Rouge Forum Update—UC walkout, Grenanda 17, unions and more

Rouge Forum Update

Dear Friends,

The main thing in the brief period ahead: Spreading the September 24 University of California walkout to campuses of all kinds, all over.

We need to do all we can to spread the UC walkout which so far, has not linked the massive attacks on the UC system to the wars and bankster bailouts.

From what I hear back, other than at Berkeley, the sponsors of the walkout are worried about turnout in the UC system as a whole. It may well be that more students will walk out than profs, which would be ok, even fine if the campuses are shut down.

Since the UC profs called for this, it is going to be used as a measure of what all kinds of resisters can do, by all sides. We have a big stake in trying to make this succeed.

Besides, schools closed by strikes or civil strife, matched by some kind of freedom school where people actually discuss why things are as they are, are much better than open schools.

Why is the UC system, with help of AAUP, able to have this walkout while the huge CSU system just sits still, after taking even more egregious hits than the UC?

Because the UC tenured profs have no union contract.

The CFA/NEA which represents the CSU has a bargained contract–sold out as it may be. That contract includes a no-strike clause, the traditional union trade-off for guaranteed dues collection, the check-off. That contract means the CFA union bosses are duty bound to halt official strikes for the duration of the contract. That is, unless they are real unionists in the best sense of the word, and that they are not. The practice of the union as a bank rules over the idea of the union as an agent of direct action solidarity. In other words, union has not meant union for many years.

Of course, one might ask just what kind of a union is that? And the answer would be, just like all the rest of them—corrupt to the core. That is what every major union in the US does.

Now, to be fair, the UC lecturers are represented by AFT. They did not have to take some of the cuts that the tenured profs did, but they started out in a deep hole anyway. To go further, the reason the UC profs do not have a union is not because of their leftist critiques.

The Education Agenda is a War Agenda. That connection needs to be made in the walkout. It is not made now, not in the formal publications I have seen.

The likely to be $3 trillion plus wars are part of the reason the education system is under attack at every level. Another is the $12.9 trillion given to finance capital, no strings attached, and the untold billions given to industrial capital which continued to dump workers. But the president of GM was fired, finalizing the move to the corporate state behind the demagogue, Obama.

20,000 teachers lost their jobs in California this year, and every school just got notified of another $900 per child cut—as well as further structural cuts that are, right now, hard to add up.

There is a direct line: regimented curricula=high stakes exams= militarization=merit pay=perpetual war. And the other way around too. Maybe someone can make a graphic of that logic.

Related News

In the schools:

U. of Cal system proposed to hike “fees” by 32%

The public option and closed schools–a cartoon

One Million Homeless Kids Hit the Schools

Stim Money Does Not Stop Massive School Cuts
California Lays Off 20,000 teachers. What does CTA do? Nothing.

Oakland University in Michigan went on strike for two weeks.
The strike is over now. Note that they are represented by AAUP, far less likely to destroy a strike from within than NEA or AFT.

Suggested video: Judgement Day, Intelligent Design on Trial—With this episode, the popular “Nova” series examines the trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, a controversial legal battle sparked by a group of science teachers who refused to comply with an order to teach intelligent design. Through scene re-creations, interviews and expert testimony, the program presents the arguments of both sides and illuminates the conflict that thrust the people of Dover into the worldwide spotlight.

Class comment of the week from a Marine Afghan war vet, “I had a choice, either dealing drugs and killing people in a street gang or the Marines and Afghanistan.” The real choice is community or barbarism.

Banksters, Industrialist, and Their Economy:

Daniel Yergin: Why Oil has a Future

Baker: Reverse Bank Robbery

Americans are Poorer and It’s Going to be Worse

How Did Bernie Steal $50 Billion? Thank the SEC

One More Time on the Terror Wars:

US Terror Bomb Kills 70 Afghan Civilians

TomDispatch: Measuring the Terror Wars, Afghanistan by the Numbers

Free at Last!

The last seven of the Grenada 17 were released from prison on Saturday, September 5.
While in prison, they set up an education program that competed favorably with the nation’s best schools.
Photos here.

And Wither the Unions?

AFL-CIO Boss Abandons EFCA as the bankrupt body meets in Pittsburgh as they prepare to give up on single payer. Maybe a refund from Obama?

Thanks to Adam and Gina, Tony H., Bob (happy release from the hospital and speedy recovery), Joe L, The Susans, Donna, Kate, Sue H, Sandy H, Kim B. Good luck in BC to OR and I. More thanks to Wayne and Abraham, George, Jack G., Don A, David R, Kenny and Cheri, Mark, Sheila, Bryan, the newly forming RF Steering Committee, Amber and the gang of courageous teachers.

Good luck to us, every one.


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