As I have read and observed so far, I have quite positive impression of what they are doing. These students have quite a lot of experiences of carrying out the peaceful strike. Their action appears to be rational and mature. Generally I agree with their views and think they actually have a quite deep understanding of what are beneath the surface of all these problems. I cannot say much about the details of their demands as I am not familiar with undergraduate study here. From what I have read, they have a long time struggle on these issues, so it is quite possible their demands should be quite practicable and plausible. As the demand against Columbia’s expansion in Manhattanville, I agree with their broader concern, but not sure how it connects specifically to the Manhattanville expansion. I’ve passed by Manhattanville once. It seems to be quite deserved and not used.
I have full respect for people who are willing to suffer from hunger for their cause. I always have great respect for people who are willing to endure pains for social goods. And compared to marching and many other forms, hunger striker is probably the most peaceful one. They are not doing any damage to any other people. For all these, I have to show my full respect to them.
From the vigil tonight, I have to say what they are fighting for is the same as what I have been fighting for. Especially a big concern of them is immigrants (legal or “illegal”) rights. As they said, this country’s immigrant policy is totally based on ignorance and exploitation of labor. The struggle here is fighting the same thing as the struggles in the developing countries.
I support their fights. But for myself, my energy is mostly focused on anther frontier. We, after all, is the majority. We shouldn’t be marginalized by the minority people making rules at the top. Instead let’s take things into our own hands, and start marginalize the state/government. We can do our own things. We don’t have to care about the state/government. For example, in the case of learning, let’s cooperate together to take control of our learning. As these Columbia students are fighting for adding more ethic study into the core curriculum (, which I think is totally worth fighting for and have significant meanings and very positive effects), my efforts are unschooling. Let’s find people who can really teach, and learn what we are interested in. You might think unschooling is impossible. I think it is very possible and will be achieved in the very near future. As they are fighting for stop exploitation of labor and get fair pay, I am working on make independent professionals take control of their work/creativity. Things are actually in our hands. We can marginalize those institutionalized authorities who always try to impose themselves into the center of our lives and thus maintain the minority rule. We don’t have to subscribe to their services. We can cooperate and provide those services by ourselves.