Magazine article The Progressive

Students Fight the Contract

Magazine article The Progressive

Students Fight the Contract

Article excerpt

Students held a day of action on campuses around the nation Wednesday, March 29, to protest the Contract with America and federal cuts in education. Caricatures of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich made appearances at events on more than a dozen college campuses, as did elephant pinatas and student troupes performing street-theater.

The March 29 action kicked off a series of events, including teach-ins, protests, and panel discussions, coordinated by the Institute for Policy Studies and the New Party. The action was entitled "The Rock the Boat Tour: Take Back America Before They Drown Us!"

Organizers say it was the first national student event coordinated using the Internet and e-mail. "I've been organizing in the student movement for about ten years, and this experience with the Internet allowed us to coordinate and to share information--posters, press releases, flyers--in a way that never would have been possible a few years ago," says Stuart Eimer, who works with Students for the New Progressive Party on the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus.

More events are planned for the spring, from Texas A&M, where faculty and students are starting a chapter of the New Party on campus, to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, which is sponsoring a program on how to build progressive coalitions across class and race lines.

"It's clear that there's a beginning of a revival in student activism primarily as a result of the radical nature of the Contract on America," says Adam Glickman, an organizer with the New Party in New York City. "We hope it will continue and that people will not only criticize the Contract, but look toward independent politics." As part of the Rock the Boat Tour, the New Party is working to get students involved in local progressive organizations.

For more information, contact the Institute for Policy Studies, 1601 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009; (202) 234-9382, or the New Party, 227 West 40th Street, Suite 1303, New York, NY 10018; (212) 302-5053. …

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