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.
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….
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….
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. [=>]
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.
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.
On April 12, 2014, Kiev 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.
• 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.
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.
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.
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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.
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.
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 justice, [=>]
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 [=>]
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, [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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 [=>]
New York City—”The Trial Is On! The People of NYC are gathering to put the perpetrators of education crimes and human and civil rights violations against our children on trial—in our own People’s Court!” On Oct. 15, the Coalition for Public Education (www.forpubliced.org) took testimony from parents, teachers and [=>]
New York City—Three young members of the Community/Farmworker Alliance (NYC), a local coalition organized in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), spoke at Bluestockings Bookstore here on Oct. 14. They discussed the Campaign for Fair Food.
Fair Food activists are urging Trader Joe’s to ensure their tomatoes are picked by workers who earn [=>]
‘You can’t evict an idea whose time has come!’
The Occupy movement defies police state attacks
City governments have carried out police raids on occupations across the U.S. in a vain attempt to crush the movement with brute force. A new level of violence was achieved in mid-November, as raids from [=>]
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
World in View: Students awaken Chile
Hundreds of thousands of students–teenagers, and college students–have taken to the streets of Santiago, the capital, and the cities of Concepción, Valparaíso and Temuco, among others, to demand a decent public education. Hundreds of schools have been taken over. Students have been [=>]
From college level all the way down to pre-school, education is in crisis across the U.S. Teachers are made the scapegoats for why students are not “measuring up” to keep our country competitive in a global market that is falling apart across the globe. But, what is the reality?
Chicago–On June 22 the police, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) security and construction crews showed up at La Casita, the field house on the grounds of Whittier Dual Language Academy in Pilsen (see “Chicago Latinas demand a library,” Nov.-Dec. 2010 N&L). As the construction workers set up fencing that blocked access to La Casita from three sides, [=>]
Memphis, Tenn.–On April 8, over 75 students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Memphis came out in support of a living wage for campus workers. Some workers have been employed at the university for more than 15 years, and they have not seen a raise in over four years.
Los Angeles–In the school district where I work, they have cut two hours per day from the non-teaching staff. It affects insurance for employees with a family. A security worker told me, “I lose $700 per month.” Teachers are losing six furlough days per year, and step increases are frozen. That is in an economy [=>]
New York–Over 100 students at Queens College City University of New York (CUNY) walked out of classes on March 31, protesting state budget cuts that would affect not only the cost but the quality of their education. Students are alarmed at the impending teacher layoffs and the curtailment of curriculum. The students marched onto one [=>]