October 7 National Day of Action
Students and youth across the country are organizing demonstrations for October 7, demanding their right to education — including full funding of public education now! They are being joined by many undocumented youth who are also standing for their right to education and advancing their courageous stand, Undocumented and Unafraid. Various meetings, demonstrations and sit-ins have already taken place and there are more to come. Across the country students, teachers and staff are standing up to oppose attacks on education and demand that government meet its responsibility to all to provide the right to education.
In an effort to divide and split the growing movement of the youth for rights, the government has recently organized to impose false choices on the youth. The Democrats, backed by President Obama, added what is known as the DREAM Act to the Defense Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for the Pentagon. The Appropriations Bill is a bill widely opposed by all, youth especially, as it provides hundreds of billions every year for wars against youth abroad, for military recruiting on campuses, for all those things hated and opposed by the youth. Banners often carried by youth at rallies embody this spirit, proclaiming Fight the Rich, Not Their Wars! By adding the DREAM Act, which makes it possible for some undocumented youth to secure documents and potentially attend university or get jobs, the Democrats hoped to divert the firm anti-war stand of all the youth. And they hoped to impose on both the youth and immigrant rights movements false choices — and the false divisions that go with them.
Undocumented youth are given the false choice to wait still longer for what belongs to them by right — their right to education and jobs — or to support war funding in the hopes of getting the DREAM Act passed. Youth opposed to war are forced into opposing those standing for the DREAM Act. An effort is being made to divert anger from the source of the problems — a war government and the system it supports, which is in no way democratic. Instead anger is to be directed to various forces within the movement. Such a situation favors the rich, not the youth and students.
Similarly, legislation, which is entirely in the hands of the Democrats and Republicans, becomes the main aim of the movement. No doubt, passing or opposing particular legislation is commonly one part of various movements. But in this situation it is being utilized to try and split the movement, while removing the government itself as a target.
It is the government that is responsible for meeting the rights of all the youth, especially their right to education. It is its failure to do so that is the main problem. It is their failure to meet the rights of immigrants by providing all the documentation required now that is also the problem. It is their failure to recognize the rights of the peoples abroad to determine their own future free of U.S. wars and interference that is also the problem. Fighting for the rights of all serves to unify and strengthen the movements of the people.
The notion that debate must be confined to being pro or con whatever the rich dictate is a long-standing mechanism of the rich to split and divide the peoples. The conscious building of the movement, the strengthening of its fighting organizations and unity, its central focus of fighting for rights, all are to be sacrificed to these false divisions. It is by rejecting this trap of the rich and putting the fight for rights front and center that the youth and immigrant rights movements can counter these assaults on their rights and further advance.
As well, the DREAM Act is being utilized to put in place mechanisms requiring youth to register with the government and agree to certain requirements before being able to attend university. For the DREAM Act in particular, the requirements are registering with the government, including providing biometric data like fingerprints; meeting what the government arbitrarily determines is “good character;” and finishing two years of college or two years of military service within a six year period. There is no guarantee of citizenship or attending university. And anyone signing up for the military must do eight years of service, not two. The Pentagon is fully behind the DREAM Act, as the military anticipates a new pool of about 65,000 youth every year as a result of its passage. And it is well aware that only 1 out of 20 undocumented high school seniors attends college. Even those who manage to go to school or who survive the military are not guaranteed citizenship and could in fact be deported.
What is significant here is instituting mechanisms where the government determines that in order to be eligible for higher education, youth must first meet whatever arbitrary requirements the government dictates. And “good character” is consistently part of the requirements. And, just as biometric identification is first to be required for all immigrants, then for all workers — also with this “good character” requirement — it is likely that these requirements contained in the DREAM Act will first apply to undocumented youth and then be extended to all youth. This is particularly dangerous at a time when the government is openly saying that only those who pledge allegiance to the U.S. imperialists and support the war effort are to be considered American and those who do not will be branded un-American.
The government can only succeed in such a direction by splitting and dividing the movements of the people, using false pro and con choices decided by the rich. By putting the rights of all at the center we can break free of these false choices and develop our own anti-war, pro-social agenda. This fight is one that it is in our hands, where we have the power to decide.
Fight the Rich, Not Their Wars! Legalization Now! Defend the Rights of All!
The DREAM Act Legislation
"When that [DREAM Act] passes, millions of children will be able to get the education they need to contribute to our economy," stated Senate head Democrat Harry Reid during his press conference announcing that he would include the DREAM Act in the Defense Authorization Bill on September 21. Almost immediately, Republican leaders came out against the move in spite of the commonly held belief that the DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation. "I intend to block it, unless they agree to remove the onerous provisions," said Senator John McCain of Arizona.
While Republicans are accusing Democrats of playing partisan politics in an effort to maintain their footing this coming November, mobilizations have been taking place across the nation for months now in an attempt to get Congress and the Obama administration to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Immigrant youth, especially, have trekked across state lines, protested in congresspersons' offices, and flooded Congress with letters urging them to pass the DREAM Act. Called DREAMers, they have come out and risked being deported in the hope of gaining legal status.
What is the DREAM Act?
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has been floating around in Congress for nearly a decade now, first introduced in 2001 as H.R. 1918 and S. 1291 in the House and Senate respectively. In 2007 Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois filed to place the DREAM Act as an amendment to the 2008 Department of Defense Authorization Bill (S. 2919), but it failed to pass. A last-ditch effort was made later that year by introducing the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill, nevertheless, the 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster were not there.
The version now being included by Senator Reid as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill was introduced in March of 2009 by senators Durbin (D-IL), Lugar (R-IN), Reid (D- NV), Martinez (R-FL), Leahy (D-VT), Lieberman (I-CT), Kennedy (D-MA), and Feingold (D-WI).
If passed, the DREAM Act of 2009 would give young undocumented immigrants from any country of origin who are less than 35 years old and who arrived in the United States before age 16 the opportunity to gain legal status by either attending college or joining the military. However, only those who have obtained a high school diploma or GED and have not left the United States in the last five years are eligible to gain conditional Legal Permanent Residency (LPR).
Once eligibility has been ascertained, LPR status would be granted on a conditional basis and be valid for six years, during which time the student would be allowed to work, go to school, or join the military. After six years, if the person has shown “good moral character” and either completed a minimum of two years of higher education toward a bachelor's degree or higher, or served in the military for two years, the conditional status could be removed and full LPR granted [at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security, who also determines what constitutes “good moral character.” — VOR-ed.]
With any chance of passing CIR now declared dead by many Democratic leaders, including President Obama, we are being told the DREAM Act is Plan B, the only viable proposal for addressing the immigration issue. Just last week Univision's Jorge Ramos proclaimed that there will be no legalization for the 11 million undocumented this year. Nor, perhaps, next year — nor the next. Senator Reid, himself, said, "I know we can't do comprehensive immigration reform — I've tried to. I've tried so very, very hard."
But although the DREAM Act has unconditional supporters in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and other Latino organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), in particular, a rift has begun to appear within the movement that has emerged around the DREAM Act.
Community groups like San Diego's Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD) has opposed the armed forces provision of the DREAM Act for years. More recently, even the young activists who have participated in acts of civil disobedience across the country have not only questioned the military component but the way in which the Democrats are contributing to the argument that the parents are criminals who broke the law by crossing the border in an attempt to provide a better life for their children. "They are vilifying and criminalizing our parents and [arguing] that undocumented students shouldn't pay for the sins or illegal behavior of their parents," wrote Raul Al-qaraz Ochoa, one of the protesters arrested at Senator McCain's office in Arizona this summer.
The simple fact that Democrats are attaching the DREAM Act to the defense bill speaks to its militaristic orientation; the DREAM Act forms part of the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan to help the military shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.
According to UC San Diego professor Jorge Mariscal, the DREAM Act was largely developed by the Pentagon. One need only read Senator Durbin's testimony. It was not about education. It was strictly about making a pool of young, bilingual, U.S.-educated, high-achieving students available to the recruiters.
This is further evidenced in the 2009 policy report "Essential to the Fight: Immigrants in the Military Eight Years After 9/11," authored by Margaret D. Stock, retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. In it she writes, "Despite the important contributions of immigrants to the military in the ongoing conflicts, one proposal that would allow more immigrants to serve in the armed forces [the DREAM Act] has made little headway in the past eight years. ... Because attending college is a very expensive proposition, ... joining the armed forces is a likely choice for many of the young people who would be affected by the bill (p. 8).
Stock concludes, "Without them, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill the need for foreign-language translators, interpreters, and cultural experts. Given the unique and valuable functions that immigrants often perform in the military, they are a critical asset to the national defense. Immigrants have been and continue to be essential to the fight" (p. 11).
At the same time, by attempting to pass the DREAM Act before the November mid-term elections, Democrats seek to rally support from Latinos who comprise the largest sector of the immigrant community and who are a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party.
It was this voting bloc that handed Obama the presidency in 2008, based largely on the promise that he would deliver CIR during his first year in office. Having failed to do so — and, on the contrary, having increased the repression on the undocumented community through raids, employer sanctions, and the militarization of the border — more and more Latinos have grown increasingly discontent with the Democratic leadership.
It is difficult to imagine a Democratic victory in Congress without the Latino vote. The Democrats know this and are offering the DREAM Act as appeasement, claiming there is no political will to pass CIR. Yet, it took no effort to pass the $600 million border militarization bill this past August.
Second, according to Sen. Reid and other proponents, passage of the DREAM Act would benefit millions of undocumented immigrants. Although it is difficult to know the exact number of undocumented youth in the United States, the Migration Policy Institute's 2010 study "Dream vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries" claims that there are approximately 2.1 million who could potentially be eligible.
However, not all would qualify for LPR status. Only an estimated 825,000, or 38 percent, would be eligible to gain full LPR. For those undocumented youth who do not meet the requirements after the six years of conditional status there is no guarantee that they would not be deported. The legislation also authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to share information with other law enforcement agencies.
Third, the choice of attending an institution of higher learning, as opposed to joining the military, in order to qualify for LPR is only feasible for a small number of undocumented youth. For example, Latinos in general, compared to other ethnic groups, have the lowest number of college attendees — only 1.9 percent, compared to 3 percent for Blacks, 3.8 percent for whites, and 8.8 percent for Asians. The national high school pushed-out rate among Latinos is around 40 percent. In California it is 36 percent.
Moreover, a significant percentage of the youth coming to the United States without papers arrive with very little schooling and come to work to contribute to the family income. These undocumented youth would not even qualify for conditional LPR status.
The college option of the DREAM Act must also be looked at within the new higher education framework where the cost of attending college becomes another barrier. Throughout the country — and in California especially — the tuition or university fees at public universities have skyrocketed ... a whopping 32 percent increase at the University of California system and California State Universities last year and 54 percent at community colleges; not to mention the cap enrollments and repeal of affirmative action also affecting ethnic minorities.
Under the DREAM Act students would not be eligible for federal financial aid — only loans and work study. Moreover, the DREAM Act gives states the prerogative to decide if these students qualify for in-state tuition (repealing Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996).
Military De-Facto Option to Gain LPR Status
The military option then becomes the de-facto option to gain LPR status for most undocumented youth. There are already non-citizens in the armed service who are seeking citizenship for themselves and their loved ones through the fast track established by former President Bush in 2002 as part of the War on Terror.
However, as Professor Mariscal points out, the promise of a green card is not always assured. Military service does not guarantee citizenship and tragically for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, posthumous citizenship [is] a purely symbolic gesture with no rights or privileges accruing to the deceased person's family.
With the continued occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, it is very likely that those joining the military under the DREAM Act will see combat. And although the DREAM Act asks for only two years of military service, we must be aware that there is no such thing as a two-year military contract. In 2003 Congress passed the National Call to Service Plan as part of the Military Appropriations Act. This mandated that all of the services must create an enlistment program offering a two-year active duty enlistment option, followed by four years in the Active Guard/Reserves, followed by two years in the Inactive Reserves. This is a total of eight years.
If that were not enough, low-income and youth of color tend to see most of the direct combat. Professor Mariscal writes, "Latinos and Latinas are bunched together in the private and corporal ranks (or lowest ranks) and therefore are among the most likely to receive hazardous duty assignments. ... [In 2001 they] made up 17.7 percent of the Infantry, Gun Crews, and Seamanship occupations in all the service branches. Of those Latinos and Latinas in the Army, 24.7 percent occupy such jobs and in the Marine Corps, 19.7 percent.
It is important to remember that Latinos make up only 13.5 percent of the general population. In contrast, in the elite and most highly romanticized military special operations units such as the Navy Seals, people of color are virtually non-existent given the stricter educational admissions criteria.
For a DREAM Act With No Military Strings Attached!
The DREAMers and the movement they have built together with their allies have fueled the immigrant rights movement in spite of other setbacks like SB 1070. Undocumented youth are tired of the vast inequities and limited opportunities afforded to them because of their citizenship status.
Although the DREAM Act would only benefit a small number of undocumented immigrant youth, what the DREAMers are fighting for — the right to education for all, the right to have a job that helps our families get out of poverty, the right to live without fear of incarceration and deportation, the right to keep families together — is the right thing.
All of us in the immigrant rights movement and our allies should applaud and support their cause and denounce the Democrats for attempting to usurp the struggle. We should not be asked to assist in the continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, or in any new militaristic adventures in Latin America, Iran, or elsewhere in order to obtain papers for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Nor should we have to subjugate those who look like us in foreign lands or on the border.
We in the immigrant community are not discouraged by the lack of political will in Washington. We will continue to fight for a new and just immigration policy based on human and workers' rights.
We must champion the DREAMers movement — that is, a real DREAM Act without any militaristic strings attached — while also calling for:
• No to the militarization of the border; tear down the Wall of Shame!
• Stop the raids and deportations!
• No to the E-Verify Law and to the criminalization of immigrant workers!
• No to Guest Worker Programs!
• No to the separation of immigrant families!
• Repeal the "Free Trade" and Military pacts in Latin America (including the dismantling of all U.S. military bases in the region)!
As immigrant rights activist Raul Al-qaraz Ochoa aptly wrote, "Strong movements that achieve greater victories are those that stand in solidarity with all oppressed people of the world."
The Association of Raza Educators fully supports the educational component of the DREAM Act. We support higher education for all students, both documented and undocumented. However, as Raza Educators, who work with undocumented students on a daily basis, we denounce the military component of the DREAM Act. We feel compelled to educate our students and communities about the military component of the DREAM Act. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM Act.
As educators, we know that public education continues to fail to graduate more than half of our youth due to the structural, institutional, and social barriers. These barriers include underfunding, overcrowding, and racially segregated schooling that many Latinos must overcome. As a result of these conditions, of the few that do graduate, only a select few continue on to higher education. This means that the majority of Latino youth, most of which have been tracked out of the college system, will see military [enlistment] as the only viable option.
In essence, the DREAM Act will create a de facto military draft for our undocumented youth. We say de facto because although students are given a "choice," the fact is that the deplorable and inadequate conditions of Latino schooling will make military enlistment the only "choice" for our undocumented youth.
As educators, we also know that in predominantly Latino high schools, military recruiters outnumber college representatives five to one. We have also seen first hand the misleading tactics military recruiters use to trick Latino youth to enlist. If the DREAM Act passes, military recruiters will further mislead and seduce our youth with false promises of instant legalization and a well paying job. They will completely militarize our youth and our schools.
With this reality, we pose the question; where will those students end up? Dead on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan? Will they join the 6,000 troops that are currently occupying the U.S./ Mexico border?
If the U.S. continues to invade other countries, will our youth be forced to kill other poor people in places like Venezuela, Iran and Cuba? Who will console the grieving mothers of our children who die in Iraq or who will return to their homes completely disfigured? The DREAM Act will become the nightmare for the mothers and fathers of children who died in Iraq in search of a "Green Card." These Latino youth and our communities will become victims of the DREAM Act. We believe that our students and our communities as a whole deserve full and immediate legalization without having to serve in the military.
The Association of Raza Educators does not come here to antagonize or minimize the efforts of those who advocate for the DREAM Act on behalf of undocumented students. We are here to challenge all organizations that support the DREAM Act to join us in the struggle for the legalization of all students and our entire community by supporting a stronger and more just bill that does not force any of our youth to join the U.S. military. We are all brothers and sisters in this struggle, but we must never negotiate the future of our youth in exchange for the legalization of a few of our students.
I have supported the DREAM Act, despite my critiques and concerns over the military service component. In fact, I was one of the arrestees at the sit-in at John McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona; an act of civil disobedience where four brave undocumented students risked deportation and put the DREAM Movement back in the national political stage. I made peace with my participation because I felt I was supporting the self-determination of a movement led by undocumented youth and I felt we could subvert the component that was to feed undocumented youth into the military pipeline if we developed a plan to support youth to the college pathway.
First, let me say that I applaud and admire the tireless work you have all done for the past 10 years. Your commitment and dedication parallels giant student movements of the Civil Rights era. Your persistence in organizing even when the world turned their back on you is inspiring; your creativity in tactics, visuals and media strategy is amazing. Your movement gives hope to hundreds of students I have come across here in Arizona and beyond. It is because of your grassroots efforts — not the politicians’ nor the national Hispanic organizations’— that the Dream is still alive and has come this far. As an organizer with permanent resident status privilege, let me assert that your cause for access to college and path to legalization is just. No one can tell you that what you are fighting for is wrong.
With that said, I want to share how I am deeply appalled and outraged at how Washington politics are manipulating and co-opting the dream. I understand that some folks may say, “we just want the DREAM Act to pass regardless,” but it is critical to examine the political context surrounding DREAM in its current state. It is disturbing to see how Democrats are attaching our community’s dreams for education/legalization to a defense appropriations bill. This is grotesque in a number of ways:
1) Democrats are using the DREAM Act as a political stunt to appeal to Latino voters for the November elections because it is seen as “less” threatening than a broad immigration reform. The Democrats had the political will to recently unite and pass a border militarization bill in a matter of hours ($600 million!), yet they will not pass broader immigration reform? And now they are up for the DREAM Act? I am glad they feel the pressure of the Latino voting bloc, but they obviously do not care about our lives, they only seek to secure their seats in November — which by the way look very jeopardized if they do not move quickly to energize their “base.” They are also seeking to secure the gay vote with the gradual repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as part of this same defense bill. All in all, insincere, token political gestures only serve to stall real justice.
2) Democrats are telling me that if I support access to education for all my people, I must also support the U.S. war machine with $670 billion for the Pentagon. Does this mean I have to support the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? By supporting the DREAM Act, does this mean I automatically give a green light for U.S. forces to continue invading, killing and raping innocent people all over the world? This is really unfair. Here in Arizona I struggle with a climate of fear and terror. Yet even though I am so far away, I hear the cries of Arab mothers who are losing their children in U.S. sponsored bombings and massacres. There is a knot in my throat because victims of U.S. aggression abroad look just like us… victims of U.S. aggression at home. This ugly and twisted political system is dividing us and coercing us into supporting the funding of more bloodshed and more destruction if we want the DREAM Act to pass. Does this mean that our dreams will rest upon the nightmares of people that suffer globally? Obviously, students that call their Senators are supporting their future NOT bloodshed abroad, but we have to be responsible to the larger political implications of this.
3) Democrats are vilifying and criminalizing our parents. A really insulting argument prominently used for passing the DREAM Act that I keep hearing over and over is that because undocumented students “didn’t choose to come to the U.S. to break the laws of this country” you shouldn’t have to pay for the “sins” or “illegal behavior” of your parents. Are they serious?! It is not okay to allow legislation to pass that will stand on and disrespect the struggle, sacrifice and dignity of our parents. What about blaming U.S.-led capitalist and imperialist policies as the reasons that create our “refugee” populations. Our parents’ struggle is not for sale. We must not fall for or feed into the rhetoric that criminalizes us or our parents. We all want justice, but is it true justice if we have to sell out our own family members along the way?
Again, I support this fight — it is part of a larger community struggle. It is personal to all of us. Passage of the DREAM Act would definitely be a step forward in the struggle for Migrant Justice. Yet the politicians in Washington have hijacked this struggle from its original essence and turned dreams into ugly political nightmares. I refuse to be a part of anything that turns us into political pawns of dirty Washington politics. I want my people to be “legalized” but at what cost? We all want it bad. I hear it. I have lived it. But I think it is a matter of how much we are willing to compromise in order to win victories or crumbs.
This again proves how it is problematic to lobby the state and put all our efforts in legislation to pass. We should know that this political route is always filled with racism, opportunism, betrayals and nightmares. History repeats itself once again.
So if I support the DREAM Act, does this mean I am okay with our people being used as political pawns? Does this mean that my hands will be smeared with the same bloodshed the U.S. spills all over the world? Does this mean I am okay with blaming my mother and my father for migrating “illegally” to the U.S.? Am I willing to surrender to all that in exchange for a benefit? Maybe it is easier for me to say that “I can” because I have papers, right? I would like to think that it is because my political principles will not allow me to do so, regardless of my citizenship status or personal benefit at stake. Strong movements that achieve greater victories are those that stand in solidarity with all oppressed people of the world and never gain access to rights at the expense of other oppressed groups.
I have come to a deeply painful decision: I can no longer in good political conscience support the DREAM Act because the essence of a beautiful dream has been detained by a colonial nightmare seeking to fund and fuel the U.S. empire machine.
I am so sorry and so enraged that this larger political context has deferred those dreams of justice and equality that we all share.
In tears, rage, love and sorrow,
Raúl Al-qaraz Ochoa
UC Berkeley General Assembly Plan:
• 6AM Informational pickets mainly on Bancroft and Telegraph
Rally in Downtown, Riverside at 3pm.
UCR and RCC will coordinate an action from their campuses and converge into a larger march in Downtown, Riverside.
UCR: Starting at the bell tower @ 11am and rally around the school and then start marching @ 2pm to downtown Riverside (Corner of Market and University).
RCC: Rally at RCC @ noon (in front of the MLK building) and start march @ 2:30pm towards Riverside Downtown toward the Gandhi statue.
Cal State San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley College will also participate in the action, as well as local high schools.
Contact: email@example.com • (951) 544-6837
Protest the Budget Cuts! Defend Public Education and Social Services!
2:30pm, Gather at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Headquarters, 330 South Beaudry
We will gather at LAUSD Headquarters, then March to the downtown Public Library, 630 W. 5th Street, at South Flower, for a picket line and rally at 5:00pm.
Bring your picket signs and noise-makers for the October 7 Nationwide Strike and Day of Action to protest budget cuts to education and social services. Join unionists, civil and immigrant rights advocates, radicals, youth, teachers and other public employees, feminists, LGBTQ folks and other outraged community members to demand:
• Free, quality public education for all
L.A. March 4th Committee to Defend Public Education & Social Services
Diablo Valley College
We will be having a rally on campus with music, performances and many speakers and a march to culminate the event. We will have a complete report following the event. This is an exciting day and we are building strong for it.
1-2 pm Teach Out! Stand Up for Your Rights and Protest! Freedom Speech Steps!
2:30-3:30 pm Rally
3:30pm United Meeting at the Backdoor to Organize travel to Downtown San Diego Action
All are Welcome
San Diego State University M4 Coalition Members, ACHA, MECHA SJP and ASU Host
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 619 922 2355
Walkout of San Diego City College Campus and all UCSD, SDSU, Community Colleges, K-12, Unions, and community grassroots organizations rallying and marching in Downtown San Diego in the evening.
Contact: www.educationforallcoalition.com • email@example.com • 8586251127
Expressions of Quality Public Education. Students at Saint Mary’s College of California will be invited to participate in an artistic expressions action and awareness day and tag Ferroggiaro Quad with their chalk, poster, and body art, words, poetry, etc. that express the importance of quality public education.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 707-853-6655
“Wear White to Support Peace Day”
Contact: Gainesville Area SDS, Fernando Figueroa, email@example.com
University of Georgia (Athens) – October 7th at UGA will be a “celebration of education” on North Campus in front of the Administration building at noon. This will entail music, signs, dancing, flyering, chanting, and a bunch of other cool stuff.
Atlanta (citywide action involving multiple universities including Georgia State U., Kennesaw State U., Georgia Institute of Technology and other colleges and universities in the metro-Atlanta area, as well as metro Atlanta high school students) – Students, professors, teachers, workers and supporters will meet at 4:30PM in north end of Woodruff Park in Atlanta. There will be a brief rally at 5:00 P.M. followed by a march to the Capitol to present a report card to legislators at 5:30 P.M.
Georgia State University (Atlanta) – GSU will hold a festival to celebrate higher education in the Courtyard (Library Plaza in front of Library North) at 12:15 P.M. At 7:00 PM Ela Gandhi (granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi) will be speaking as a guest of the College of Education in the Speaker’s Auditorium, and she has agreed to acknowledge October 7th as the national day of action to defend education and encourage audience members to get involved.
Contact: Tahereh • 678-755-3686 • Georgia Students for Public Higher Education – http://gsphe.tk/
Thursday, October 7, 12pm
NO CUTS TO EDUCATION & STUDENT SERVICES!
On October 7 SIU students will join other campuses to resist the massive attacks on education and student services and fight the tuition and fee increases that price college out of reach for millions. The SIUC administration has hatched plans for debilitating cuts of 4 percent (or more) in academic departments, illegally threatened furloughs of faculty, laid-off essential instructors in the math department, and shut down the Student Heath Assessment Center, widely used by disabled students and students with chronic health problems. Meanwhile, tens of millions of your fee and tuition dollars continue to be wasted on boondoggles like the new “Welcome Center” and bloated administration salaries. At the state level, politicians continue to fail to provide funding for the university. We have to fight back!
Wright College event at the Board of Trustees meeting to present demands around Chicago City Colleges’ plans to make cuts.
Contact: Viviana Moreno, firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Illinois-Chicago rallying on the quad at 11:30 along with others in the UIC coalition against budget cuts.
Contact: Kait McIntyre email@example.com.
RALLY TO DEFEND EDUCATION AND PUBLIC SERVICES
5pm, Outside the C.R. School District Board Secretary’s Office, 900 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 319-550-3301 • http://hawkeyeworker.wordpress.com
Rally to Defend Public Education
3:30 pm, Pentacrest, University of Iowa
Students, graduate employees, faculty and union members at the University of Iowa along with teachers from the Iowa City community will rally on campus to increase state funding for Iowa’s public schools and Universities, increase the number of tenure-track faculty hires and stop funding cuts to the humanities.
Contact: email@example.com • 319-337-5074 • www.cogs.org
12 noon on the Lousiana State University parade grounds
On Defend Public Education Day, a jazz funeral procession will be held at the LSU parade grounds to raise awareness of the impact of proposed LSU budget cuts.
This jazz funeral procession draws on a sacred Louisiana tradition to celebrate the resilience and solidarity of the LSU community and commemorate what will be lost and its impact on students and on the future of Louisiana’s economy.
If you are concerned about the elimination of programs from our university, please come dressed in traditional black (or white) funeral attire. Coffins and other funerary items designating threatened programs (and their impact on our State) are welcome.
All members of the LSU community are invited.
This event is sponsored by Proud Students, LSU Graduate Student Association, the LSU Faculty Senate, LSUnited, Louisiana Association of Educators, with the support of concerned students and faculty.
Contact: RyanOrgera@gmail.com • (225) 341-4273 or firstname.lastname@example.org • 225-241-5795
Quad of University of Louisiana, Lafayette campus at 11am
Contact: stopLAbudgetcuts@gmail.com • (337) 257-3373 http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=153121914705992
A panel discussion with:
Glenn Cummings, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education
Contact: email@example.com • 207-899-9498 • firstname.lastname@example.org • 207-712-4188
The Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) is organizing a statewide march and rally to draw attention to the funding crisis in public higher education. The statewide March & Rally to Defend Public Higher Education, a dramatic week-long walk across the state, will culminate with a rally at the State House in Boston on Thursday, October 7th – a National Day of Action to Defend Public Education (see http://www.defendeducation.org) endorsed by PHENOM.
Over the past five years, Massachusetts has cut public higher education funding more than any other state. This has continued decades of disinvestment that have threatened the promise of an affordable, accessible, and high-quality public higher education system. Budget cuts and resulting fee increases are hitting Massachusetts working families the hardest, especially in communities of color, with many people unable to attend college- or graduating with mountains of debt.
The March is part of PHENOM’s For a Great State of Mind campaign, which aims to drastically increase state investment in public higher education and decrease student costs. PHENOM calls on student organizations, unions, community groups, legislators and others to endorse the March and participate as they are able.
The march will begin on Saturday, October 2, at Berkshire Community College and end with a huge rally at the State House on October 7. Events at campuses and in communities along the way will dramatize the importance and plight of public higher education in our state.
Confirmed stops will include:
• Berkshire Community College — October 2
We encourage campuses not on the route to meet up with the statewide march at a convenient spot, attend an event on one of the campuses, or organize their own march. Most importantly, please join the marchers at a huge rally at the State House on the 7th!
Contact: email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
Rally at Gullen Mall at Wayne State University, 12 noon. Labor, community, student speakers will speak out against education cuts and in particular the role of the banks role in gutting funding K-12 and higher education.
Contact: www.uptfroadscholar.org • firstname.lastname@example.org • 313-559-7074 • www.mecawi.org
Actions on October 7th in or near the Twin Cities include:
• All day – Student Strike (and Dance Party) to Defend Public Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato (at Wigley Administration Building between Morris and the Student Union)
• Noon to 1:30pm - a Rally and March at the University of Minnesota, (East Bank campus, at the Northrop Plaza) – speakers on many issues facing U of M students, workers, and faculty, with the demands: No tuition and Fee Hikes, No Layoffs to Instructional and Support Staff, Shared Power in Governance. Organized by the Chop from the Top Coalition.
• 2:00-4:00pm – a Disorientation Guide to the U of M’s History, (in Coffman Union, room 324) includes speakers on the 1969 occupation of Morrill Hall that led to the creation of the Black Studies department, struggles for equal access including the fight to save General College, the AFSCME union’s struggles for a more democratic and equitable U, and more – with free food, followed by discussion about how to create a better U of M.
• 5:00-6:00pm – Rally and March at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) plaza – speakers on issues facing students and teachers at MCTC and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MSCU) system.
• 6:00-9:00pm – Free Concert to Defend Public Education — in Loring Park — featuring: Guante, Usual Suspects, Fresh Squeeze, Junkyard Empire, Poetic Assassins, surprise guests, speakers, free food, info tables, and more. Organized by the Public Education Justice Alliance MN (PEJAM).
Contact: email@example.com • 763-607-7034 • http://october7mn.org
William Paterson University: On Oct 7th we are a having a day of strike beginning at 11:30 am with a walk out leading to a rally in front of the administrative building to plaster the list of demands we have to our administration, our state government, and the federal governement. We have an on going petition for students and faculty to sign to support our demands. After the rally we will have teach-ins students can attend instead of returning to their regular class schedules taught by both members of our chapter and faculty. Topics range from Socialist Theory to Current Issues. Also in solidarity with WPU are Jersey City University and Rutgers New Brunswick Campus.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 908 370 8790
TEACH-IN, University of New Mexico (UNM): Be active in your work and learning place! Take action to defend public education!
• If you are a teacher (faculty, TA, PTI), take some or all of your class time that day to share about the rapid disintegration of and the lack of shared power in public education as a result of budget cuts and privatization.
• If you are a student, talk to your teachers about taking time during their class to share information about these issues.
• Check http://www.facebook.com/unmGET in the week leading up to October 7th to find updates and teaching resources on the issue.
• Email unmGET@gmail.com with questions/comments
Contact: UNM Graduate Employees Together: email@example.com • 215-264-8961
12 noon: Rally to Defend Public Education!
Speakers: Ryan Lennon, NYPIRG; Fareed Michelen, NYS AFL-CIO; Mike Roberts or Amanda Lefton, Workers United, Local 471; Tomas Noel, UAlbany; Jill Hanifan, UAlbany; Virginia Eubanks, UAlbany; Bill Whalen, GSEU-CWA 1104
United University Professions Peace and Justice Committee; Capital District Area Labor Federation; Workers United, Local 471; New York Public Interest Research Group; Solidarity Committee of the Capital District
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 518-391-3837
We are planning a Sit In this week and organizing a campus wide walk out on the 7th behind the following demands:
• A tuition freeze
• Financial transparency: we want a point by point explanation of what all the student fees are for as part of our account statement; for example, what is an excellence fee? We want the budget made public and easily accessible as part of our statement and as a website
• Computer lab: we want more computers and computer locations; we want one stapler per printer in the pods, two more duplex printers, five more scanners, and new photocopiers in the Bartle Library
• Library resources: more formal study space, align Newcomb Reading Room and Bartle Library Hours, and the earnest replacement of missing books
• Busing: more bus routes, for example a route from University Plaza to Town Square Mall, improved bus maintenance, bigger buses and more frequent busses at off peak hours
• More academic advisors and increased staff in the counseling center
• More classes and smaller class sizes
• A permanently free FitSpace
• Parking: we want the parking garage opened for permit parking and fewer lot restrictions in general, including cross campus (main campus and downtown center) parking
• Graduate students: we want to be able to pay fees in installments with no penalty charges
Contact: email@example.com • 312-493-5464
4pm, Demonstration at University at Buffalo’s “Downtown Gateway” at 77 Goodell Street.
The “gateway” is a symbol of the UB 2020 plan and related initiatives to eliminate public university education. Come out and show the solidarity and power of the students and their allies!
Endorsed by: Buffulo State Students for Peace, Graduate Student Employee’s Union, United Socialist Movement of the Americas, UB Students Against Sweatshops, UB College Republicans, UB Black Student Union, United University Professions – Buffalo Center, Buffalo/Western New York International Action Center, UB College Democrats
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 716-430-1608
Unified New York City Rally & March, 4pm, at the Harlem State Office Building 163 West 125th Street, just east of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. BLVD(seventh avenue), then march across Harlem via 125th street to Frederick Douglas to 141st street and to CCNY.
Many rallies during the day at Brooklyn College, City College New York, Hunter College, Queens College and throughout the state.
Contact: email@example.com • 720-979-9491 • www.march4ny.wordpress.com
An “alternative university” event.
Contact: Syracuse SDS, Michael John Kowalchuk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rally at 11:30 AM on the Quad, University of North Carolina, Asheville
Contact: Ashville SDS, Rachel McLarty, email@example.com
3pm: Rally at the State Capitol Building
4pm: March through downtown
• Stop the cuts to education! No to tuition hikes! No furloughs or layoffs!
• Art Pope: Hands off Wake County Schools! No to re-segregation and privatization
• Full access to education for undocumented students!
• Money for education and jobs, not war!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 919-604-816
Portland State University, 10am-2pm in the South Park Blocks
In coordination with the October 7th National Day of Action to Defend Public Education, and in solidarity with the “Global Wave of Action for Education” that is occurring throughout Oct/Nov 2010, hundreds will rally at Portland State University calling for affordable education for all. Students, faculty, workers, and community members will participate in coordination with thousands from across the country and around the globe.
Locally, the event is being coordinated by the Portland Coalition to Defend Education, an open group initiated by PSU student organizers. Activities will take place Thursday October 7th from 10am-2pm in the South Park Blocks at Portland State University. Student groups will set up information tables as well as have materials available to make signs and banners, followed by speakers and music on stage starting at 12pm in front of the Smith Memorial Student Union building. Throughout the day there will be live updates from actions on campuses across the country.
As a follow up to the events of the March 4th National Day of Action earlier this year, this event is part of a continued mobilization to demand accessible, affordable and equitable education for all. More and more, our public schools are faced with the challenges of inadequate funding from the state. In Oregon, some seek to restructure our universities relationships to the state, relying on private investors and free market rationale in order to overcome the effects of the budget crisis. We understand this to be an unstable solution. The objective of the Portland Coalition to Defend Education is to raise awareness and spark discussion about these ongoing issues. We hope to bring wider participation and more student voices into the efforts to stabilize our threatened education system.
We oppose the deregulation of higher education, the increasing cost of tuition, and the cutting of faculty and worker rights and salary. We demand that public education receives adequate funding, effective immediately. We are rallying for the re-prioritization of education and not the funding of banks, prisons and war; and to put schools, jobs, and our communities first!
Contact: email@example.com • 503-808-0689 • www.defendeducationpdx.wordpress.com
The University of Pennsylvania Democratic Socialists will be holding a ‘speak-out’ with the intention of informing the student body about every opportunity available to support public education in the West Philadelphia community. Students will be also able to openly voice their thoughts and opinions about the current state of American public schools. We hope that this event will promote on-campus activism and the idea that a desegregated public education system free from privatization is essential to our country’s future.
Organizing Speek Out on the mall, and will offer a large sheet of butcher paper for students, alum, and faculty to write how much their student debt is. Our focus is to reach the Houston area media and state newspapers.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 936-661-9691
A DAY TO DEFEND PUBLIC EDUCATION: 4pm, John Dewey Lounge,University of Vermont
On October 7 students, faculty, and staff nationwide will rally to defend public education against layoffs, cuts, and attacks such as Arizona’s recent ban on public funding for ethnic studies programs.
United Academics, the union representing University of Vermont faculty, is joining the American Association of University Professors in endorsing this day to stand up for not-for-profit higher education – and for the future of educational access and quality at UVM. Please join us for an urgent discussion on What is the Cost of Cuts?:
• What is the cost of recent UVM administrative decisions to increase the number of students while shrinking the faculty and staff?
• What is the cost of heavier workloads for fewer faculty and staff? Of higher tuition and greater debt for students?
• What does United Academics’ recent survey of faculty reveal about the consequences of cuts for quality teaching and meaningful research?
• As the share of UVM’s growing budget for academics, academic support,and building maintenance shrinks, where is the money going instead? And what can we do?
All faculty, staff, students, and concerned community members are welcome.
Sponsored by United Academics – AFT/AAUP
Contact: email@example.com • www.unitedacademics.org • firstname.lastname@example.org • 802-656-4171 • www.unitedacademics.org • www.defendeducation.org
Rally at 12:30, Library Mall, University of Wisconsin campus.
Contact: email@example.com • 608-630-7378
Rally in Spaights Plaza, 12 Noon, the Education Rights Campaign at UWM, with SDS, MEChA, MGAA and high school students marching to UWM to defend public education.
Contact: Kas Schwerdfeger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rallying to combating racism on campus, along with a coalition with oppressed nationality organizations, to demand stronger responses from the administration after the “N” word was carved into a large, conspicuous area on campus.
Contact: Missy Gaido, email@example.com