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Occupy Update


“We want an education not a corporation,” was one of signs carried into the tustees meeting.





The Occupy protestors caused a disturbance at the Board of Trustees meeting Feb 7. Shortly after the meeting began protestors entered unimpeded, holding signs reading, “Occupy UMass end the privatization of education” and “More student voice less Ceo’s and Lawyers.”

The protestors seemed content to stand quietly displaying their signs until 10:30 a.m. The protestors interrupted the meeting with a ‘mike check’ and announced, “We are tired of working class students being pushed out of an education. We are tired of student debt. We are tired of skyrocketing fees.” They then began to chant, “No cuts no fee’s education should be free,” as they left the meeting room.

James J. Karam, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, followed the demonstration with this statement. “If they had asked for time to speak, if they had followed proper channels, we would have granted them three to five minutes to speak.”

Director of Communications, Dewayne Lehman, called the demonstration respectful. “When they did disrupt the meeting they did it when no one else was speaking”, said Lehman. “I think they made their point and were considerate enough to keep their interruption brief.”

Occupier Chris Morrill called the protest “a first step in a long battle to end the tend of privatization at UMass.” In Morrill’s view the protest demonstrated that the occupiers are doing more than sleeping in tents. ” We are organizing, and we are active,” Morrill said. “In the future we hope to isolate key issues and work aggressively on them.”