47 Republican Senators May Be Charged With Treason: shawncarrie:
According to a 1799 law, the actions of the Republican Senators could amount to treason.
The New Panopticon: How France Is Cracking Down On Free Speech
Green & Black Unite
An activist movement gets it right.
The Associated Press has this inspiring dispatch from Notre Dame des Landes in western France of a people’s uprising powered by Green and Black unity:
“They hurl sticks, stones and gasoline bombs. They have spent brutal winter months fortifying muddy encampments. And now they’re ready to ramp up their fight against the prime minister and his pet project — a massive new airport in western France.
“An unlikely alliance of anarchists and beret-wearing farmers is creating a headache for President Francois Hollande’s beleaguered government by mounting an escalating Occupy Wall Street-style battle that has delayed construction on the ambitious airport near the city of Nantes for months. The conflict has flared anew at a particularly tricky time for the Socialist government, amid a growing scandal over tax-dodging revelations that forced the budget minister to resign, and ever-worsening news about the French economy.
“A protest held over the weekend is likely to trigger a new round of demonstrations like those that drew thousands of protesters to the remote woodlands of Brittany in the fall. In those earlier protests, heavily armored riot police battled young anarchists and farmers, causing injuries on both sides. On Monday, similar clashes erupted, with three demonstrators injured, according to the radicals’ website.
“The fight has brought together odd bedfellows: Local farmers who represent traditional French conservative values are collaborating with anarchists, radical eco-feminists and drifters from around Europe — who see the anti-airport movement as a flashpoint against globalization and capitalism. Environmentalists and the far-left Green Party also oppose the airport, arguing that it will bring pollution.”
Public Education Fights for Its Life
Austerity measures are eroding America’s public school system. With massive increases in school closures and class cancellations, advocates say educational opportunities for students of all ages are increasingly being diminished.
This is not a new problem, per se. It is, however, an escalating one, and one that is being resisted.
Currently in Chicago—under the auspices of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the former chief of staff for President Obama—it was announced in March that 54 public schools will be closed, with 61 schools scheduled to be closed before the 2013–2014 school year begins. Emmanuel says that the closings are a “done deal.” Not everyone agrees with Emmanuel, and countering his assertion Karen Lewis says ‘it’s pretty much indicative that he [Emmanuel] has no respect for the law.” Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and says that there are supposed to be hearings for each school, and that Emmanuel’s unilateral actions show “the depth of his contempt for people” in the community, especially those who are not “wealthy” and well-connected.
Right now in California, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is on the verge of losing its accreditation as a direct consequence of a $53 million dollar loss in state funding. Because of this, many classes are no longer being offered. Additionally, the cost of [in-state] tuition at CCSF has risen 25% in the last 2 years, and to boot, student enrollment is way down.
KQED reports that California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year enrollment low, and in a video report at the Real News Network, Alisa Messer, President of CCSF Faculty Union, says that “what happened in California in the last several years is that we’ve pushed a half million students out of the community college system.” And though the faculty had agreed last year to a voluntary 2.8% pay cut towards assisting in alleviating budget woes, the district cut faculty wages by nearly 9%.
Elsewhere, like in Michigan, for instance, the Public Schools Emergency Manager,Roy Roberts, announced last year that “underperforming” schools will be targeted for closure, with 130 schools having been closed there since 2005.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is attempting to close 17 schools, which are said to be low-performing. However, the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Coalition for Educational Justice have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging the city’s school closures disproportionately affect “students of color and students with disabilities.”
Author and activist, Tolu Orlorunda, shared his findings on how race factors in on public school closings in an article entitled “Journey for Justice: Mass School Closings and the Death of Communities,” stating that:
From 2003-2012, in New York City, 117 schools were closed. Twenty-five more closings are scheduled for 2013. Sixty-three percent of the students affected are black.
Since 2001, in Chicago, 72 schools have been closed or phased out. Ninety percent of the students affected are black.
In 2008, 23 schools were closed in Washington, DC. Ninety-nine percent of the students affected were black or brown.
Since 2005, in Detroit, 130 schools have been closed. Ninety-three percent of the students affected are black.
Curiously, while public schools are rapidly closing, charter schools—using public funding for privately-operated schools—have sprouted and expanded to take their share of budget dollars.
Many find this educational shift troubling, including a public school teacher of 30 years, Stan Karp, who is director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, and the editor to Rethinking Schools. Karp wrote in a March 8th commentary about charter schools, saying “nearly every teacher dreams of starting a school…[b]ut the current push for deregulated charters and privatization is doing nothing to reduce the concentrations of 70, 80, and 90 percent poverty that remain the central problem in our urban schools.” He says a more “equitable” approach to school reform can be seen in Raleigh, North Carolina, where efforts “were made to improve theme-based and magnet programs at all schools, and the concentration of free/reduced lunch students at any one school was limited to 40 percent or less.” That simple plan, Karp says, resulted in “some of the nation’s best progress on closing gaps in achievement and opportunity.”
Further making his case in the article, Karp says:
- Significant evidence suggests that charters are part of a market-driven plan to create a less stable, less secure and less expensive teaching staff…working to privatize everything from curriculum to professional development to the making of education policy.
- [C]harter school teachers are, on average, less experienced, less unionized and less likely to hold state certification than teachers in traditional public schools.
- As many as one in four charter school teachers leave every year, about double the turnover rate in traditional public schools.
- Charter schools typically pay less for longer hours. But charter school administrators often earn more than their school-district counterparts.
It’s past time to refocus public policy on providing a deserved quality education for all Americans, says Shawn Fremstad, an attorney and Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Because inevitably, he believes, a good education leads to a good career and thus economic security.Fremstad says that actually the funding issue “goes to the larger issue of are we creating good jobs, and what happens when you don’t do that.” Fremstad says there “are all sorts of people who want to start a career, but if there aren’t good paths—what’s available for you—then I think that lacking those resources, the criminal justice system ends up trapping a lot of people in its net.” More and more, he says “the criminal justice system has become the dragnet that is replacing our safety net.” This trend, he says “is a failure to invest in people,” causing undue harm to students, teachers, local economies and communities.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
Squatting offers a radical but simple solution to the crises of housing, homelessness, and the lack of social space that mark contemporary society: occupying empty buildings and rebuilding lives and communities in the process. Squatting has a long and complex history, interwoven with the changing and contested nature of urban politics over the last forty years. Squatting can be an individual strategy for shelter or a collective experiment in communal living. Squatted and self-managed social centres have contributed to the renewal of urban struggles across Europe and intersect with larger political projects. However, not all squatters share the same goals, resources, backgrounds or desire for visibility.
Squatting in Europe aims to move beyond the conventional understandings of squatting, investigating its history in Europe over the past four decades. Historical comparisons and analysis blend together in these inquiries into squatting in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England. In it members of SqEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) explore the diverse, radical, and often controversial nature of squatting as a form of militant research and self-managed knowledge production.
Ryan Harvey – Tea Party
So you say that immigrants,
should go back home.
Well I say know the ground,
that you’re standing on.
‘Cause Arizona was once Mexico,
and your grandparents were Europeans.
Sister Teresa Forcades—a Harvard-educated Catalan nun who resides at the convent Sant Benet—along with economist and “indignant” leader, Arcadi Oliveres, has launched a political manifesto that’s amassed nearly 17,000 signatures in just two days.
The document calls for the nationalization of banks and energy firms, housing rights and tough measures against corruption. Forcades and Oliveres also pledge non-violence asking for “international solidarity, not war.”
“The current economic model, institutional and political order has failed,” they write (roughly translated). “It is urgent that we create between them a new political and social model and to do so without repeating past formulas, knowing that the process is not easy nor short.”
Speaking with AFP, Forcades denounced the austerity measures imposed by Spain’s conservative government at the behest of the greater European Union, which have crippled the Spanish economy and caused widespread grief particularly among the middle and lower classes.
“The cuts go against the needs of the majority and go in favour of the interests of a minority,” she said.
The Republicrat Party by ~Party9999999
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