This Saturday, a crowd of over 60 (including roughly 25 Wesleyan students) rallied in Middletown against the Keystone XL Tarsands Pipeline. The pipeline, which would carry an especially nasty and energy intensive type of oil from indigenous lands in Alberta across the American prairie to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, has been derided by climate scientists as an extraction project that would spell “game over for the planet”.
The energetic march rallied on High Street before marching 1.5 miles up Washington to target TD Bank, one of the primary financiers of the pipeline project. The protesters held signs and banners, formed a picket outside the bank, chanted slogans, and distributed fliers to customers urging them to divest from TD Bank and join local credit unions, which are not-for-profit and member-run. The rally drew participants from all over the state including a number of Middletown locals.
While the struggle on campus to retain need-blind admissions rages on, students in New York City are taking things up a notch or two. Yesterday, students at the Cooper Union college in the East Village barricaded themselves inside the top floor of their main building, known as “the Clocktower”, in protest of proposed tuition charges for undergraduate students. The school has been tuition free for over a century and students claim the current administration’s plan to conflicts with the core values of the institution.
Students have armed themselves with sleeping bags and ramen noodles, vowing to stay as long as it takes until their demands for greater transparency and tuition-free education are met. The occupiers have successfully resisted at least one attempt at eviction, during which school maintenance workers attempted to force their way in using rams and drills, vowing to hold their position for “as long as it takes.” Meanwhile, dozens of supporters have rallied in solidarity on the sidewalk below, including participants from the Occupy movement and the Free University, a group that is now conducting publicly accessible teach-ins there at no cost.