We, Columbia and Barnard faculty, write in solidarity with and in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement now underway in our city and elsewhere. Many observers claim that the movement has no specific goals; this is not our understanding. The movement aims to bring attention to the various forms of inequality – economic, political, and social – that characterize our times, that block opportunities for the young and strangle the hopes for better futures for the majority while generating vast profits for a very few. The demonstrators are demanding substantive change that redresses the many inequitable features of our society, which have been exacerbated by the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession. Among these are: the lack of accountability on the part of the bankers and Wall Street firms that drove the economy to disaster; rising economic inequality in the United States; the intimate relationship between corporate power and government at all levels, which has made genuine change impossible; the need for dramatic action to provide employment for the jobless, and to protect programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in part by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes; the disastrous effects of the costly wars that the United States has been conducting overseas since 2001. Only by identifying the complex interconnections between repressive economic, social and political regimes can social and economic justice prevail in this country and around the globe. It is this identification that we applaud, and we call on all members of the Columbia community to lend their support to this peaceful and potentially transformative movement.
This statement was written by members of the Faculty Action Committee.
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