Tag Archives: protests

Vancouver Observer: Professors blast UBC’s “failures of governance”

The Vancouver Observer recently published a commentary co-authored by Sandra Mathison, Stephen Petrina and myself (co-directors of the Institute for Critical Education Studies) on the recent failures of governance at the University of British Columbia.

Read the piece on the Vancouver Observer site, here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 1.22.59 PM

UBC faculty, staff, and students protest Board of Governors meeting #UBCClean [UPDATED]


UBC faculty are not generally a rowdy bunch, but there were a couple of hundred out today protesting the Board of Governors meeting and demanding UBC management and Board accountability.

UBC faculty, staff and students were protesting the UBC Board of Governors Meeting held on campus at the R. H. Lee Alumni Centre, and demanding a clean up of the Board and university administration, in particular that:

  • the Board of Governors stops holding secret, undocumented meetings
  • the Board honours its duty to operate in a transparent and accountable fashion
  • an external review of its past practices takes place immediately.

For more background on the issues leading to this protest, see this letter from the Faculty Association of UBC, which details how the BoG has, among other things, held committee meetings that left no official record, and made decisions about personnel matters without formal assessments or performance reviews.

News coverage of protest:

The Tyee: UBC Faculty and Students Protest Board Handling of Gupta Departure

The Province:  ‘Secret’ board meetings prompt UBC protest

The Ubyssey: Protest disturbs Board of Governors meeting

CKNW: Protesters crash UBC board of governors meeting

Here are some photos and videos from today’s protest:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image






Chicago, IL, December 13, 2011 — Today at noon, Chicago-area graduate students and their supporters will demonstrate outside the Chicago branch office of the National Labor Relations Board (209 S. LaSalle St.) and present a petition calling on the NLRB to wake from its coma of inaction and recognize private university graduate student teaching and research assistants as employees with a legal right to unionize and collectively bargain.

The rally, organized by Graduate Students United, the graduate employee union at the University of Chicago, and the national Grad Labor Counts! campaign, will feature a dramatic skit in which the NLRB is presented as a comatose hospital patient to reflect its record of inaction and danger of imminent demise. The Grad Labor Counts! campaign has been endorsed by the 1.4 million-strong American Federation of Teachers and the 70,000-member American Association of University Professors.

“We’re calling for for urgent medical attention to the ailing patient from President Obama and Congress, who have the power to restore the NLRB by appointing a new member in 2012,” explained Dasha Polzik, a member of Graduate Students United and an organizer of the Grad Labor Counts! campaign.

“We’re also calling on the NLRB to wake from its coma and issue a ruling on a case that has sat before it since April 2010 concerning the employee status of graduate students at private universities,” added Greg Goodman, another GSU member. Graduate student teaching and research assistants were first recognized as employees by a unanimous NLRB ruling in 2000, and then stripped of their employee status by a later Bush-era ruling in 2004.

Representatives from Grad Labor Counts! will deliver a petition with over 2,700 signatures from across the country calling on the NLRB to rule on the case and recognize graduate student teaching and research assistants at private universities as employees. Details on the Grad Labor Counts! campaign and petition are available at http://gradlaborcounts.org.


Maddy Elfenbein (madeleine.elfenbein@gmail.com)
Samuel Brody (sam.brody@gmail.com)

Graduate Students United (AFT-AAUP) at the University of Chicago
# # #

Police club and pepper spray students and professors at the University of California #OccupyCal

Police club and pepper spray students and professors at the University of California

Nov. 18, 2011: letter from English professor Nathan Brown to Chancellor Katehi

Nov. 18, 2011: UC Davis students pepper sprayed:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Nov. 9, 2011: police club UC Berkeley professors and students:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Nov. 9, 2011: UC Berkeley students drive out police:

YouTube Preview Image

UC Berkeley professor on her arrest: Why I Got Arrested with Occupy Cal–and How


via New Unionism:


Recent calls for activists to occupy Wall Street, starting September 17, are a deliberate salute to the spirit of Egypt’s Tahrir Square. The idea originated with the folk at Adbusters, but it has been taken up and promoted by many other groups in the last few days. Competing slogans are flying thick and fast, but the central demand of the event is crystal clear. This is an explicit challenge to the corporate control of politics. The discussion is providing a wonderful, live illustration of network member Dan Gallin’s recent maxim: “The network is the vanguard.”

Will they/we reach the goal of 20,000 campers? Will unions have a presence? Will this be the turning point — the American spring — that people have been hoping for? These are not rhetorical questions. The event will be whatever we can make it.

The all-important FaceBook group is here: http://goo.gl/TYwDy. You can have your say on the key demand here: http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet. Posters etc are here: http://occupywallstreet.tumblr.com/. The collective twittering is here: http://goo.gl/uxaBz.

Recent links from Historians Against the War

Here are a couple of notes plus our latest set of links to recent on-line articles of interest.

1. Groups or individuals on more than 100 campuses have arranged for local participation in the “Fight Back USA” national teach-in being organized for April 5, to be hosted by Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West and live-streamed. Information is at http://fightbackteachin.org

2. The HAW Steering Committee has voted to co-sponsor a “Ground the Drones, End the Wars” march and rally on Friday, April 22 at Hancock Air National Guard Base in Mattydale, NY (outside Syracuse). Information is at http://upstatedroneaction.peaceworksrochester.org/flyers/Ground_the_Drones.pdf

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“A Debate on U.S. Military Intervention in Libya: Juan Cole vs. Vijay Prashad”
On Democracy Now, posted March 29

“The Unfolding Crisis in Libya”
By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted March 28
The author teaches history at Tufts University

“The West’s ‘Double Standards’ in Middle East”
By Mark LeVine, English.Aljazeera.net, posted March 28
The author teaches history at the University of California, Irvine

“An Open Letter to the Left on Libya”
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted March 27
The author teaches Middle East history at the University of Michigan

“American Thought Police”
By Paul Krugman, New York Times, posted March 27
On the Wisconsin Republican Party’s attack on historian William Cronon

“Libya Remembers, We Forget: These Bombs Are Not the First”
By Mark Mazower, The Guardian, posted March 25

“Social Science and the Libyan Adventure”
By Stephen M. Walt, ForeignPolicy.com blog, posted March 24

“Why Nothing Good Will Come of This Intervening in Libya”
By Vijay Prashad, CounterPunch.org, posted March 23
The author teaches history at Trinity College

“The ‘Kill Team’ Photographs”
By Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker blog, posted March 22

“Libya in the Balance”
By Nicholas Pelham, Middle East Research and Information Project, posted March 15
Has much historical background on the Gaddafi regime

Additional note from EWR:
More on “The Kill Team” at Rolling Stone: How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon

France on strike

France on Strike

Weeks of strikes, protests and demonstrations have brought much of France to a standstill as workers, students and others voice their strong opposition to a government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. A quarter of the nation’s gas stations were out of fuel, hundreds of flights were canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train services in many regions were cut in half. Protesters blockaded Marseille’s airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting youths attacked police in Lyon. The unpopular bill is edging closer to becoming law as the French Senate is preparing to vote on it today. Collected here are recent images of the unrest around France. Update: Pension reform bill just now passed by French senate. (40 photos total)

A man holds a placard which reads “Listen to the public’s rage” during a demonstration in front of the French Senate in Paris October 20, 2010. French trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to an unpopular pension reform due for a final vote in the Senate this week. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

View more photos here.

Rouge Forum Update: French Students + Workers Take the Lead

Rouge Forum Update: French Students + Workers Take the Lead

French Students and Workers Show the Way!
French students blockaded more high schools and universities Thursday, as the third straight day of nationwide strikes over the government’s retirement reforms snarled train travel and sent a renewed challenge to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

France’s BFM TV showed groups of students toppling trash cans in southeast France, erecting barricades in the middle of a Paris avenue, and being closely watched by police in several areas.

While the protesting students won’t reach retirement age for decades, the government is keeping a close eye on their rallies because student protests have brought down major government reforms in the past.

YouTube Preview Image

Video embedded in Daily Californian Reports

Little Red Schoolhouse

The Education Agenda is a War Agenda; A Class and Empire’s War Agenda: Navy Takes Over San Ysidro Schools: The Navy is teaming with the San Ysidro School District in the service’s largest initiative of its kind. Partners in Education pairs locally-based ships with schools to ensure students leave with “academic, technical, and employability skills necessary to be successful in the workplace,” Navy officials said.

Divide and Rule–California to Gut K-12 Schools, Hit State Workers, the Poor and Disabled, and Prisoners, with a Small Bribe to Colleges and Universities: California’s in-home healthcare program for the elderly, blind and disabled would shrink by 3.6%, the document says. Child-care services provided by the state would be trimmed by $48 million.Winners in the plan would be the state’s two higher-education systems, the University of California and California State University. Both would receive $200 million to compensate for cuts made last year and enough money to fully fund projected enrollment growth, according to the report.

Rhee Going Going Gone but Rotten Contract, Sellout Unions, and Racist System Hold Strong: D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will announce Wednesday that she is resigning at the end of this month, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but that also became a central issue in an election that sent her patron, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, to defeat.

For Those Who Thought They Could Vote In Real Social Change in DC Schools: Presumptive mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray introduced Kaya Henderson on Wednesday as the interim chancellor of D.C. public schools and vowed that reforms launched under Michelle A. Rhee would continue when he takes office in January….In Henderson, Gray inherits someone in tune with Rhee on the fundamentals of education reform, especially the belief that teacher quality is the most important determinant of student success. Rhee and Henderson worked together at the New Teacher Project, a teacher recruiting nonprofit group that Rhee founded and ran before she was appointed by Fenty in June 2007. Henderson was a vice president for the group. She was Rhee’s first appointment and was named her top deputy the day Rhee was introduced to the District. At the time, Rhee made it sound as if they had come to the District as a package. “I told Kaya, ‘I can’t do this without you,’” Rhee said at the time. “She’s everything you’d want in a leader. She has an ability to motivate people. She’s a critical thinker, and she’s an innovative thinker.”

From the Same Reporters Who Brought Us VAM (and the ACLU)–Will UTLA Dump Tenure and Seniority? “This is a shifting of the tectonic plates,” said David Gregory, a professor of labor law at St. John’s College in New York City. “If this were to move forward, every major district in the country is going to look to this as the model…. It would be the most innovative system in the country — if it comes to pass.”

You Kiddies Good and Better Do your Salutin: The Poway Unified School District clarified its Pledge of Allegiance policy after outraged parents said students shouldn’t be able to opt out of saying the pledge. Superintendent John Collins announced the change at Monday’s school board meeting, saying the district sought legal advice to make sure it was following both state and federal law. State education code says every school should have a daily patriotic exercise and the pledge fulfills that requirement. On the other hand, federal law says no one shall be compelled to say the pledge

Wall Street’s Fake Successful Charter in Harlem: The parent organization of the schools, the Harlem Children’s Zone, enjoys substantial largess, much of it from Wall Street. While its cradle-to-college approach, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty for all 10,000 children in a 97-block zone of Harlem, may be breathtaking in scope, the jury is still out on its overall impact. And the cost of its charter schools — around $16,000 per student in the classroom each year, as well as thousands of dollars in out-of-class spending — has raised questions about their utility as a nationwide model.

Ohanian And Metro Times Show Depth Of Detroit Schools’ Economic/Social Crisis: Metro Times has learned that twice in the past 10 months, the state has approved two short-term loans totaling $443 million. Department of Treasury spokesman Caleb Buhs confirms that the loans, obtained through bond sales, were approved by his department. However, no mention of the loans — $256 million in March and $187 million in August — was made on the DPS, Department of Treasury or governor’s websites. Buhs tells Metro Times the loans must be repaid by August 2011. Currently, the state is withholding $45 million per month in funding to satisfy the debt, Buhs says.

Read the full RF Update here.

Info on March 4th Strike and Day of Action

March 4th is right around the corner and the local, national and international anticipation for this historic day is growing by the minute. Students, teachers, staff, parents and workers from all over California, the nation and the world have been organizing and building for the Strike and Day of Action. Below is a tentative list of events that will be happening on March 4th in California.

If you have any information to add to the list below, have information on events from places outside of California or have any questions about March 4th, please email march4strikeanddayofaction@gmail.com or visit http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/school-reports/ and tell us what is being planned in your school, workplace, community for March 4th Strike and Day of Action.

In Solidarity,
Jonathan Nunez
Follow-up committee of the October 24th Conference

Regional Events

Los Angeles Regional Rally
* 3 pm Rally @ Pershing Square (5th & Hill) in downtown L.A.
* 4 pm March from Pershing Square to the Governor’s office
* 5 pm Rally @ Governor’s office (300 Spring St.)

East Bay/Oakland Regional Rally
* 12 pm-4 pm Rally @ Frank Ogawa Plaza (in front of Oakland City Hall, 14th & Broadway)
* March to the Ogawa Plaza Rally from:
-UC Berkeley: 12 pm Rally @ Bancroft & Telegraph, followed by March
-Laney College: 11 am Rally, followed by March
-Fruitvale BART: Assemble @ 11 am, March @ 11:30 am
* Travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing below)

San Francisco Regional Rally
* 5 pm Rally @ San Francisco Civic Center

Sacramento/State Capitol Rally
* 11 am-1 pm Rally @ State Capitol (North Steps of Capitol)

San Diego Regional Rally
* 3 pm Rally @ Balboa Park, followed by March to governor’s office
* 4 pm Rally @ Governor’s office (downtown)

San Fernando Valley Regional Rally
* 3:45 pm gathering @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad
* 4:15 pm March
* 5 pm Hands around CSUN
* 5:30 pm Rally @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad

Local Events
UC Berkeley
* 7 am-12 pm Pickets
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally/Action @ entrance to Sproul Plaza (Telegraph & Bancroft)
* 1 pm-3 pm March from UC Berkeley to Oakland’s Ogawa Plaza
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

* 10 am Pickets
* 11:30 am Walk Out
* 12 pm Rally @ Bruin Plaza
(UCLA invites high schools and community colleges in the Westside area to join)

UC San Diego
* 11:30 Walk-out & Rally @ Gilman Parking Structure
* 12:30 pm March from Gilman to the Silent Tree outside Giesel Library and Rally there
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Diego Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

UC Santa Cruz
* 6:00 am Picket at the entrances to campus
* 9:00 am Rally @ main entrance to the campus (Bay and High)
* 12:00 pm Rally @ main entrance to the campus (Bay and High)
* 5:00 pm General Assembly @ main entrance to campus (Bay and High)

UC Riverside
* 1 pm gathering @ UCR Bell Tower
* 2:30 pm March from UCR to downtown
* 3:30 pm Rally @ University Ave and Market St. (Downtown Riverside)

CSU Bakersfield
* 11:30 am-1 pm @ the Student Union Patio (rain: Stockdale Room in Runner Café)

CSU Channel Islands
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to the San Fernando Valley to participate in San Fernando Valley Regional Rally @ CSU Northridge (See regional listing above)

CSU Chico
* 8 am sendoff for students, faculty, workers and campus community traveling to State Capital Rally (See regional listing above)

CSU Dominguez Hills
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to Wilson High School Long Beach and Los Angeles Regional Rally (See Long Beach details below or regional listing above)
* 11 am-1 pm students hold a fair on CSUDH East Walkway (Games to learn about public education costs, access and quality)

CSU East Bay
* 12 pm Rally/Open Mic/Speack Out @ Agora Stage
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Fresno State
* 10:30 am March from NW corner of Blackstone and Shaw, go down Shaw to Fresno State
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ Peace Garden

CSU Fullerton
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Humboldt State
* 3 pm-5 pm Rally @ Humboldt County Courthouse-Eureka with CSU and K-12 faculty and students

Cal State Los Angeles
* 9:30 am Rally @ the USU area (Free Speech area)
* 2 pm March to Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

CSU Long Beach
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ South Campus, Upper Quad,
* 1 pm-2 pm Parade
* 4 pm Rally with K-12 and Community College (see below)

Long Beach: Wilson High School
* 4 pm Rally @ Wilson High School Gymnasium (4400 E. 10th St.)
* Music by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman)

California Maritime Academy
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally and Sacramento/State Capitol Rally (See regional listing above)
* 12 pm Street Theatre/Mock “Die-In” @ Maritime’s main quad

CSU Monterey Bay
* 11 am-1 pm Rally/March
* Followed by car-pools to Community Rally
* 4 pm Community Rally @ Colton Hall (570 Pacific St. between Madison & Jefferson)
– Contact: Kat General, 415-728-8927

CSU Northridge/San Fernando Valley Regional Rally
* 3:45 pm gather @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad
* 4:15 pm March
* 5 pm Hands around CSUN
* 5:30 pm Rally @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad

Cal Poly Pomona
* 1:30 pm- 2:30 pm Send off Rally @ – as CFA members, students and campus community board buses for Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Sacramento State/Sacramento/State Capitol Rally
* 11 am-1 pm Rally @ State Capitol (North Steps of Capitol)
– Contact: Kevin Wehr, 916-541-2125

CSU San Bernardino
* 11:30 am March @ Marquee entrance (NW corner of University Pkwy and Northpark Blvd)
* 12 pm Rally @ Pfau Library

San Diego State/San Diego Regional Rally
* 11:30 am-12:00 pm collect video testimonials from students and campus community next to Aztec Center (Large “scoreboard” showing the loss of students, teachers and classes at SDSU due to budget cuts)
* 12:00 pm Rally by Aztec Center
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Diego Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

San Francisco Sate
* 7 am Campus Shutdown
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

San Jose State
* 11 am gather at San Jose City Hall
* 11:45 am March to San Jose State Tower Lawn (7th Street Plaza entrance)
* 12 pm Rally @ San Jose State Tower Lawn

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
* 3:30-5 pm Rally @ Office of state Senator Abel Maldonado (1356 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo)

CSU San Marcos
* 10:30 am-11:30 am Teach-in on State Budget @ Academic Hall (ACD) 102 (simulcast to other classrooms)
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ Kellogg Library

Sonoma State
* 11:30 am Student Walk Out
* 12:00 pm-1:30 pm Rally near Stevenson Quad

CSU Stanislaus
* 11:30 am-1pm Rally @ campus Quad

Original list compiled by Steve Seltzer
Modified by Jonathan Nunez

Rouge Forum Update: Strike March 4th To Transform Education

Read the full update here: Strike March 4th To Transform Education

Educate! Agitate! Organize Freedom Schools on March 4th’s School Strike!

On the Little Rouge School Front This Week:

DPS Teachers Sue Union and Boss: “Washington claims the loan violates Michigan’s Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act, which forbids an employer from demanding a gift from an employee as a condition of employment. “Bobb does not have the right to extort loans from district employees, and the DFT does not have the right to authorize Bobb to waive the minimum protections of the law,” Washington said.

The Rouge Forum News Latest Edition is Now Available

The Call For Papers for the Next Edition of the Rouge Forum News:

Teaching Resources on the History of Haiti

Martin Luther King Speech: Vietnam, A Time to Break the Silence

A Surprising List From the CIA: Nations’ Percentage Education Expenditures per GDP (US is 57th)

Chicago Trib Discovers What Substance News Reported for Years: The Duncan Miracle was a Fraud: “ Scores from the elementary schools created under Renaissance 2010 are nearly identical to the city average, and scores at the remade high schools are below the already abysmal city average, the analysis found. The moribund test scores follow other less than enthusiastic findings about Renaissance 2010 — that displaced students ended up mostly in other low-performing schools and that mass closings led to youth violence as rival gang members ended up in the same classrooms. Together, they suggest the initiative hasn’t lived up to its promise by this, its target year.”

Stephen Krashen on the LEARN Act: “I do not support the LEARN Act. As described in the Senate Bill, the LEARN Act is Reading First expanded to all levels. It is Reading First on steroids.”

Alfie, “Have They Lost Their Minds?”: “ If you read the FAQ page on the common core standards website, don’t bother looking for words like “exploration,” “intrinsic motivation,” “developmentally appropriate,” or “democracy.” Instead, the very first sentence contains the phrase “success in the global economy,” followed immediately by “America’s competitive edge.”

If these bright new digitally enhanced national standards are more economic than educational in their inspiration, more about winning than learning, devoted more to serving the interests of business than to meeting the needs of kids, then we’ve merely painted a 21st-century façade on a hoary, dreary model of school as employee training. Anyone who recoils from that vision should be doing everything possible to resist a proposal for national standards that embodies it.

Grassroots Education Movement in NYC Protest Jan 21: “We are picketing Bloomberg’s residence because he is in charge of these wrongful closings. We need to bring our opposition to his doorstep.”

Randi Weingarten (AFT) Proposes to Abolish Tenure (as in Detroit)

Joan Roelofs Analysis of the Relationship of Schools and the Military (Click under pages, it’s several pdf files well worth the candle)

AFL-CIO Goons Open a College: “the online college would charge about $200 a credit, competitive with community colleges and far cheaper than most four-year colleges and for-profit schools.”

Read more here.