A Statement by the Council of the American Studies Association
October 20, 2011
We are the public. We are workers. We are the 99%. We speak with the people here in Baltimore and around the globe occupying plazas, parks, and squares in opposition to failed austerity programs, to oligarchy, and to the unequal distribution of wealth and power. The loss of jobs, healthcare, and homes, the distressing use of mass incarceration and mass deportations, and the destruction of environments have brought so many households and individuals to crisis. We join with people re-claiming commons rights to public resources. We join in the call against privatization and for a democratic re-awakening.
As educators, we experience the dismantling of public education, rising tuition, unsustainable student debt, and the assault on every dimension of education. As American studies scholars, our work includes, among other things, addressing the problems and challenges societies face, drawing lessons from the past, comparing across polities, and making informed recommendations that will spark open debate. We draw inspiration from earlier social movements that have challenged the unequal distribution of power, wealth, and authority. Today’s movements continue this necessary work. The uprisings compel us to lift our voices and dedicate our effort to realizing the democratic aspirations for an equitable and habitable world. We are the 99%.