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Author Archives: Prashanth Kamalakanthan

Emissions Trading: The Green Trojan Horse

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As the oft-repeated slogan among environmentalists goes, “there is no Planet B.” To preserve the human species we need an effective set of tools to ward against the crises associated with unmitigated greenhouse gas release. Historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has posited that global warming “poses for us a question of human collectivity” requiring “a global approach   …Continue Reading

American Militarism: Destroying Societies, Protecting No One

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Anti-American sentiment across the world is not without its history. The United States regularly uses military drones to kill people without legal justification in six predominantly Muslim countries.[1] The U.S. Army, already imprisoning scores of kids as young as 11 or 12 in Afghanistan,[2] has recently claimed authority to target strikes on Afghan children.[3] The   …Continue Reading

Issue Two: Student Power

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Occupy America’s second issue is called “Student Power,” examining conflicts and resistance centering around the academy. College and university students caught in the charged space between school and the pressures of neoliberal capital have long been some of the most dynamic agents of social change. This issue, containing one standard article and two extended features, turns to today’s students.

I write our first extended feature exploring the pressing domestic issue of ballooning student debt and tuition costs, framing it within the context of the increasingly corporatized American nonprofit university. The piece also highlights a few current nodes of resistance.

Jonathan Lyle focuses this broader analysis on North Carolina’s public university students, currently mounting a vibrant campaign against the rising tide of austerity budgeting. An organizer himself with the North Carolina Student Power Union (NCSPU), Jonathan offers an insider’s viewpoint on the pitched academic struggles in his home state.

Our third piece, another extended feature by Bobo Bose-Kolanu, delves deep into the history and culture of students’ institutional opposition. Documenting the coercion and surveillance of student activists by the CIA, FBI, and other state actors with exceptional detail, Bobo paints a startling portrait of the U.S.’s covert repression of dissent. He reminds us yet again that the stakes of student activism are far from trivial.

I learned a lot in the course of compiling this issue, and we hope that you as a reader will too.



Major Debt

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Back in 2005, when the advocacy group Project on Student Debt took off, the phenomenon was so underreported that the founders had trouble deciding on a name.1 “There wasn’t the term ‘student debt’,” claims Lauren Asher, one of the initiative’s founders. Fast-forward just a few years, and thanks largely to the vocal efforts of organizers with Occupy   …Continue Reading

Strike Debt: A New Organizing Energy for Occupy

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From Los Angeles to Philadelphia, overnight raids on Occupy encampments and mass arrests of protesters late last year highlighted the reality of police repression in America but also hinted at the possibility for a new chapter in Occupy’s young history.1 Occupy Wall Street captured the world’s imagination last year by uniting the left under the   …Continue Reading