Letter from George Caffentzis

. Wednesday, April 27, 2005

                                                                                       Department of Philosophy
                                                                                       University of Southern Maine
                                                                                       Portland, Maine 04104-9300

                                                                                        April 22, 2010

Open Letter to the Faculty of the University of Washington

       I am writing to express my support for the campus-wide strike many students and staff on the University of Washington's campus are planning for May 3rd. I also urge my faculty colleagues at UW to refuse to be gaged by the administration and openly join in support of the strike.

      We are at an important moment in the campaign to stop the intensifying privatization and corporatization of knowledge and education at public universities. The nationwide day of protest on March 4, 2010 was only the beginning of a movement that needs to bring all the overlapping categories of faculty, students and staff of the university together for a common struggle. The students and staff at University of Washington have been an important source of strength to the national movement and the planned strike for May 3rd will be a crucial signal that the demands of students and teaching assistants, in this case, are mutually reinforcing. Indeed, the strike can provide a model for campus organization in defense of public universities. Thus, your support for the strike will not only be heard on the UW campus, but it will be heard throughout the country.

    Due to many struggles, faculty members at US universities (especially a public ones) have many protections against retaliation for the expression of controversial views concerning matters of social importance that other workers do not have. These very protections, however, oblige us to overcome our hesitations and "come out" in support of struggles for public education. If we do not deploy our academic freedom, is it really a freedom? Furthermore, I assure you that if the UW administration does responds punitively to your support of the strike, I and many other faculty members and organizations around the country would come to your defense.

In solidarity,

Prof. George Caffentzis
Department of Philosophy
University of Southern Maine
P. O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300