Today, February 25, over 240 global organizations, including political parties, mass social movements, student organizations, churches, and labour unions, joined together in an international call for solidarity with imprisoned Palestinian students. Hundreds of Palestinian students are routinely detained by the Israeli occupation, especially those who are part of student organizations involved with campus political life. At Bir Zeit University alone, approximately 74 students were detained by occupation soldiers during the 2019-2020 academic year. They are among nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners jailed by Israel. The work of student organizing, from holding book fairs to organizing events and participating in student elections, is criminalized by the Israeli occupation. Still more students are detained for joining demonstrations or posting on their social media profiles.
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New York – Students from over 50 leading U.S. law schools -- including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and New York University -- have announced a recruiting boycott of a prominent Chevron law firm to protest its “unethical” private prosecution of U.S. human rights lawyer Steven Donziger after he helped win a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron. “We pledge to boycott Seward & Kissel recruitment activities in response to the firm’s unethical prosecution of U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger,” the students wrote in a letter with signatories representing 52 law schools. “Despite a significant conflict of interest, Seward & Kissel continues to drive Mr. Donziger’s unprecedented 18-month pre-trial detention on misdemeanor contempt charges.”
Young Americans are overrun with student debt. This crisis is the culmination of waning government funding for higher education, wage stagnation, wealth inequality, and a misleading emphasis on obtaining high credentials—all leading to the financial gap between college prices and later earnings. In 2020, aggregate balances reached $1.66 trillion in 2019 dollars, 122% higher in real dollars than in 2010. Not surprisingly, the number of borrowers, the amount they owe, and the number of loans each borrower acquires, have all increased over the time period. In 2019, 18-35 year-olds with student loan debt owed nearly $35,000 on average compared to just over $28,000 (USD 2019) in 2009. Back in 2009 there were only 32 million federal borrowers; in 2019, that number swelled to 43 million.
Yesterday, Public Knowledge joined Access Humboldt, Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, Consumer Reports, and New America’s Open Technology Institute in filing comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Notice on the use of E-Rate funds to enable remote learning. Public Knowledge supports “off-campus” use of E-Rate funds to help students studying at home access the broadband they need to stay connected to classes, student services, and their families during the pandemic. The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge: “As the nation enters its 12th month of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools remain closed or opened on a limited basis, making distance learning the primary means of educational instruction for many students.
After several months of continuous pressure on Northwestern administration to abolish University Police and divest from policing and other militarized entities, NUCNC is continuing their work into the new quarter. Since their campaign of more than 30 days of consecutive actions, the group has not held any mass protests or demonstrations, but they continue to pressure the University and practice mutual aid — a core tenet of prison-industrial complex abolition. “Prisons are the biggest social service we have,” NUCNC member Eliza Gonring said. “So poor people, homeless people, Black people are just getting funneled into prisons and if we want that to stop, if we don’t want people to get preyed upon, we’re going to need to start supporting people.”