Sometimes It Just Works: Organizing to Win at Mizzou

This past summer, after the University of Missouri administration announced sudden and draconian cuts to their health insurance (an issue we know well), GSU developed relationships with grad student workers there. They fought back and won a powerful victory.

Over the past couple of weeks, the fight at Mizzou led by ‪#‎ConcernedStudent1950‬ against racism on campus (also not an unfamiliar issue at U of C) has wrestled its way to public notice, led by the hunger strike by grad student Jonathan Butler. We were thrilled this weekend when the football team, led by its Black players, announced that it would strike in solidarity until the university president resigned. We were further thrilled when grad student workers announced a two-day strike in solidarity. And within the last few minutes, President Wolfe has resigned.

Institutional racism is as much a labor issue as health insurance. And solidarity across segments of a university has won a major victory today. Congratulations and thank you, Mizzou students/workers.

Much media on the topic has, perhaps predictably, treated the football strike as the sole factor in bringing about this change. Important as it was, it was but one action among many, fostered by and fostering other activism. This timeline from the independent newspaper The Maneater offers a great overview of all that has been happening on the Mizzou campus around racism, grad labor, health access, and more.