After the break I'll offer some examples of that creativity.
While some striking faculty were at the entrances to campus, others were busy engaged in "virtual picketing." The front page of the DE had a picture that will probably become iconic for this particular strike, and rather quickly it was coopted for some online protest art.
You'll find this picture and other interesting media protest artifacts over at a new blog, Occupy SIUC. This blog sprung up specifically in response to the Administration's rather heavy-handed censoring of pro-union or even just pro-settlement comments on the SIUC Facebook page. The DE covered this story rather well here. Another blog, bit51, explained quite clearly how the Administration stumbled into a rather big social media faux pas. Now just to be clear: this is the same Administration that chides us not to be afraid of technology and distance learning. Great way to demonstrate your "superior" grasp of social media, Anthony Hall.
The Occupy SIUC blog is turning into quite the outlet of strike news from mainstream media and citizen (including student) generated media. For those easily offended by satire, though, be warned: there may be a video of a Chancellor Cheng sock puppet reading her recent email. But lest we find such antics uncivil, the puppet is wearing a very tasteful string of pearls.
|Steve Jahnke / The Southern (follow this link for more strike pics.)|
We got a reputation on the corner of Chautauqua and Oakland for being the loud and rowdy crowd, with lots of call-and-response chants and good interactions with motorists. It's been said before, but the vast majority of community and campus members driving by gave us signs of encouragement. On Friday afternoon, some of our supporters grew tired of the chanting and took us down a more musical path, teaching us a round that could very well become the theme song of this strike.
We Want the Truth by Bungy32
A week ago I made this claim, and I am only stronger in this conviction now: there is so much creative energy and love for this campus among the strikers and their supporters. This is a resource the Administration would be well advised to capitalize on. One day soon this strike will be over, and when it is I hope the Chancellor will take advantage of this positive energy for the good of the university and a shared vision of our future together. There is so much that we could accomplish by working together, by finding our common interests and reasonable compromises where we differ. But first, we have to get a fair contract on the table. Or as my partner's Facebook profile picture currently says: