Iran Protests ‘Hostile’ U.S. To Mark 1979 Embassy Takeover

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By Staff of Tele Sur – Iranian protesters demonstrated against continued U.S. hostility towards Iran to commemorate the day students occupied Tehran’s U.S. embassy in 1979. Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets of Tehran in protest at ongoing U.S. aggression on the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover by students in 1979. To mark the National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance on Saturday, demonstrators condemned U.S. intervention in the region, calling attention to President Donald Trump’s recent remarks against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). Protesters denounced Trump’s decision to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump argued that Tehran had failed to comply with the agreement’s demands, despite international observers affirming otherwise. Hasan Shorjeh, a retired teacher carrying a “Down With America” placard, told the LA Times that Iran had no reason to respect the deal if the U.S. refused to uphold its end of the agreement.

Student Organizers Win Transgender Equality Battle In Maryland

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By Tod Perry for Good Education – The group’s efforts led the school board to vote 5 to 1 to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that fit with their identity. They can also participate in sports that align with their gender identity as well. Children who are uncomfortable with the new policy are provided with non-stigmatizing alternatives such as privacy curtains or changes to their locker room schedules. “I see it as one of the most comprehensive transgender student policies in the country,” Jabari Lyles, executive director of GLSEN Maryland, a group that advocates for LGBTQ students, told The Washington Post. The policy took effect over summer vacation is already facing a legal challenge. A lawsuit was filed in August on behalf of the mother of a 15-year-old student who feels the policy makes her unsafe and that she’s humiliated to undress in front of the “opposite sex.” The suit was filed by Dan Cox, a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018. To show support for their transgender classmates, students have started a social media campaign #IAmFrederick.

Jeff Sessions Is Met With Protest At Georgetown Law

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By Karen Sloan for Law – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions received a frosty reception from some students and faculty at Georgetown University Law Center, where he delivered a talk on free speech Tuesday. In anticipation of his arrival, 30 faculty members on Monday released a letter stating that Sessions was an inappropriate speaker to tackle that subject because he and the Trump administration have repeatedly attacked First Amendment rights. About 130 students claimed on Monday that their tickets to Sessions’ talk were revoked. “It is extraordinarily hypocritical that AG Sessions wants to lecture future attorneys about the importance of free speech on campus while excluding the wider student body from his very own ‘safe space,’” said Daniel Blauser, president of the campus’ chapter of the American Constitution Society. On Tuesday, about 100 protestors gathered in front of the law school, some with duct tape on their mouths and carrying signs critical of Sessions, according to The Washington Post. Sessions’ speech comes as several college campuses have been rocked by free speech controversies. Violent protests or the fear of such have led to the cancellation several planned speeches by conservatives at the University of California, Berkeley. Sessions spoke for about a half hour, referencing recent free speech incidents at UC Berkeley, Virginia Tech, Brown University, and Middlebury College. “Freedom of thought and speech are under attack,” Sessions said. “It is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought—a shelter for fragile egos.”

Why This Temple Student Is Organizing A March For Black Women: ‘They Matter’

ED HILLE / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
India Fenner, 19, is organizing a march for black women.

By Sofiya Ballin for Philly.com The message is fitting. It was Malcolm who said: “The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Those words replay in Fenner’s head as she plans her first march, “A March for Black Women,” scheduled to take place Friday. Demonstrators will set out at 1 p.m. from City Hall to Cecil B. Moore Avenue to celebrate and highlight the diversity of black women and honor black women who were victims of police brutality. Fenner is spreading word of the march through social media and hopes to have a large turnout of women — and men. The 19-year-old Temple University sophomore and Philadelphia native said it’s to “celebrate black women for who they are and not what the media wants them to be.” “I’ve been to plenty of marches for black men who have been harassed or killed by police,” she said. “But when I went to one for Sandra Bland, it was very small.” In 2015, Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, died in police custody after being arrested during a traffic stop in Texas. Fenner also recalled that in 2016, Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot by police in her Baltimore home with her 5-year-old son close by. But, she said, “nobody was marching.”

The Student Debt Crisis Is Exploding

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The level of student loan debt has risen to $1.5 trillion and defaults are more than 40% and rising. U.S. student loan debt has grown to overwhelm all other categories of non-housing consumer debt in this nation. Underneath the crisis are rising tuition costs, a predatory student loan industry and an absence of consumer protections for students. What is the student debt movement to do? Of course the Biden bankruptcy protections should be repealed but that is not enough. We need a complete student loan debt forgiveness program. These debts are ill gotten gains and should be forgiven. If the government refuses to forgive these debts, people must rise up together and refuse to pay any student loan debt. The people have the power to end this injustice and must mobilize to do so. A student loan debt jubilee, whether mandated by law or put in place by the people, will bring economic freedom to tens of millions, end their debt servitude and allow them to participate in the economy. It will be a significant economic stimulus, but more importantly it will end an injustice.

Billionaires Funding Plot To Destroy Dissent And Protest In Colleges Across U.S.

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By Alex Kotch for AlterNet – As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family. The intent of these bills isn’t to protect student speech; it’s actually to suppress it in favor of guest speakers who, at times, support white nationalism, LGBTQ discrimination and other hateful worldviews.

Student Strikes Planned To Protest Inauguration

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By Jack Smith IV for News.Mic. College students across the country in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago are planning walkouts and marches, taking the Inauguration Day protests to the campuses where they live and work. Leftist groups like Students for a Democratic Society and the student arm of Socialist Alternative are coordinating across chapters of the University of Houston, University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati, University of California — Berkeley and Los Angeles — various schools in Seattle and Philadelphia, and more schools as Inauguration Day approaches. And the organizers insist these protests are only the beginning of a broader resistance movement.

Britain’s Largest Student Union Endorses BDS

Image of students celebrating after the University of Manchester’s Student Union Senate voted to pass a motion in support of BDS on 11th December 2016 [@IsraelWC/Facebook]

By Staff of MEMO – The largest student union in Britain has officially endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in a significant success for Palestine solidarity activists. The University of Manchester’s Student Union Senate voted last Thursday to pass a motion in support of BDS. The motion won the backing of 60 per cent of the SU Senate, following an impassioned debate. The motion was put forward by Huda Ammori, President of Recognise Refugee Rights Society, and was supported by Etisha Choudhury, President of Action Palestine, and the BDS Campaigns Committee. In the three weeks prior to last week’s Senate meeting…

From D.C. To L.A., Students Across America Protest Trump's Election

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By Donna St. George, Perry Stein And Alejandra Matos for Washington Post – A group of hundreds of Maryland high school students walked out of class on Monday morning to protest Donald Trump’s presidential election, streaming into the school’s football field before numerous students headed out into local streets, tying up traffic. Students from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring moved their protest along University Boulevard, heading toward other Montgomery County schools in an attempt to recruit more anti-Trump protesters.

Tom Hayden’s Prescient & Still Relevant Port Huron Statement

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By G. Pascal Zachary for Alternet. The Port Huron statement, named after the city in Michigan where SDS leaders met in June 1962, presented a sharp break with political dissent in America. For the entire 20th century, leading up to the 1960s, radical politics in America was chiefly derived from European formulations. Left-wing Americans were deeply shaped by European socialism and Soviet (i.e., Russian) communism. As in 1962, our moment doesn’t seem auspicious. Again, the words from Port Huron ring true today: humanity “desperately needs revolutionary leadership,” and “America rests in national stalemate, its goals ambiguous and tradition-bound instead of informed and clear, its democratic system apathetic and manipulated….”

After Protests, South African School Ends Anti-Afro Policy

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By Staff of Tele Sur – Government officials struck down the school’s dress codes that many complained “pandered to whiteness. A South African school was ordered Tuesday to suspend hairstyle regulations after Black students complained that the restrictions singled them out and that they had been called monkeys by teachers for wearing banned “afros.” Local education authorities in the Gauteng province gave Pretoria High School for Girls 21 days to re-assess its rules after protests by students triggered a public dispute over the racist policies.

One Student's Quest To Reshape Schools

Andrew Brennen visits with Akbar Khan, a student at the University of California, Berkeley.
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By Catherine Gewertz for Education Week – As Andrew Brennen crisscrosses the country listening to high school students, he is trying to build a huge wave of sound: the sound of students raising their voices to make school better. Brennen, 20, is on a national tour to engage 10,000 high school students in conversations designed to help them claim powerful roles in their education. The field director for the activist group Student Voice, Brennen has been catching buses and trains from city to city since February…

Inside Growing Movement Against Campus Militarization

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By Shane Burley for Waging Nonviolence – As the student leaders of the Portland State Student Union, or PSUSU, began leading chants to “disarm” the university, hundreds of students and community leaders had already begun circling the steps of the library. The rally was the meeting point for a planned student and faculty “walkout” on May 10, where more than 400 students promised to leave class to protest the Board of Trustees’ decision to arm campus police officers — which organizers see as just a piece of the larger trend towards the militarization of police officers around the country.

Student Group In Japan That’s Made It Cool To Protest

An eye-catching poster from the student group SEALDs, featuring founding member, Wakako Fukuda (right).  SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) has changed the image of protesters in Japan, and made it okay to speak out. Credit: Courtesy of SEALDs

By Naomi Gingold for PRI – When Aki Okuda was 14 years old, he ran away from home. But this is not one of those kid-runs-away-and-is-brought-back-and-everything-goes-on stories. Okuda ran away and stayed away. “I wanted to go to the farthest place possible from Fukuoka,” he says. “I ended up on Yaeyama islands, the southernmost islands in Japan.”

Teenagers Got Police To Remove Military-Grade Weaponry From High Schools

Courtesy of the Labor Community Strategy Center

By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – A coalition of Los Angeles high school students and grassroots organizers just accomplished the unthinkable. After nearly two years of sit-ins and protests, they forced the police department for the second-largest public school district in the United States to remove grenade launchers, M-16 rifles, a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle and other military-grade weaponry from its arsenal. But the coalition did not stop there. Members took over a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meeting in February to call for proof that the arms had been returned to the Department of Defense…