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Protesters Outnumber Military Supporters, as Peace Activists Protest Army Recruitment on the Cambridge Common
got kids.jpgOn Tuesday, June 14, 2005, from 10:30 to 1:00 two to three hundred people gathered on the Cambridge Common to protest the army’s celebration of its 230th anniversary there, an event they turned into a blatant recruitment effort. This is part of larger drive by the military to get more people to join, response to the severe drop-offs in new recruits that all branches of the military face as the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan stretch on with no end in sight. Protesters spoke out against the attempts to entice students to join the army, by making it look fun by creating something of a fair on the Common--when those who joined the army would most likely to be sent to kill and possibly be killed in pointless, bloody wars. In contrast to the large number of protesters, there were only about fifty to a hundred civilians there to attend the ceremonies, many of them school children bussed in as a fieldtrip. At times, it appeared that the protesters’ chants could clearly be heard over the official speakers at the ceremony. There were seven arrests, all a result of protesters refusing to remain in the officially designated protest pit.
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14 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : International
United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
021_19A.JPGThe Massachusetts recruiting tour of the “Rev.” Fred Phelps was soundly defeated by a wide range of progressive forces and community members June 4-6.

Phelps, known for leading a vile anti-gay protest at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, didn’t attend any of the events in Massachusetts; instead his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper led the bigoted tour for the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, the Phelp’s church.

The bigots targeted religious institutions and individual schools in Dracut, Lexington and Bedford but were met with rejection by the majority of students, teachers and community members there.

Phelps said he chose the state for the recruiting tour because of its recent legalization of same-sex marriage and other pro-LGBT laws. The Phelps tour was made easier by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ongoing denunciations of same-sex marriage and other ongoing attacks on the LGBT community.
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07 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : GLBT/Queer
Graduate student-workers at UMass-Amherst win tentative contract agreement
018_08A.JPGAfter 14 months of battle, the Graduate Employee Organization, UAW Local 2322 reached a tentative contract agreement with the administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst May 10. A ratification vote is scheduled for May 19-20.

A heartening and powerful labor-community-student alliance won this stage of the struggle.

“The incredible turn out at the March 31 rally and march, the complete shutdown of the university on April 21 because of the undergraduate boycott and GEO walkout, the teach-ins, grade-ins, carol singing and bombarding of Chancellor Lombardi, and many other contract campaign events have all paid off, and allowed us to reach a tentative agreement with the university today over the terms of a new contract,” declared GEO in an email to its approximately 2, 400 members May 10.
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15 May 2005 Modified: 16 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor
Living in the Shadows: Undocumented Children Strive to Succeed
P905daughter.jpgAs an immigrant, Araceli has a hard time feeling like she belongs. She fled social unrest in Guatemala with her family when she was only five years old, speaks English better than Spanish, but has been forced to live in the fringes of society because she is considered illegal. “I’ve been here for sixteen years. I consider myself an American,” she said.

The first time she found out about her status was when she tried to apply for college and was told the benefit of a higher education did not apply to her. One year after graduating from high school with a 3.5 GPA and unable to work legally in this country, she feels uneasy about her future. “Put your self in my shoes. I want an education and a career,” she said.
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09 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Globalization : Human Rights : Labor
The Emerson Student Strike
Tremont.jpgLast Wednesday and Thursday, Emerson students went on strike in support of our faculty union, struggling to keep their union contracts and shared governance. The professors have had a union for thirty years, but now as the administration takes steps to move the college towards becoming more of a corporation and less of a place of education, the administration is trying to bust the union. On Wednesday and Thursday, a large portion of the Emerson student body boycotted class. We had a march and rally of about 300 on Wednssday, and slightly more on Thursday. From what I've been able to figure most of the student population went on strike, but there's really no way of knowing exactly how many did, as a lot of teachers didn't mark boycotting students absent.
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22 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor
Grad students and allies in Northeast fight back
undergrads.jpgGraduate student-workers and their allies at three of the biggest universities in the Northeast are engaging in massive, spirited work actions this week.

On Monday, April 18 the Graduate Student Employees United-UAW 2110 (www.2110uaw.org/gseu) at Columbia University and the Graduate Employees and Students Organization-UNITE-HERE at Yale (www.yaleunions.org/geso) began a joint week-long strike for recognition. On April 20 at Columbia a 4 p.m. "Rally for Justice" at 116th and Broadway is scheduled.
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19 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor
Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
front of march.jpgOn Friday, April 15, 2005 over 1,000 students, professors and administrators gathered in support of ending discrimination against members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community at Boston College. As student organizers called for a university strike, hundreds of students opted not to attend classes, with dozens of professors expressing their solidarity by canceling their sections.

The official notice of non-discrimination for Boston College does not offer any legal protection from discrimination for members of the GLBT community. In fact the clause is written in a manner to deliberately invoke an exemption from Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. For over a decade students and faculty have worked to get “sexual orientation” included in the statement, but their requests have repeatedly been rejected by the University.
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15 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : GLBT/Queer
Graduate students at UMass-Amherst say no contract, no peace
willard.jpgWith support of progressive campus community...

Graduate students say no contract, no peace
Build largest march and rally in years

AMHERST, MA – Facing multi-faceted assaults by the administration and its class allies, students and progressive campus community members realizing the historic importance and national implications of this struggle, responded March 31 with one of the largest mass action in years.

Over 600 students-graduate and undergraduate-union allies and campus community members answered the call of the Graduate Employee Organization, UAW Local 2322 for a "March for fair wages, healthcare, benefits and childcare," in response to the administration’s refusal to bargain in good faith.
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04 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor
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