October 7th Strike & Day of Action for Public Education

 
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10/07/2010 - 12:00pm

Under the guise of an economic collapse, we see the public resources that once supported us, and the public spaces that once provided fertile grounds for shelter and inspiration degrade. Every level of public education has been cut to the bone, programs for the homeless and public welfare ha...ve been scaled back in contradiction to escalating needs, and dozens of basic necessities have become difficult to obtain or too expensive to afford---from finding healthcare to transportation, jobs to housing.

The managers of industry, university administrators, and bank executives have undercut our public commons, imposed burdens on workers and gambled away our future in a thoughtless, last-ditch reaction to prop up a failing system. The bailout of banks, bloated managerial budgets and salaries, and the privatization of public schools are some of the devastating initiatives they continue to push; and so now, we're beginning to see the aftermath: high foreclosures rates, lay-offs and unreasonable tuition. What seemingly began as an economic crisis, has become a crisis of social values. Do we stand by and accept their tired policies, or do we refuse them and reinvent ourselves?

As a mosaic of communities that recoil from the unbearable, we have the ability to network and join together, not only to fight off cuts and injustices, but to recreate and sustain our future. In the emergence of the student movement, we've seen our creativity flourish and the formation of new ties and connections between commonly separated groups. We see our united strength, and we know that together we can challenge the false options between housing and the environment, education and prison reform, and the false division between workers and students. We reject any “solutions” that would maintain one community at the expense of other vulnerable populations.

In April, organizers fighting for education converged and called for a day of strike and action on October 7, 2010. In recognition of the increasing struggles we face today, not only as students, but as teachers, parents, and workers, we wish to broadly organize direct actions with a diversity of communities who wish to be involved in this defense of education, in this struggle to take back our lives.

Take this message to your friends, your family, to the union forums and to your coworkers, to your community organizing meetings and your allies struggling to reverse the erosion, to students at every level of education, to your teachers and your tutors, to anyone who ever opened a book and spoke to friends about building a better world. United we are a flood that sweeps away the decay of defeatism, that brings forth new seeds to instill a fighting spirit and form new opportunities.
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National Call to Action:
National Actions to Defend Public Education, October 7th 2010

Last fall, California sparked a movement that has grown drastically over the past year. Much energy went toward building March 4th 2010, National Day of Action to Defend Education, which as a resounding success in the struggle to defend public education. Thousands organized and participated in the events of that day which took place in 32 states. Major actions took place throughout California, but also in Milwaukee, New York City, Illinois, and Baltimore with hundreds of actions planned nationwide. University of Puerto Rico students capped off a two-month strike with a victory receiving many concessions from administration.

What is clear is that this fight is not over. The lines are drawn. As working families struggle to recover from the crisis, access to education is diminishing as cuts continue to come. California activists have proposed October 7th as the next Day of Action. Internationally, activists are focusing on October and November as crucial moments in the struggle to fight back against neoliberalism and defend education rights. We, the below signed organizations and individuals, call on students, teachers, faculty, staff, workers, and parents to unite together and Defend Public Education this fall.

In Texas, the Board of Education has drastically changed the content of Texas textbooks, to include praise of Joseph McCarthy, and many other clauses. In Arizona, The state has passed the racist SB1070 that mandates police detain anyone looks like an undocumented worker. Following this, Arizona is also shutting down ethnic studies programs. In New York City, Chicago, and Detroit, districts are facing massive school closings. Public universities throughout the country are raising tuition costs and looking for more private investors. Budget cuts, tuition hikes, school closings, and right-wing reforms are hitting working families the hardest, especially in communities of color.

As these cuts continue to come, we see the costs of neoliberalism hit home harder than they have before. Public education has been losing funding for years, much of which disappeared because of neoliberal changes to the economy. The current budget crisis in many states will result in further drastic cuts to public education, including further cuts to underfunded schools, increases in unpaid days off for staff, a incentive program promoting “reforms” that are outright attacks on teachers, a restructuring of the public university around the needs of private business – largely supported by massive private grants, and tuition hikes that threaten accessibility to higher education for working families and people of color.

As the education disparities between poor and affluent grow ever wider, public schools serving communities of color are swiftly being re-segregated, provided fewer resources, and less-experienced teachers. These students are being tracked into non-academic, dead-end programs while ethnic and multi-cultural classes and opportunities are being cut.

This crisis and this solution are a direct result of neoliberal-era ideology, reducing or dissolving taxes on the rich and corporations while working people struggle to provide for their families out of their ever-shrinking pockets. As private interests gain more power, as the private dollar begins to strengthen its influence in education, our democratic rights are being stripped away.

The time to act is now, students teachers and staff are preparing for the next wave of actions. We need your support and participation to make this day a historic moment in American history. To get involved please Email: fall_actions@defendeducation.org or call us at 8609162761

To Endorse: http://www.defendeducation.org/?page_id=884

Endorsers:

Group:
Bail Out the People Movement
Baltimore Algebra Project, Baltimore, MD
Brother Tracy Gibson & Associates, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)
De Anza Restoring Education, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
Education Action Now, CSU Monterrey, CA
Education Rights Campaign at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)
International Action Center
Jersey City Peace Movement, Jersey City
Joint Forces at SDSU, San Diego, California
Labor Art & Mural Project, Central CT State University
Liberty Tree Foundation
M4 Coalition @ SDSU San Diego, CA
March 4ward Coalition, CSU East Bay
May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights-NYC
Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs
New York City Labor Against the War
Pan-African News Wire, Detroit, Michigan
Peoples Video Network, New York, NY
Revolutionary Students Union – Utah Valley University
S.O.S. Save Our Schools Coalition, Providence, RI
San Diego Democratic Women’s Club, San Diego, California
Socialist Alternative
Socialist Organizer
Socratic Punk, Tampa, Fl
Solidarity
SpeakOut – the Institute for Democratic Education and Culture, Oakland CA
STAND at Queens College, Flushing, New York
Students For A Democratic Society – Birmingham Chapter, Birmingham Alabama
Students for a Democratic Society – UNC Chapel Hill
Students for a Democratic Society – Gainesville
Students for a Democratic Society – Milwaulkee
Students for a Democratic Society – Northern Virginia
Students for a Democratic Society – University of Oklahoma
Students for a Democratic Society – Tuscaloosa
Students for a Democratic Society – Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, IL
Students for an Educated California, San Diego, California
Student Labor Action Project
UE 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, North Carolina
Undergraduate-Graduate Alliance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Venice Student Union, Los Angeles, California
Young Democratic Socialists – William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
Youth Against War and Racism, Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro Area, Minnesota

Individual, in the order submitted (group names for ID purposes only):
Ben Manski, AFT 6100, Sociology Faculty, Madison College
Jackie Hayes, UAlbany Coalition to Defend Education, Albany, NY
Michael Mulholland, AFSCME Local 207, Detroit, MI
Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Internationally renowned Critic of US Foreign Policy
Dan LaBotz, Socialist Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio
Shannon Gibney, MN Organizing Group, Minneapolis
Andre Powell, Delegate, Metro Central Labor Council, Baltimore, Maryland
Mike Gimbel, AFSCME Local 375 , Saylorsburg, PA
Susan E. Davis, National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, New York City
Heather Cottin, La Guardia Community College
Gloria Rubac, Houston Federation of Teachers, Local 2415, Houston
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco, CA
Sara Flounders, International Action Center, NYC
Greg Dunkel, PSC – AFT Local #2334, New York City
Robin McCubbin, California Teachers Association, Chula Vista, California

International Endorsers
AStA (student representative body) at the University of Marburg, Germany
Worldwide Nepalese Students’ Organisation-Nepal

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California Call
The historic actions, protests and strikes of last Fall and Spring
showed our state and the nation that students, teachers, staff, and
our communities are determined to fight against the cuts, layoffs, fee
hikes, and the shrinking access to public education and services.
However, our fight is far from over. On October 7th, supporters of
public education plan to unite and demand accessible, affordable and
quality education for all.

Public higher-education is an engine of economic growth that benefits
all communities at large, but students of color across the nation are
being tracked into non-academic programs while ethnic and multi-
cultural classes are being cut. As public universities raise tuitions
to the level of private institutions, students of all ethnicities are
being denied access to higher-education on the basis of income— an
economic barrier that disproportionately affects people of color.

The knowledge and innovation coming from graduates of state-supported
universities create far more wealth in the state than the education’s
cost. Better educated citizens are shown to be more productive, pay
higher taxes, create a stronger economy, and provide more jobs. Thus,
it is important to seek out more revenue sources to support education
and public institutions, rather than focusing on decreasing funding.

The politicians and administrators say there is no money for education
and social services. But if there is money for tax cuts and prisons,
why is there no money for public education? Schools are now suffering
from inadequate staffing and pay-cuts. However, California’s budget
cuts are not only restricted to the education system. Our health
services, public infrastructure, transportation and library systems
will also continue to deteriorate. These issues are all intertwined.
How do we stop the degeneration of California?

We, the people, have the democratic power to beat back these attacks
and ensure that our public institutions effectively serve the public.
But to do so, members of all regions and sectors — adult-ed,
students, workers, teachers, activists, unions, and community
organizations — must unite and take action on October 7th, and
contribute our voices and thoughts to the October 23-24 conference at
San Francisco State University to defend public education.

The purpose of the October 23-24 conference is to democratically
propose demands, devise an action plan, and create a structure capable
of defending public education and public services for the benefit of
all.

We invite all supporters of education across the nation to attend and
participate in the October 7th day of action and the October 23-24th
conference.

For more information, visit http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

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Some flyers are posted here at: http://bit.ly/dBcVup

National Organizing Listserv: http://groups.google.com/group/defend-education

If you would like to join the California State Wide Strike Committee listserv, please provide your e-mail address, campus, and write "add me to the CAStrike listserv" in the subject line to strikerevoluta@gmail.com

Please invite your friends!