Letter from Mexico: CNTE teachers’ goal: autonomous learning

August 31, 2015

The National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) has been struggling for autonomy, new labor relationships and a non-capitalist educational model. In September 2013, tens of thousands of people—teachers outside the CNTE, students, parents and activists—demonstrated throughout Mexico to show their rejection of the government’s privatizing educational reforms.

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Youth in Action, July-August 2015

July 4, 2015

A roundup of youth in action including the struggle by student group GU Fossil Free to force Georgetown University to divest in fossil fuels and notice of a new report in the Index on Censorship, “Fired, Threatened, Imprisoned: is academic freedom being eroded?”

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Youth In Action, May-June 2015

May 7, 2015

South Africa removal of monument to imperialist Cecil Rhodes; UC San Diego eviction of Ché Café; Armenian protest in Lebanon; Burmese student protests; U. of Virginia students demand justice for Martese Johnson.

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Things fall apart

May 6, 2015

In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.

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Black Lives Matter

May 3, 2015

The long-simmering outrage of Black masses has broken out into a movement against this racist society, particularly its pattern of racist killings by the police. It has not only reverberated internationally, but also made itself felt in the battle of ideas and the sphere of theory.

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Fight for $15 and Dr. King

April 30, 2015

In Chicago, thousands march for a living wage, while in Los Angeles, protesters of all races marched downtown on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination. They included low-wage workers campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, uniting with the movement against police killing of unarmed Black and Brown youth.

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Chicago teachers’ strike reviewed

January 29, 2015

Review of “Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity” by Micah Uetricht and “How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers” from Labor Notes.

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Mexico: Students win at IPN

November 25, 2014

A general strike by students at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) reveals a longing for universality, for going deeper and lower within society.

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Youth in Action, November-December 2014

Newark high school protests; Egypt bans student movements; students and teachers defy Colorado school board brainwashing; Yemen youths’ political graffiti; Philadelphia high school students strike to support teachers.

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Readers’ Views, November-December 2014, Part 1

November 23, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Readers’ Views, Part 1

WOMEN FIGHT RAPE, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE

When I voted, many posters reminded folks that within 100 feet of the polling place you may not “interrupt” a person, nor “harass” nor even speak about your political views. [=>]

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Hong Kong youth confront class rule

November 22, 2014

Hundreds of people in Hong Kong marched to People’s Republic of China government offices on Nov. 9 to demand direct negotiations with the government of China and to oppose sham democratic elections planned for 2017. Marchers began from encampments of thousands of protesters who had been maintaining blockades of major thoroughfares for more than six weeks….

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Mexico at a new moment of revolt

November 21, 2014

Mexico City—Massive protests have swept across Mexico in response to the brutal state-instigated attack against students from the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. On Sept. 26 six people had been murdered outright, and 43 students were “disappeared” and likely assassinated, incinerated and buried in clandestine graves. October and November have been months of rage, led by hundreds of thousands of students….

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2

August 31, 2014

From the September-October 2014 News & Letters

THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION

I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]

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Youth In Action, September-October 2014

August 30, 2014

Salt Lake City students, faculty and supporters defend Multicultural Initiatives Department; Dreamers fight deportations; Texas students, faculty and staff oppose “shared services”; students protest REI sweatshops.

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The Free Speech Movement

July 7, 2014

Suddenly, a generation of new radicals was born to replace “the silent generation” of the 1950s. By winter 1964 a new form of revolt, with a new underlying philosophy, called itself the Free Speech Movement. It becomes necessary to view the moment when the student revolt culminated in a mass sit-in.

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The Left Agenda at the Maidan and After

June 30, 2014

On April 12, 2014, Kyiv hosted a conference The Left and the Maidan which brought together activists from anarchist, socialist and communist organisations that had been involved in the Maidan movement in late 2013–early 2014. The large number of participating activists who represent the various political groups and initiatives evolving as a part of the Maidan movement is clear evidence against the alleged absence of the Left in the Maidan movement. The discussion was centered on why the Left failed to take an organisational form and become as visible a factor of the Maidan as the right.

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NYC fighting the test

May 21, 2014

Rallies and protests were held at over 30 New York City schools on the first day of state-enforced mandatory standardized English language testing.

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Protests at CUNY

February 28, 2014

Students at City University of New York and supporters protest and take direct action to save the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Center, and face criminalization of their activities.

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South Korea on strike, North Korea on ‘ice’

February 15, 2014

• Over 100,000 South Koreans, mainly workers, demonstrated in Seoul on Dec. 28. They expressed their anger over a number of issues at the government of President Park Geun-hye.

One source of anger is the move to privatize some service by KORAIL (Korean Railroad Corp.). This had already led to the largest-ever walkout by members of the railroad workers’ union. Union officials say moves to privatize will mean fare hikes, service reductions, and safety problems.

On Dec. 22 riot police were sent to attack the Seoul headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Without search warrants, they broke down doors and caused serious property damage, including to the adjoining offices of the Kyunghang newspaper, which has been critical of Park’s policies.

Other citizens, outraged by revelations of manipulation by the National Intelligence Service of the 2012 elections when Park was elected, joined protesting workers. Police had confirmed illegal attempts to manipulate the election beforehand, but were ordered to remain silent.

With all these problems and more, South Korean youth have been inspired by the “Why We Aren’t Fine!” campaign. This was launched when a student at Korea University, Ju Hyun-woo, made a poster for his school bulletin board that was picked up and broadcast over social media. He wrote: “I just want to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ Are you fine with ignoring all these issues because they aren’t your problems?…And if you are not ‘fine’ after seeing all these problems, then voice your opinions—whatever they may be.”

Many of these young people joined in the Dec. 28 demonstrations, and also held flash mobs in cities across the country.

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Detroit workers fight for jobs and pensions

December 4, 2013

Yesterday, a judge approved Detroit bankruptcy. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr outrageously claimed that the attack on workers’ pensions would be “thoughtful, measured and humane.” Read the News & Letters article for a view from the other side of the class struggle.

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Sudan’s Arab Spring

November 25, 2013

Women are not only fighters in Sudan’s battles to overthrow al-Bashir, but they are also determined to continue the great tradition of women of the Arab Spring: to make sure that their revolution does not stop until all human relationships are transformed.

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Anti-Roma racism

November 23, 2013

Racism against Roma infects significant sectors of French society, and now reaches into the innards of the “Socialist” government.

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May-June 2013 issue of News & Letters is out

April 29, 2013

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view

The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]

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Save City College of San Francisco!

March 26, 2013

San Francisco–What is happening at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is something even the most avid conspiracy theorist would find hard to imagine.

Until July 2, 2012, the college had never received any sort of sanctions from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). In fact, in 2007, the New York Times named CCSF as [=>]

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Chicagoans rally: Forward on Climate

March 22, 2013

From the March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters:

Chicago–“Hey! Obama! We don’t want your climate drama!” we chanted at the Forward on Climate rally here on Feb. 17. There were at least 20 rallies that day, with 40,000 people in Washington, D.C. Most of the 400 here were college students brought out by Chicago [=>]

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Teachers and allies fight restructuring

February 20, 2013

Lake County, Ill.—Recently, teachers in my district received a warning that the district would be undergoing “restructuring” for the 2013-14 school year. When the superintendent visited our school after the winter break, she informed us that scores were still not reaching our goal and that sweeping changes would be necessary.

She needed to submit a “bold [=>]

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Teachers and parents talk education

February 9, 2013

Editor’s note: Below we print excerpts from the News and Letters Committees panel discussion of teachers and education activists on the September strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union. Daily mass demonstrations and solidarity from teachers and city residents extracted some concessions from the previously intransigent Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago–While [=>]

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Undoing Michigan election

February 6, 2013

Editorial

With lightning swiftness a super-majority of Michigan lame-duck Republicans passed a series of oppressive bills at the end of December. Defying voters’ expressed views, they passed an anti-union “right-to-work” law, an anti-abortion bill and a dictatorial emergency manager act. This was accomplished despite a record number–over 12,500–of protestors who stormed and occupied the legislative chamber [=>]

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Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution

February 3, 2013

Lead
by Gerry Emmett

“However partial the industrial revolt may be, it conceals within itself a universal soul: political revolt may be never so universal but it hides a narrow-minded spirit under the most colossal form.”

–Karl Marx, “On the King of Prussia and Social Reform”

The world’s rulers would like to declare an end to the earth-shaking, world-historic events of the Arab Spring, that completely unforeseen social revolt that [=>]

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January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters is now online

February 2, 2013

Lead
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution

Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]

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Shifang protest

September 19, 2012

Chinese officials in Sichuan province bowed quickly to mass protests and withdrew plans on July 3 for construction of a $1.6 billion molybdenum copper processing plant in Shifang town. Thousands of demonstrators faced tear gas and police batons beginning on July 1, surrounding government buildings and installations in Shifang to stop the project and the [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 2

August 15, 2012

RICH AND DUNAYEVSKAYA: A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

Thanks for your In Memoriam to Adrienne Rich. It revealed a dimension that many who were appreciative of her poetry and feminism may not have known—Rich’s exploration of Marx’s ideas through her reading of Raya Dunayevskaya. One piece Rich wrote was titled “Dunayevskaya’s Marx.” It was crucial how you [=>]

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Occupy the school—keep Lakeview open!

August 1, 2012

Photo by Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters

Parents, students and teachers have occupied Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., since June 15 to keep it open, just one of five schools slated for closure. Under threat from police and the Oakland Unified School District, the protesters, including Occupy Oakland, nevertheless have created social [=>]

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Mexico: ‘Yo soy #132’

July 23, 2012

World in View
Mexico: ‘Yo soy #132’

Mexico City—Into this dismal Presidential electoral season has come a breath of fresh air: a student movement by the name of “I am #132.” It arose in mid-May and spread like wildfire in universities throughout the country, with thousands and then tens of thousands of secondary and university students joining [=>]

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Québec ‘Maple Spring’ repression

July 20, 2012

Montreal–The Printemps Érable (Maple Spring), named after the Arab Spring, continues in Québec and reverberates throughout Canada in an ever-deepening crisis since the massive Québec student strike began in February. It faces a new wave of brutal repression, whose extreme character accentuates the bankruptcy of Québec’s government.

In mid-May Line Beauchamp, Minister of Education, bad as she was, [=>]

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July-August 2012 issue of News & Letters is on the web

July 8, 2012

News & Letters, Vol. 57, No. 4
July-August 2012

Lead: Spain, Greece, Europe: capitalist crisis and revolt

When the bailout of banks in Spain was announced on June 9, the immediate reactions revealed the two worlds that exist in every country. The Spanish masses intensified their protests, marching directly on both banks and government, while Greek and Spanish [=>]

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Parents, students protest schools hit list

April 15, 2012

From the March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters

Chicago—Several hundred people rallied against Chicago’s school “turnarounds” on Feb. 20 and marched to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. Many marchers wore stickers over their mouths that read “Silenced” or “Ex­cluded,” symbolizing how the mayor and his school board have run roughshod over schools without listen­ing [=>]

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Two Sudans in crisis

April 5, 2012

World in View

Since South Sudan gained its independence in July 2011, multiple conflicts erupted between the two Su­dans and within each country. Enormous human suffer­ing resulted, with hundreds if not thousands of deaths, rapes, forced displacement and increasing hunger.

A central thread of the conflict is the struggle over oil. South Sudan has most of the [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Making teachers redundant

February 8, 2012

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

Over a billion dollars has been spent in the last decade to comprehensively computerize the workplace at the nation’s largest HMO, where I work. For the executives, it’s as if the line between the virtual and the real has finally been eliminated. Not so for us rank-and-file workers, trying to provide real [=>]

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