Professors nationwide promise to cancel class…to get ‘Cops off campus’
Ophelie Jacobson, Campus Reform
- A coalition committed to abolishing the police on campus is planning a nationwide strike on May 3, with professors even pledging to cancel classes.
- Students and professors are pledging their participation by signing a petition.
- The petition has garnered over 600 signatures so far.
Students and professors across the nation are planning to go on strike to protest against campus police presence at colleges and universities across the country.
The Cops Off Campus Coalition is organizing a “National Day of Refusal” on Monday, May 3, 2021, and asking students, professors, and faculty members to pledge to be absent “from work, class, teaching, and more” on that day.
The petition states that those who have signed are planning on “canceling/refusing to attend synchronous classes, refusing to watch asynchronous lectures, refusing to engage in any form of university-based labor (including email response), refusing to prepare materials (such as a class recording) for later asynchronous use, protecting students, colleagues, and workers from retaliation, and more.”
The petition goes on to describe how “college police forces are increasingly militarized,” and it asserts that those who sign the petition “support the nationwide call to demand cops off our campus to make our university truly safe and free for all.”
The petition also lists its demands, which are as follows:
1. We want ALL cops off of ALL campuses.
2. We demand the Land back
3. We demand investments in community safety and education
The petition has so far garnered 603 signatures from students, professors, and faculty members across the country, 17 signatures from various departments at different schools, and 29 signatures from various organizations. The number of signatures continues to grow
The coalition has been advertising the strike on its Twitter account through graphics and videos.
just posted our first tiktok vid 🗣🗣 follow @copsoffearth for more 🌶spicy🌶 abolitionist tiktok content as we get closer to #AbolitionMay and the May 3rd Day of Refusal!! 💥💥 more info at https://t.co/8i4PtqZFc4 💻 pic.twitter.com/F3OHSvfBp0
— Cops Off Campus Coalition (@copsoffearth) April 26, 2021
The American Studies Association has publicly expressed its support of the national strike on Twitter.
“ASA supports the national May 3 Day of Refusal,” the tweet said.
ASA supports the national May 3 Day of Refusal https://t.co/XNrmLibxJs
— #2021ASA (@AmerStudiesAssn) April 27, 2021
Dylan Rodriguez, professor at the University of California Riverside and member of the Cops Off Campus Coalition, serves as the president of the American Studies Association. Campus Reform has previously reported on Rodriguez’s past comments made about Zionism and how it “politically toxifies our schools.”
Fun shit i get to do as President of @AmerStudiesAssn: today's letter supporting the May 3 Day of Refusal#AbolitionMay @ucftp @ucr_ftp @copsoffearth @ScholarsForSJ @C_Resistance @crlosangeles https://t.co/bLN207W0Ut
— Dylan Rodríguez (@dylanrodriguez) April 28, 2021
I can share. Today we had a full discussion about abolition, and have cancelled our Monday class.
— David Palumbo-Liu (@palumboliu) April 29, 2021
The nationwide strike marks only the beginning of a month-long series of activism events called “Abolition May.” According to the coalition’s website, “Following our collective day of action, campus abolition organizations across Turtle Island are participating in local direct actions of their choosing..”
The coalition suggests that students and faculty members engage in a number of activities during the month of May, such as “march to your chancellor’s house and let them know how you feel,” “teach-in with abolitionist speaker,” “redecorate your campus police station,” “public ‘town hall’ without admin” and “street puppet theater.” All of these suggestions and more were described in a “toolkit” for participants to use.
According to the website’s description, the coalition advocates “for the complete dissolution of policing in all spaces of education (and ultimately across all aspects of our society), the severance of all school contracts with law enforcement agencies, and the dissolution of all task forces that serve to uphold police control and presence on our campuses.”
The coalition’s ultimate goal is “to get cops off campus and cops off the planet.”
Campus Reform reached out to Dylan Rodriguez and the Cops Off Campus Coalition; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @opheliejacobson