Adjunct Day at NEIU


February 25, 2015 -- National Adjunct Walk-Out Day was called for colleges and universities around the country. One participating campus in Chicago was Northeastern Illinois University. The organizers of the NEIU action put out the following statement, which said, in part:

"While NEIU is not organizing a walk-out, there will be a teach-in...Many adjunct professors teach full-time and cannot afford to pay for rent, food or a bus pass. Many adjunct faculty members lack office space to meet with students, and do not have access to computers and other materials to support their teaching. Many are hired at the last minute and expected to teach an unfamiliar course, and are not compensated for the creation and preparation of new courses...Last year at NEIU, a whopping 62% of all our classes were taught by instructors or adjuncts...


"Faculty working conditions are students’ learning conditions. As tuition edges up and student debt load rises, as universities hire more highly paid administrators and build expensive dorms and football stadiums, students are priced out of classrooms. When classes are cancelled, as we know happens every semester at NEIU, instructors and adjuncts lose their jobs, income and in some cases their health insurance. This instability makes it extremely difficult to plan their personal and professional lives. Denying adjuncts job security also means denying students the classes they need to graduate on time and plan their work and family lives."


Included are remarks from Paul Lempke (Art Instructor, NEIU); Lydia Snow (Adjunct Instructor, NEIU); Richard Grossman (Instructor at NEIU; Adjunct at Columbia College, Chicago); Carmel O'Kane, Foreign Languages and Literature Professor (NEIU); Olivia Cronk (Adjunct Instructor, English Department, NEIU).



Additional segment: 

Black Site Chicago: It's Not Open for Tours

In a protest action at Chicago's Homan Square black site, about 150 people gathered on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the corner of Homan and Fillmore in Chicago. Mainstream out-of-town publications, such as the Guardian in England, recently stirred things up with articles about a police facility in Chicago disturbingly similar to CIA 'black' operations in foreign countries.

Chicago-are journalist Kim Scipes (President of the Chicago local of the National Writers Union/UAW) talked about what a black site is: "A black site simply is a place that's not acknowledge to even exist...There's no oversight...it's like comparable to CIA operations in the Middle East...Somebody could be detained by the Chicago Police Department, nobody knows, it doesn't go into the central booking system, so lawyers can't find clients, clients can't get their lawyers, there's no constitutional rights. It's a total abrogation of the Constitution." 


Up to now, the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago are ignoring requests for an impartial investigation of the Homan Ave. site's operations, or for public inspections.


Andy Thayer (Gay Liberation Network) said that the existence of the site was not only a moral outrage and violation of the Constitution, but a budget issue: "The City paid out $50 million plus last year alone due to police misconduct. The City in 2013 settled a class action lawsuit for $16.5 million to stop them from abusing people in the overnight lockups at the regular CPD stations. Things like sleep deprivation, things like handcuffing people to the walls of interrogation rooms for hours on end, denial of access to restrooms. So to find out that they're operating an off-the-books site here [Homan Ave.] and thus potentially setting up the city for millions of dollars more in wrongful police misconduct lawsuits is just absurd. We're a city that's swimming in red ink."


Homan Square has also created a political problem in the final weeks to the April 7 runoff mayoral election between Rahm Emanuel and Chuy Garcia. Both candidates have, as of the date of the publication of this video, steered clear of saying anything about the black site.


"I think it's outrageous," Thayer noted, "that [Mayor] Emanuel promised 1,000 more cops and unfortunately Chuy Garcia [the Mayor's opponent] repeated that ridiculous demand in the current race. And yet, to my knowledge neither of them have spoken out substantively about investigating Homan Square."


"We specifically invited Chuy", added attorney Billy Joe Mills (Firmequity), "and he said 'no'. This is an international story and he can't be bothered to travel to the west side of his own city he wants to become mayor of to give his comments." 


The only run-off candidate for the 2015 election who showed up at the Feb. 28 protest, or who has expressed any support, was businesswoman Vetress Boyce, running in the 24th Ward, where the Homan facility is located. 


Also appearing in this video are: Edward Ward (a leader of recent Loop protests against national racist police killings); and David Rodriguez (Chicago Anonymous).


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