Bolivian Students Take Over University

It’s not just Illinois (and I’m sure glad for that) — Rabble at Anarchogeek points out that Bolivian students have taken over their University in La Paz, demanding more educational funding.

When students and faculty took over the administration building at the U of I last week in protest of the U’s racists mascot, there was a lot of bellyaching from both the conservatives and the lilly-livered liberals about how much inconvenience the protest was causing all those poor administration workers (what, they don’t like a free day off?), and how such “extreme” action would only set the anti-Chief movement back.

What amazes me is the “extreme” myopia, especially amongst liberals, that causes them to forget the gains against segregation and the Viet Nam war made through sit-in tactics, not to mention the advancement of free speech on University campuses, all during the 1960s.

Like the civil rights sit-ins, the action at the U of I was most important because it brought attention in from outside these insular little college towns where locals and students alike would prefer to see this as a “local” issue, without any connection to global human rights.

The U of I story did travel some, mostly via the AP, getting picked up in Chicago, other random papers and even the Guardian in the UK. However, it did not become a truly national story. That isn’t to say the action was useless, since it resulted in some gains from the university administration and wider attention.

Unfortunately the Bolivian students’ story has not made it into much international spotlight, but that may still yet change.