to work.
– Some students have called for a student strike today (Monday) to shut down the school in solidarity with the striking faculty. A community strike support demonstration is planned for 3:30 this afternoon starting from the Free Forum area outside Anthony Hall.
For updates: http://occupysiuc.wordpress.com/
Occupy Carbondale: http://www.facebook.com/occupycarbondale