18 Mayors in the USA Do Their Unethical Fusion Homeland Security —
Rumors have been swirling around various Occupy camps that a series of major crackdowns in recent days — spanning from New York to Denver to Oakland, with several others in between — were being done on the orders of Washington. That’s unlikely.
But in an interview with BBC News, Oakland Mayor casually admitted that she had participated in a conference call with officials from 18 cities to discuss the OWS movement, tactics for managing its camps, etc.
Imagine, all those flagging economies, all those flabby politicians, consulting about each respective Occupy Movement? Maybe GRCC can see the light —
Their battle is actually OURS. UC-Berkley proves students have intestinal fortitude: Go to this link and Campus Progress frequently —
UC-Berkeley Chancellor Defends Violent Shutdown
of Occupy Berkeley Protests
The video is damning.
University of California—Berkeley students stand in front of a line of police officers on Wednesday afternoon, arms locked or slung around each other. Moments before—in less sensational video footage—they chanted, “PEACE-FUL PRO-TEST.” When the officers advance and begin snapping their batons at students’ torsos, the chants give way to screams and a cry of “Stop beating students!” One student is knocked over by the blows; as his friends rally to help him up, the baton strikes continue.
It’s clear there was no physical provocation for the assaults: Students were trying to prevent police from taking down a fledgling Occupy Cal encampment.
And then last Thursday, UC—Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau sent an e-mail to the entire campus defending the actions of the police both that afternoon and in a more violent clash later in the evening.
“It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents,” Birgeneau wrote in the e-mail. “This is not non-violent civil disobedience.”
Birgeneau characterized the police actions as being “forced” and expressed regret for “all injuries, to protesters and police, that resulted from this effort.” (It’s worth noting that there are no reports of police injuries, though several protesters reported suffering broken ribs and severe bruising.)
The e-mail, ostensibly written to calm the outrage, only fueled it—and drew a battle line between the Berkeley administration and the rest of the campus community.
Three faculty members, tasked by a caucus of 45 instructors, wrote an open letter to the school administration, including Birgeneau:
We call on the Berkeley administration to immediately put an end to these grotesquely out-scale police responses to peaceful protest. We insist that the administration abandon the premise that the rigid, armed enforcement of a campus regulation, in circumstances lacking any immediate threat to safety, justifies the precipitous use of force.
We express NO CONFIDENCE in the Regents, who have failed in their responsibility to fight for state funding for public education, and have placed the burden of the budget crisis on the backs of students.
Check out the history of labor — American Federation of Teachers endorses OWS-Occupy Seattle: Under “The Issues” in the above tab!
Other news? Big action coming up, Nov. 17 — GRCC Students are setting up an information booth and a sign up table at Cornel West for the Nov. 17 action.
On Nov. 17, ordinary Washingtonians are joining together from across the region to tell our leaders we have had enough of cuts–we need good jobs now. To make politicians understand how bad the jobs crisis is, we’re meeting at the Montlake Bridge–a bridge that’s badly in need of repair–to make sure our message is heard.
Why are so many people still unemployed when there is so much work that desperately needs to be done? This bridge is crucial to keeping us safe and putting us back to work. Every minute of every day, an American driver crosses a bridge somewhere in the U.S. that is “structurally deficient” according to government standards.
President Obama has proposed putting $50 billion into immediate projects to fix highways, transit, rail and airports. With over 29 percent of bridges falling into the substandard category in Washington, good jobs that fix those bridges would be a great place to start
Our bridges need work and so do we! Will you join over 1,000 of your friends and neighbors at the Montlake Bridge in Seattle on Nov. 17 to tell our leaders that bridges need work and so do we? Sign up to the right and we will send you the address when the secret mission gets closer.
Keep your calendar open–it’s going to be powerful, you don’t want to miss it!
Students are also meeting to determine the future of the Occupy Movement here at GRCC, and the future of the Teach-in’s and what they can do to push the edge of the envelope tied to The Attacks on Higher Education.
Check out the editorial being read by many in Seattle at Real Change News —
Community & Editorial
“On community college campuses, the Occupy movement is a lesson in political history”
by: Paul K. Haeder , Contributing Writer
MORE UPDATES? Read Alternet.org
Occupy Wall Street Is Not a Spectator Sport: 5 Ways the 99 Percent Can Contribute to the Movement Right Now
Video for your background before Cornel West comes to GRCC Wed. 11/16:
Uploaded by NewYork Raw Videos on Nov 5, 2011 Recorded November 3, 2011, 10.15 am. The People vs. Goldman Sachs mock trial people’s hearing held at Liberty a/k/a Zuccotti Park with fiery commentary by Dr. Cornel West, eloquence by Chris Hedges, and testimonies from people directly affected by Goldman Sach policies.
- UNIONS are beginning to join the 99 percent movement.
- Occupy Seattle is at Seattle Central Community College.
- Nov. 17 is a time of action — taking, occupying, the bridge at Montlake.
- Cornel West is here at GRCC Nov. 16, 7:30.
- This web site is in need of VISITORS and feedback.
October 26 Teach-in in the Can — Jan. 18 Teach-in planning in progress!!!
Round Two – Show Me the Money
Attack on Higher Education Teach-in Sustains the Argument Higher Ed. Is in Trouble
[120 students attended the second Teach-in held at Green River Community College. ]
Unfortunately for us all in education, sometimes it seems that “it all boils down to money.” Fortunately for the 120 people—mostly students — in the Main Dining Area at the LSC on Oct. 26, the three GRCC faculty helping lead the charge didn’t hold back punches when it came to the general thesis that GRCC and other schools in Washington are underfunded, have numerous programs on the chopping block, and face edicts from Olympia and presidents to cut back on hiring, buying supplies, construction projects, maintenance and other essentials, even as enrollments everywhere are shooting up.
It wasn’t Rumble in the Jungle, Wednesday, but three welterweight faculty — Frank Primiani, Lloyd Jansen and Jaeney Hoene – displayed a three-punch combination that clearly critiqued how GRCC and the other 33 Washington community and technical colleges are in the midst of massive failures to fund full-time faculty and affordable education.
“The social contract is under attack,” Jansen said. “Publicly funded education is under attack . . . . This changes the entire relationship we have with each other.” Jansen made it clear that the current student debt load in the country has not only surpassed all credit card debt but it will spike to over $1 trillion at the end of this year.
Think 40,000 fewer students by 2013 if that goes through. All three faculty at the teach-in stayed on this theme – students here at GRCC are affected personally and deeply. Thus far, according to Jansen, 900 student financial aid applications have still not been reviewed this quarter.
The nitty-gritty of education at GRCC was illustrated by Hoene when she continued her uppercuts at the bizarre and unhealthy full-time to adjunct faculty ratio. As chair of the English Department, Hoene believes the out-of-proportion 44 adjunct to 17 fulltime faculty ratio speaks to a system that is exploitive, anti-democratic and threatening to not only part-time professionals, who have to hold down two or three jobs driving from campus to campus, but also to students’ educations.
Adjunct faculty can’t teach full-time loads; instead, if they are lucky, teaching 8 classes per school years, as opposed to 9 for fulltime faculty, is the rule. The reality is, though, they get a little over $3,000 per class, making a tad over $24,000 at one institution in a year’s time. Hence, as Hoene illustrated, some faculty even hold jobs at Starbucks.
So much for master’s degrees and doctorates getting us better wages, better treatment.
Hoene, who has been chair for six years and has seen this ratio grow each year, believes adjunct instructors lose voice because they have no job security, are hired quarter to quarter, and can be fired or laid off on a whim.
She alluded to the mythological moniker GRCC held in some circles as Harvard on the Hill, pointing out that Harvard University puts weight behind writing, limiting class sizes to a seminar style which allow students to learn critical thinking skills, creativity and problem solving.
“How about the best possible grade for the least amount of effort . . . . and do you want fries with that?” Frank Primiani pointed out to the crowd that privatizing higher education will not benefit students, will create more defaults on student loans, and will marginalize even more workers, faculty and communities because for-profit doesn’t work for everything in capitalism.
Students here at GRCC and elsewhere have grown up under two generations of a media that attack public sector workers. Their entire 18 years on the planet involves some of the greatest wars – the war against the Middle Class and against unions.
As part of the second teach-in crowd piddled out at noon, many stayed to go to break-out tables to work on four key questions – sort of a brainstorming mini teach-in facilitated by GRCC volunteers, ranging from faculty members to student volunteers.
- Do you think you or your family should bear the brunt of the increasing costs of higher education? Can you or your family afford to do so?
- Do you think the inequality that exists among faculty affects the quality of education you receive?
- How does the privatization of higher education affect you?
- What fears do you have about completing your education in light of the recent attacks on education?
CHECK OUT the Press Release for this Wed.’s 11 to 1 Teach-in (and more news)
OCT. 26, 11- 1 pm — Teach In Number Two, LSC, Main Dining Hall
Show Me the Money! Teach-In:
The Attack on Higher Education
Frank Primiani, Business Division — “Privatization & Higher Education”
Lloyd Jansen, Social Science Division –“Tuition Increases & Tax History”
Jaeney Hoene, English Division– “Adjunct Faculty & the Budget”
THAT’s one -hour, 11- 12. Then, students get into breakout sessions and come up with a plan, strategy, words. Now, tune into what is happening around Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Colleges —
On Tuesday night, The
Huffington Post hosted a black-tie event that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
was expected to attend. Occupy Wall Street protesters caught wind of Cuomo’s
expected presence and decided to protest outside the venue in an effort to win
an audience with him. Author and feminist Naomi Wolf, one of the guests
attending the event and our Truthdigger of the Week, saw the protesters standing
on the fringe of the event as she arrived and decided she wanted to help them
understand and exercise their rights. She was arrested for her efforts.
In an article she wrote for The Guardian the next day,
Wolf gave a detailed account of the events that led to her arrest and explained
her motivation for going out of her way to try to help the protesters.
“On our exit, I saw that the protesters had been cordoned off by a now-massive phalanx of NYPD cops and pinned against the far side of the street—far away from the event they sought to address,” Wolf wrote. “I went up and asked [the officers] why. They replied that
they had been informed that The Huffington Post event had a permit that forbade
[the protesters] to use the sidewalk. I knew from my investigative reporting on
NYC permits that this was impossible: A private entity cannot lease the public
sidewalks; even film crews must allow pedestrian traffic. I asked the police for
Then Wolf, having determined that it was unconstitutional for police to keep protesters so far from the event, led them single-file across the sidewalk in question. She was
arrested for “disorderly conduct.”
In nominating Wolf, Truthdig reader John said he respected Wolf for “challenging
the unreasonable and unconstitutional demands of the NYPD,” and for “her
willingness to be arrested for refusing those demands.”
LOOK AT THE VIDEO —
On Oct. 15, the day Occupy Wall Street set aside as a day of action for the movement, U.S. Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas was caught on video telling off New York police for
being overly forceful with peaceful protesters. “This is not a war zone,” he told officers, pointing to service badges on the military fatigues he opted to wear while protesting. “These are unarmed U.S. citizens!” The passion Thomas displayed while confronting police seems to have hit a nerve with a lot of people because the video, after less than a week, has seen almost 2 million views. Truthdig reader Dory explained well the emotion that has seemed to fuel those millions of views: “This remarkable young man protected his fellow citizens against the NYPD and won. God bless him for putting his life on the line for us all, both in Iraq and on the streets of New York. He is my new hero!”
VIDEOS of both heros:
OWS — Occupy Wall Street seems to be the best place to figure out how the attack on higher education plays out in the minds of thousands of protesters in the street, with another 999 behind each active protester.
UPDATE#1***read the article on the first Teach-in, a HUGE success in many ways. Oct. 26 — be there or be squared-in by the one-percent ruling America!
UPDATE #2***go to the Occupy Seattle web site, or physically go to downtown Seattle, where the occupation of public space is unfolding, and learn grassroots action. The Seattle Police, urged on by the Mayor, a former “anti-Vietnam War protestor,” arrested more than 33 folk while our teach-in was going on!
UPDATE #3*** NEW group — www.occupycolleges.org
Earlier today, students from at least 100 college campuses around the country walked out of class in a show of solidarity and support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. While the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet to present a coherent agenda or message, the college students who marched today in support of it…
Welcome to the GRCC Teach-In Webpage! Your Visit Empowers Your Voices
This site is designed to assist in the Green River faculty’s efforts to educate the public about the attack on higher education. Students are encouraged to get on board to help with teach-ins this quarter and next, Winter, and Spring. We’ve put on information about the teach-ins, the accompanying film series, and a schedule of events in the community, both at GRCC, sister campuses, and just around town, so to speak. This site serves as a clearinghouse of information around the issues facing the future of our country, which for most Americans, is tied directly to PK-12 issues, all the way through to higher education at Green River Community College, in the transfer process to 4-year schools as well as what you want and deserve on our campus. However, this is an across-the-Americas set of issues.
To read the sentiments of one GRCC dedicated faculty member, Frank Primiani, J.D., SCROLL down to the bottom. His words a emblematic of the struggle education, educators, students and communities have been facing. Frank’s words are wise and connect to large systemic failures. Absolute necessary reading to grasp this series of teach-in’s impetus.
Other things you can find here include:
- Archives of information, news, and links to sites and videos that documents efforts locally and across America to defend higher education
- The issues at stake right now
- The effects of budget cuts on education
- What students and concerned community members can do to help
- Speak Out! section, maybe the most important tool here and in your lives — Participatory DEMOCRACY
Explore our website, pass the url on to others, and leave comments about your own personal role in education. Let us know how we can improve and add to the site!
This site is organic, like what is happening with the Occupy Wall Street action, started on Sept. 17.
That occupation of public space by the public is the definition of a Teach-in at the highest level:
It’s important that all students learn how youth and others are believing in change, one city, on teach-in at a time. There are actions now in major cities around the country, and in Washington.
Hundreds continue to camp out in a park in Manhattan’s Financial District for the “Occupy Wall Street” protest. The encampment got a boost this week when one of New York City’s largest unions, the Transit Workers Union, announced its backing. In this report, Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke gets a tour of the private park, open to the public, that people have occupied, and and speaks with demonstrators, including a woman who was pepper sprayed by New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna last Saturday. Special thanks to Hany Massoud.
Please check this web site/blog frequently for news, information, and links as all these issues with education, youth in action, and US citizen uprisings unfold!
Words of wisdom and revolt from author, journalist, educator, Chris Hedges:
“There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.”
Regarding the Green River Teach-in Sessions
By Frank Primiani, J.D.
Diminished resources, tuition increases, and insufficient services are part of what has been called the “new normal” for educational institutions. We are told to learn how to do the same, or more, with less. While less can sometimes be more, it is often just less.
What we have seen at Green River is simply a microcosm of what is happening around the state and the country, not only at educational facilities, but public institutions in general.
Many people, including myself, see this state of affairs as a consequence of fundamental fractures that have occurred in our socio-economic and legal systems. As with the many roads and bridges needing inspection in our nation’s infrastructure, it is time to reflect on the underpinnings that support our educational and social institutions. In fact, we are long overdue for such inspections. Since the last great socio-economic upheaval of the 1930’s, we have failed to understand that these episodes are cyclical and recurring if measures are not in place to prevent them. Any property owner knows that without periodic maintenance, his homestead will eventually deteriorate. Thanks to the dismantling of regulations in place since 1934, our nation is once again at that point.
For many years our country has prided itself on its ability to generate a large middle class, in which ordinary citizens could more equitably share in the wealth of the nation. The union movement was instrumental in that upward economic and social mobility.
For the past 30 years, fissures have been developing in the foundation of the social bargain which had created, and allowed for the middle class. Downward pressure on unionization, a dismantling of a manufacturing sector, exportation of jobs, decreased allocation of resources for the public good, increased spending for unpaid foreign wars, and a decreasing tax burden on the upper classes largely resulted in a significant transfer of wealth to the economic elite. Inevitably, these factors have ripped a tear in the fabric of our society. The resulting wealth disparity has been the precursor for a whole host of social ills we are witnessing.
But if our middle class has been under attack, then who or what has been doing the attacking?, and it is intentional? In my view, the attack has been waged by the more base and primitive nature in our human genome, and therefore in our character. It is really a manifestation of a struggle that goes on in each of us, the struggle between self- interest and the common good. What we have seen in recent years is a collective magnification of self- interested, profit driven motivations at the expense of the common good. Legal relationships have been transformed as a consequence. With the continued recognition of corporate personhood, and the steadfast privatization and the public commons, those of the moneyed classes are able to buy influence in an increasingly corrupt political system.
Sanctioned by the highest court in the land, money has been equated with political speech and corporations have been equated with human beings. Undoubtedly, this toxic combination will fuel an even more accelerated drive to plunder the middle class. Money, it appears, has a corrosive effect on democratic ideals, but it is no match for people who mass to oppose its influence. That is what happens when a silent majority awakens to the conditions around them. Nonetheless, even upon awakening, some will certainly ignore, some will adapt, some will educate, but others must and will oppose. It is our hope that education will be the vehicle for peaceful opposition and corrective action.
So what can be done you might ask? First and foremost, we must strive to get money out of politics and to dehumanize corporations. Due to recent decisions such as Citizens United v. F.E.C., however, the Supreme Court has made this task very difficult. In order to undo the harm they have wrought, we will need either Constitutional Amendments (not easy to do), or Congressional action to restore sensible political finance reform, such as public financing of political campaigns. In the meantime, do not be mislead by propagandist slogans and misinformation designed to obfuscate the reality of our national situation. Learn to think for yourself; get the facts, ask the right questions, stay engaged in political dialogue, and learn how to counter deceptive or misleading information. … This campaign season will be full of it…
Our failure to see what’s coming, and to take actions to correct our course, will eventually doom us to a neofeudalistic serfdom that may enslave the former middle class for generations.
UPDATE #1 — Oct. 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You want to read the Gator Net news on the Teach-in Oct. 5?
One, Two, Three, Four – What Are We Going to Fight For?
by Paul K. Haeder
Panelist and GRCC faculty
Vik Bahl encourages all people interested in this topic, tied to Green River Community College and other colleges, to speak out on the web site and join in the conversation.
UPDATE #2****OCT. 6
Occupy Seattle, Update 10/05 @ 11:00pm
Police made 33 arrests today while Parks and Recreation employees removed tents. Those guarding the tents were arrested, many others stood around to document and witness. At that time Parks and Rec said we would not be allowed in the park after 10, but that was later rescinded. We are legally continuing to occupy the park but without tents.
There are still eight people in jail with bail set at $475 as of 11pm on 10/5.
We will meet in Working Groups at 4pm at Westlake and meet for a General Assembly at 6:30pm.