Yesterday, hundreds of Postdocs and ARSs gathered for our practice picket at President Shafik’s inauguration ceremony. In fact, the number of people picketing exceeded those who were seated in attendance for the inauguration!
We began gathering at 9:30 am at the main gate on 116th Street and Broadway. People signed in, grabbed t-shirts and signs, practiced chants, and caught up with colleagues. Around 10:30, we marched up and down College Walk and chanted until the beginning of the ceremony. We garnered a lot of attention from several members of the press, examples here and here, as well as other Columbia members who were curious about our demands and were overwhelmingly supportive.
During the ceremony, the speakers could not ignore our presence, although they attempted to minimize it, jokingly claiming that “no Columbia event is complete without protests”. The introduction of the co-chairs of Columbia’s board of trustees prompted boos for an entire minute. Finally, when the President was giving her speech, our chants became overwhelming, and as we walked out of her speech, she could not help but respond, see below:
Click the Image Above to Watch the Video!
In the end, our voice was heard, and more importantly, we showed that we are well organized and prepared to strike if the university does not give us the contract we deserve.
We want to sincerely thank everyone who attended this event, and hope to see you at upcoming actions as we keep increasing the pressure. It’s been historically proven time and time again, that actions such as this have a direct impact at the bargaining table.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.