On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to author and translator, Mitch Abidor, about the lessons from the student uprising in Paris in May 1968. "What happens in May is as a mass cultural, as a class event, its results are ambiguous but its results for the individual are enormous. There was a great and really funny example in the book when I asked everybody, "How did it change your life?" And so people told me about how "I discovered my voice. The first time I spoke it changed my entire being." Mitch Abidor’s book is entitled ‘May Made Me – An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France.’
By Faculty of Princeton University - As Princeton faculty, we write in support of our students who have occupied the President’s office and those supporting them across campus. These are difficult times. And there is a palpable sense that, even as we struggle together to make Princeton a better institution, students of color, particularly black students, all too often find themselves on the margins of this University. They do not feel a sense of possession of “Old Nassau.” So, they are voicing their frustration and have presented demands to the leadership of our community. They have done so with passion and intelligence and we support them.
More than 500 students mobilized Tuesday and took over the UC Davis administration building for about an hour to protest a proposed tuition hike by the UC Board of Regents. The students chanted, marched and banged drums in Mrak Hall in what they said was a message to the UC Board of Regents. "Tell them shame,” said UC Davis junior Mariah Watson. "Tell them that if you won't represent us we'll get rid of you. Raise tuition and we'll raise hell." Students said they are frustrated over the proposed tuition hike that would raise their costs by more than $3,300 over the next five years. That increase would make it tough for students like Lorena Castillo, a UC Davis junior, to stay in school. "Taking out all of these loans my parents cannot help me one bit, so they already told me if it gets any more expensive you might not be able to take out anything else and you might not be able to go to school," Castillo said.
York students, educators and families are fighting against the plan by politicians to completely privatize York City public schools. Those involved with the rally included the employee unions, the York NAACP, and York Concerned Clergy. The Rev. Aaron Willford, a former member of the city school board, told YDR.com "The main message is to say no to those who (want) to charterize schools," adding that children shouldn't be "guinea pigs."York protest full charter is not a choice They held a rally protesting privatization on Sept. 17, 2014 and again on Sept. 24, 2014. YDR.com reports: "Some at the rally questioned the track records of the two operators being considered and decried the idea of bringing in for-profit companies to run schools. . . . Nikiyah Perry, a senior at William Penn Senior High School, said 'They say charters are here to give you choice, but if you take away the public school option what choice do you have?'
Two Tibetan students, Tensing and Sonam, studying at MS University in Vadodara, who had approached city police, seeking permission to hold a demonstration against the China president's visit, were detained for questioning by crime branch sleuths. They were later shifted to Vadodara. A team of SOG officials rushed to Vadodara and later some officebearers of Tibetan Students Association (TSA) were detained by the local police for questioning. Senior police of ficials in Ahmedabad later said that 52 Tibetan students — 26 boys and 26 girls — have been detained in Vadodara as a precautionary step. "There is a general intelligence input about a possible self-immolation bid. We are taking all precautions and keeping a close watch on the developments," said a senior police official. Tibetan students in the past have held demonstrations against China, demanding a free Tibet.
The Newark Students Union took their demands for full local control of their schools by walking out and protesting on September 9, 2014. The students walked out marching down the street, stopping traffic, in an ongoing battle since the district was put under state control years ago and Governor Christie appointed Cami Anderson as superintendent. The students held teach-ins and a rally in Military Park in Newark. Students from Science Park High School, Arts High School and Central High School gathered to participate in courses on the history of student activism, art-making for activists and a workshop on student rights. "We are building a movement to take back democratic local control of our schools," Kristin Towkaniuk, president of the Newark Students Union to Eye Witness News. "Our action...will be an escalation demonstrating the community's unrest over Chris Christie's efforts to privatize our public schools."
UC Berkeley students, alumni and a group of lawyers in the Bay Area initiated an online petition last week to rescind UC Berkeley School of Law professor John Yoo’s recent faculty chair endowment. Students and anti-torture groups protested Yoo’s role in drafting the legal documents in 2002, which advised on the use of controversial interrogation techniques while he was deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. The San Francisco chapter of national anti-war group World Can’t Wait led a demonstration in 2012 against his employment at UC Berkeley.
After seven weeks of sustained media attention and organizing by student activists,Northeastern University today announced that it has lifted the suspension of Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Not only will the group will be fully reinstated on 1 September, but they will have access to more funding for educational events than was available before the 7 March suspension. Northeastern SJP will be able to plan for those events immediately. The group was suspended in an unprecedented sanction by the administration after students distributed mock eviction leaflets on campus, a popular direct action many Palestine solidarity groups undertake during the annual Israeli Apartheid Week to raise awareness about Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.
Students across the world rallied, held teach-ins, and took to the streets this week as part of the Global Week of Action to Reclaim Education slated to take place from May 1st - 8th. The week of action was part of an ongoing effort being mounted by groups of students from many different countries to resist the commodification of education - a trend being seen across the world wherein access to education is becoming less a public good for all and more a consumer product to be purchased by those who can afford it - and to demand instead an "emancipatory education" that would help lift youth across the world from poverty and prepare them for the challenges their generation faces. The week of action saw protests and educational events hosted in at least 10 different countries from Morocco to India to the US. Student groups organized the events as an answer to a call to action to organize the Global Week of Action against problems faced by students around the world: "Budget cuts, outsourcing, school closures, climbing costs of living and tuition fees, among other phenomena, are all linked to an increasing commercialization and privatization of education. Uniting globally is our answer to these obstacles – fighting for emancipatory education for all."
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backed out of giving Rutgers University's commencement speech today amid growing opposition among the school's students and faculty. Earlier this week, about 50 Rutgers students staged a sit-in inside the campus administration building to protest the selection of Rice to speak. She was scheduled to receive $35,000 for her speech and an honorary Rutgers doctoral degree. The students called for Rutgers to disinvite Rice, echoing the sentiments of several campus faculty organizations that said the former U.S. Secretary of State was an inappropriate choice because of her involvement in the Bush administration’s support of the Iraq War, waterboarding and other controversies. Rutgers officials had declined to rescind their invitation to Rice, saying the university welcomes debate on controversial issues. Until today, Rice had remained silent about the growing protests. Rutgers faculty members who opposed Rice’s selection were scheduled to hold a "teach-in" on the New Brunswick campus Tuesday to discuss the controversy with students and the public. "Attending the teach-in will be a strong signal that we will not sit quietly while a small group of irresponsible people dishonor our beloved university," said Rudolph Bell, a veteran history professor and one of the faculty members organizing the opposition, in a letter to the campus earlier this week.
Hundreds of students and community members protested a speech by Condoleezza Rice at the University of Minnesota. Coleen Rowley explains why: "Not even a year after 9-11, Rice began giving fear-mongering speeches that falsely alluded to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of and intent to use nuclear bombs. Rice knew there was no evidence for her “mushroom cloud” speeches but numerous firsthand accounts and memoirs, along with the “Downing Street Memo,” provide evidence that she, along with other key Administration figures, signed onto “fixing the intelligence around the policy” of their previously agreed-upon goal: Launching war on Iraq."
The effectiveness of Portland students' support of their teachers is part of an important trend on US campuses. Despite the fact that they pay thousands of dollars in tuition each semester, students often find themselves with little to no substantive representation on campus, and in recent years, many have turned to building student unions (no, not the confusingly named "student union" buildings on campus). And especially since the widely celebrated, though little publicized, success of the 2012 student strike in Quebec, a veritable student unionism movement been spreading across the country - a trend which bodes well not only for students themselves, but also for teachers increasingly being squeezed by austerity policies in education.
From CreativeResistance.org: Hundreds of students walked out of class on March 31, 2014, and marched on the Massachusetts state capitol demanding an end to fossil fuel investments and reinvesting in sustainable energy. Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval has agreed to meet with the students to discuss their demands. The walkout, organized by Students for a Just and Stable Future, featured speeches from Newton North High School junior Kerry Brock, Wellesley College sophomore Ashley K Funk, and climate activist Tim DeChristopher. Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF) is a New England-based student network fighting against climate disruption and political inaction and for a livable planet and a just society for our generation and the generations to come.
For this round of cuts and consolidations, a solidarity between students and faculty had been well established, and grew and flourished under the recognition that we had shared goals in preserving the University of Maine System, not only for their jobs, or for our quality of education, but for the broader benefit of society that a liberal arts education provides, in allowing all working class people to lift themselves up into an intellectual realm that had until only recently in human history been reserved for priests and nobility. A vote of no confidence was issued forth from the Faculty Senate, and Selma Botman resigned, only to be replaced by President Theo Kalikow, who has continued forth advancing the austerity agenda on the University of Southern Maine. Selma Botman, while vacating the seat of the President, was allowed by administrators to continued to draw her salary for the duration of her term, and was in fact hired back as a consultant, and paid an additional $300,000 to write a paper, putting her annual earnings well into the realm of the top 1%. As though to thumb their noses at the student protestors, Administrators gave themselves a raise of $20,000 and upwards.