During the last system-wide university strike in Indiana, then governor Whitcomb called the unrest the work of “out-of-state agitators.” This was a predictable attempt to diminish support for the collective action. Public universities are supposed to benefit all of society; therefore, We want to be the first to say that we welcome “outside agitators” to the IU strike.
People who are currently experiencing homelessness in Bloomington are facing increasing repression in recent months. IU could help in a myriad of ways, but instead has chosen to participate in the demonization and dismissal of the homeless by kicking them off campus and refusing to allow them to use campus facilities. To those without homes in Bloomington, we welcome you.
Many students studying at Ivy Tech would prefer to be at IU and have the grades and abilities to be successful here. Unfortunately the increasingly outrageous cost of tuition is an insurmountable barrier to many. To students at Ivy Tech and other community colleges, we welcome you.
Local high school students often grow up longing to study at IU but knowing all too well that their socioeconomic status will not allow it. High school teachers attempt to motivate their students by encouraging them to strive for acceptance at IU, but in the backs of their minds they know it will take much more than good grades. To local high school students and teachers, we welcome you.
Those on strike against Lamar, an abusive construction company with an open contract with IU, have already joined with IU on Strike for at least one demonstration. They face low pay and unsafe work conditions and are fed up with this mistreatment. To those on strike against Lamar and to all other workers, we welcome you.
Many people who are currently undocumented in the United States would love to study at IU if only they were eligible for the much reduced in-state tuition. Unfortunately even those who have lived the vast majority of their lives in Indiana are denied in-state tuition due to state legislation. To all who face the discrimination that comes with being undocumented, we welcome you.
While the IU campus is only 3 square miles out of the 23 square miles that is the city of Bloomington, its power and influence extend well beyond its borders. Try as we might, it’s impossible to find it’s outside. It is often said that as goes IU, so goes the town. Unfortunately, IU is increasingly causing more harm than good. To all residents of Bloomington, we welcome you.
In 1998 RCA closed it’s doors after being part of Bloomington for 50 years. At one time this factory employed 8,000 workers, a massive proportion of Bloomington’s workforce. To those affected by this or other related closings as Bloomington shifted from an industrial to a service and academic economy, we welcome you.
The issues raised in the IU strike go well beyond the confines of IU, Bloomington, Indiana, and even the United States. Student debt, education accessibility, low pay for workers, discrimination against undocumented immigrants, privatization of what was once public, and repression against those who resist are international issues and we stand in solidarity with those around the world who are fighting back against these issues. To everyone everywhere who faces oppression, particularly but not exclusively around issues of education, we welcome you.
This strike belongs to all who participate. There is no outside.