We will circulate a full report from the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University over the weekend.
This is a very brief preliminary report from the EMU student newspaper.
On the Education Front:
The California Teachers Association and NEA bosses wasted more than $12.2 million on their outrageous tax the poor scam that failed completely and, worse, managed to convince even more poor and working people that organized education workers are actually enemies. Nice work, CTA.
Meanwhile, UTLA managed to cower their way out of what was to be last Friday’s mass walkout, fearful of a judge’s order against it.
Everyone should be clear on this. The only illegal job action is one that fails. If thousand of teachers walked out, the judge would do nearly nothing, indeed nothing except try to fine CTA. So? CTA is not a bank and CTA members can picket judges’ homes.
The Green Dot Takeover. Since UTLA and NEA have done so little to build a base among poor and working class parents and kids, and since AFT loves Green Dot, this plan to seize the school system is conceivable. And it is another move from the LA Times to attack the rising militancy of the education workers who have a walkout scheduled this week. There are thoughtful and active alternatives to all this…..
Obama placed Bob Bobb, paid jointly by the Broad Foundation and the Detroit Public Schools, in charge of DPS. Then The One declared Detroit “Ground Zero,” in the education wars. Bobb announced a plan to federalize DPS. Would that be a first?
On the Perpetual War Front (the education agenda is a war agenda):
Obamagogue To Cover up Torture Photos
Escobar: Pipelineistan Part 2
On the Fake Radicals Front:
Once the Weathermen were liberals (and police agents) with bombs. Terrorists who opposed the hard work that it takes to build a mass class conscious movement to transcend the system of capital. Now, they are just liberals without bombs. But, unlike Billy Ayers and the rest of the Weathermen, at least Mark Rudd admits he and his ganglet destroyed the Students for a Democratic Society on the eve of the biggest outpouring of mass action from 1950 on.
On the Organized Decay is an Element of Fascism Front:
Detroit Photo Essay: Who is next?
Neighbors Prevent Firefighters from Saving Detroit Drug Den
Foreclosures hit high in April
The troubling reality that fascism in the past has sometimes been a popular mass movement: The Third Reich at War
On the “This is not, not, for sure, not a depression, it’s ah, well, ahem,” Front:
Tickled by the NY Times reassurance that this is not, surely not, absolutely not, could not be, a GREAT depression, it’s just a depression. And good time are right around the corner.
On the Unions Became What They Claimed to Set Out to Oppose Front:
UAW Won’t Strike Chrysler Until 2015
You don’t need to pay a union to surrender. You can throw up your hands and do that alone. Concessions do not save jobs. They just make bosses want more. The UAW is a prime example. When they say cut back, we should say, Fight Back!
The Torment and Demise of the United Auto Workers Union
Unions are unfit to meet the crisis at hand. While it may be important to have one toe in a union in order to meet people and build a base for real change, it is equally important to have ten toes out of the union—in an organization that can connect reason, passion, and power. Like the Rouge Forum. Please spread the word. There is no single “Line” of the RF. We have many voices and many varying talents.
Here are the last two stanzas to the great workers’ song Solidarity Forever:
They have taken untold millions
that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle
not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power;
gain our freedom when we learn
That the Union makes us strong.
In our hands is placed a power
greater than their hoarded gold;
Greater than the might of armies,
magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world
from the ashes of the old
For the Union makes us strong.
Well, the union didn’t make us strong, but the rest is on the mark and the struggle continues.
Thanks to Joe Bishop and the Eastern Michigan volunteers, Adam and Gina, WayneO, Nancye, Patricia, Faith and Craig, Greg (whose speech will be up by the weekend), Pat B, Bill-Scott–the youths-and Marty, Paul, Cory, Connie, Travis, Roger, Doug S and Doug Y, Gil G (that book is terrific) Billy X, Donna, Sherry, Zena, Em, Candace, Rebecca, Sonia, Maria, Chris (what a long drive), Susan O and H, O and Ido and the baby, Steve and Perry for getting things going and you too Kevin and Marc, Michael who is a smart guy and good friend, the heroic Sergei and the secretaries, Jeremiah, The Uprising and Tainted Machine, Staughton Lynd who is a beacon of good sense, Marty G who should have been there, Big M, Bob and Tommie, and all who made the conference a delight.
Good luck to us, every one.