You are warmly invited to a demonstration on Wednesday, December 10th at 2 pm, to begin at the headquarters of L-3 Communications, a military contracting company facing multiple law suits for human rights abuse and torture. Turns out, the Chairman of L-3, Robert B. Millard, is the Treasurer of the New School Board of Trustees. Awkward, no? We will end the demonstration at the New School Board meeting to demand that Mr. Millard be removed from the Board, that the university reveal its investments, and that it invest in socially responsible companies. I’ll explain.
To President Kerrey and the New School Board of Trustees:
You have made yourselves available and accountable to a university that has a legacy of progressive values. You do not have the authority to use this institution to generate profit for those who oppress, exploit, torture, and kill. You do not have a blank check from us, and you do not have the right to ignore us.
To Mr. Robert B. Millard:
It’s nothing personal. I’m sure you’re a nice guy; you probably smile, maybe you even dance or paint or something. I also imagine that – as a long-time war-profiteer – you might have even been struck by your own conscience once or twice. But, alas, you seem to have come to the conclusion that business is business. Well, Mr. Millard: Same to you. We will not have our Board of Trustees marred by war profiteering, which, sadly, means that we demand your resignation or removal. Sorry. Business is business…But maybe we can grab a beer when this all blows over?
To Our Professors:
I have learned from you that education is for action, and that you can’t expect of others any more than you demand of yourself. If you believe in justice, and you talk justice, you must practice it. This is your school too; we’re looking to you for an example.
Most importantly, to Fellow Students and Partners (and particularly to the Cynics):
You might be thinking that this demonstration isn’t going to make any real material difference in the world. I hear that. This demonstration on its own is not "the revolution." But maybe this is one of many actions that will lead our university to use our money in a responsible way. Maybe this cause is one of many that will build a vibrant city-wide student movement. Maybe that will build an even broader social movement. Let’s use our minds, our words, our voices, and our bodies to demand that the things carried out here – by our government, through our universities, with our money, in our names – are things we can be proud of. Not all our dreams fit in the ballot box, but our voices are louder than our votes.
– Yotam Marom,
Radical Students Union / Students for a Democratic Society
P.S. – Meet on Wednesday, December 10th at L-3’s Headquarters at 2pm @ 160 E. 37th St. between Lexington and 3rd Ave. (or walk with us from the New School Cafeteria at 65 W. 11th St. at 1:30). Supporting organizations: NYC-WRL, NY State Peace Action, Westchester Coalition for Peace and Justice, NYC UFPJ, NYC Code Pink. Contact us at: TheNewSchoolForRevolution@
An Open Letter to the New School Community (and Friends)