Tag Archives: Staughton Lynd

Rouge Forum News (Issue 14) just released

Issue 14 of the Rouge Forum News focuses on papers given at the the 2009 RF Conference: Education, Empire, Economy & Ethics at a Crossroads: What do we need to know and how can we come to know it?, which was held in May at Eastern Michigan University.

This issue contains nine articles from conference presenters, including the keynote address of legendary activist, historian, lawyer Staughton Lynd and NCSS Defense of Academic Freedom Award recipient Gregg Queen. Other contributors include Cory Maley, Travis Barrett, Rich Gibson, Paul Ramsey, E. Wayne Ross, Carol Williams, and Adam Renner, plus poetry by Gina Stiens, Sonya Burton, and Billy X. Curmano.

Download Rouge Forum News Issue 14 (August 2009) [pdf]

Previous issues of Rouge Forum News can be found here.

Staughton Lynd: “What is to be done?…let’s make every school a freedom school.”

Staughton Lynd, author, attorney, radical historian, and civil rights leader presented one of three keynote addresses at the Rouge Forum’s 2009 Conference at Eastern Michigan University last month.

His speech—which shares its title with Lenin’s famous work on the principles of democratic centralism—draws on his experiences as director of the Mississippi Freedom Schools of the mid-1960s to identify where we can can begin to resist the antidemocratic impulses of greed, individualism, and intolerance in our work as educators.

Lynd’s talk reminds us that people learn by and through experience, not by reading the “right newspapers” or attending lectures. A claim that is somewhat reminiscent of Guy Debord’s assessment of what revolutionary organizations should be about:

“Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation.” —Guy Debord [“For a Revolutionary Judgement of Art”]

The bottom line in Lynd’s talk is as simple as it is challenging, let’s make every school a freedom school.

Read Lynd’s talk here and in the upcoming issue of The Rouge Forum News.

Rouge Forum Update: Come to Ypsi!

Dear Friends,

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies “academic freedom award,” and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist.

Education News

Students at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win?

Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the L.A. Times is running a series of articles on “bad teachers” and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.

The L.A. Times does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital’s relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited.

But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn’t speak in those terms either.

Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root.

There are alternatives, such as the Rouge Forum.

Here is The New Yorker‘s abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame; and a response from Susan Ohanian.

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa.

Industry, Finance, War, and Pedagogy

Chrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?

Don’t forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters.

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay

The banks behind the meltdown (Center For Public Integrity)

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen.

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world’s most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win.

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US—Victory in Europe Day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered.

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam and Gina Renner for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US.

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.


A message from Staughton Lynd

I encourage you to get your library to purchase the new memoir by Staughton and Alice Lynd. EWR

Greetings.  Alice and I have written a joint autobiography entitled Stepping Stones: Memoir of a Life Together.  We need your help in getting the book into the hands of the young people for whom it is most intended.

The book begins with a lovely Foreword by our longtime colleague, Tom Hayden.  Then come chapters, some written by us both, some by one of us, some by the other.  The chapters are grouped in the following sections:

Beginnings (our families, Staughton as a “premature New Leftist” and Alice on “Music and Dance and Discovering Childhood,” how we met and fell in love);

Community (our three years in the Macedonia Cooperative Community in the hills of Georgia);

The Sixties (among other matters, Mississippi Freedom Summer, a trip to Hanoi, Alice’s work in draft counseling and how it planted in our minds the idea of the “two experts” — the professionally trained person and the counselee, client or fellow struggler — who work together);

Accompaniment (how we found our way beyond the Sixties by doing oral history and then law together, with chapters on Nicaragua and Palestine);

The Worst of the Worst (representing and learning from prisoners);

Afterwords (a poem, retrospectives, Alice’s wishes for our daughter Martha’s marriage).

We had some difficulty finding a publisher.  At length we signed a contract with Lexington Books.  Lexington has produced an attractive hardback edition.  On the front cover there is a photograph of the two of us on the day we married (looking very young) and on the back cover a picture taken at our 50th wedding anniversary.

The problem is that this hardback edition is intended for academic libraries and costs $70.  Perhaps in part because of the current recession, we have been told that a paperback edition will be forthcoming only if orders from libraries are substantial.

This is where you can help.  It could make all the difference in getting this book into the hands of those who will carry on from all of us if you could:

* Ask whatever libraries you are connected with — law libraries, college or university libraries, public libraries — to acquire Stepping Stones.  The address of Lexington Books is:

Lexington Books
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite 200
Lanham MD 20706, www.lexingtonbooks.com.

There is a customer service number if desired:  800-462-6420.

* If you are told that the library would purchase a paperback edition but cannot afford an expensive hardback copy at this time, we hope you will write to Lexington Books and tell them that.

Let’s look at the bright side.  If your library orders a copy, you can read the durned book for free.  And if enough libraries order copies it will hopefully trigger paperback production, and together we can pass on to our successors what one Zapatista has called the hope of creating “another everything.”

With thanks, love, and comradeship,

Staughton Lynd for S&A

Rouge Forum Update: Staughton Lynd confirmed as Rouge Forum Conference keynoter

Dear Friends,

Great news! Staughton Lynd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staughton_Lynd) has agreed to be a keynote speaker at the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 15 to 17:
Next week, more good news on the keynote topic.

Kathy Emery, expert on the Freedom Schools and, with Susan Ohanian, author of Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools?, will be presenting in Los Angeles at the UTLA Human Rights Conference, 3303 Wilshire Blvd, March 27 and 28.

You can find a review at Book TV on CSPAN of Jeff Perry’s new book Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism.

Ravi Kumar has a fine interview with Peter Mclaren linked to Radical Notes online.

Resistance to inequality and injustice grows each week. From February 18th to 20th, NYU students occupied a building. They were removed and subsequently expelled. Each struggle brings its own lesson on how to better prepare. Details are here.

There is a lengthy struggle, a strike and civil uprising on Martinique.

A bus strike may lead to a general strike in Ireland.

Two big Marches in March.
Most of the anti-war movement will be on the streets on March 21 to condemn the invasion of Iraq (next week a report on the decisions made by the Historians Against the War regarding Afghanistan and other imperial adventures). And there is a call nationwide to March Forth on March 4th, against the homophobia inherent in the vote on California’s Prop 8.

Tougher News: George Soros agrees the sky is falling.

While the auto bailout/UAW sellout amounts to what looks to be the coming end of auto-worker health benefits.

Joel Kovel was fired at Bard. You can review the background and offer help here.

Thanks to Bonnie M, Paul, Joe B and C, Adam, Amber, Candace, Sally, Julie, Jill, Sandy, Laurel, EWR, Ravi, Don A, Ginger H, Kim B, Perry and Steve, Shelly, Kelly, Gina, Ludden, Carlson, Riley, Tommie, Bob, Dave and Sharon, Elaine H, Penny Brown, Sue, Greg and Katie, Bill B, Kevin, Paul and Mary.

All the best,