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Springfield teachers fight back against control board
springfield1.jpgIn the midst of a Northeastern snow storm which eventually dumped over seven inches of snow on the area that day, over 800 teachers and their allies packed the Central High School auditorium March 1 for a public speak-out to tell the city's Finance Control Board: Hands off teachers and all city workers! The public forum, part of an ongoing campaign by the Springfield Teachers Association, exposed the control board's attempts to move money out of the already-strapped school budget to pay for other city expenses; its unilateral cuts in benefits that will cost city employees, including educators, thousands of dollars; and threatening even further cuts to the wages and benefits of teachers and other city employees.
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08 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor : Race
Boston Students Challenge Mayor on Police Violence, Less Lethal Weapons
040611tom_menino.jpgOn the eve of the Super Bowl, we as Boston area students call on Mayor Menino to publicly assert the need for Boston Police to protect the health and welfare of anyone who wishes to celebrate a New England Patriots victory in the streets of Boston. Bostonians have been gravely harmed by the police responses to public gatherings of sports fans, and the city must reverse course immediately.

Students, who comprise a major part of the Boston area community, remain outraged at their official portrayal as "hooligans" and "thugs" somehow responsible for the death of Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove. The fact remains that this student was killed by an unjustified police action against a non-violent person. Nevertheless, Mayor Menino continues to scapegoat students, portraying them as violence prone and irresponsible.
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05 Feb 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Education : Human Rights
Right-wing campus network increasing
As the 2005 spring semester begins, students across the United States will confront an increasingly sophisticated multi-million dollar right-wing campus network bankrolled by some of the largest conservative philanthropies, think-tanks and corporations. Like the right-wing lie of the so-called ‘liberal’ media, the same is true of the so-called ‘liberal’ university. The three largest conservative campus organizations are the innocuous-sounding Young America’s Foundation (YAF), Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and the Leadership Institute which spent approximately $25 million on various campus outreach programs in 2004.
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26 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Politics
Springfield unions fight back against control board attacks
Members of Springfield’s Finance Control Board, under the guise of achieving fiscal solvency, are stepping up their attacks on workers and their communities here. Special targets are vital city services and public-sector union workers like the teachers who are entering their fourth year of a wage freeze. On Dec. 21, Philip Puccia, the Financial Board’s executive director sent a letter to the Springfield Education Association informing the 2,500 teachers and 3,000 retirees in the teachers' union that the board was going to vote at its next meeting to increase deductibles and co-payments for all services except office visits and prescription drugs effective April 1.
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19 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor : Politics
Youth Organized Anti-War Rally Sets the Mood for Resistance
IMG_0930.jpgUp and coming youth activists may be just the thing to breathe fresh life into Boston’s anti-war movement. Protesters at December 4th’s rally, which started at the Boston Commons bandstand and included a march down Newbury Street, exhibited an enthusiasm not seen at earlier demonstrations this year. More than 15 persons spoke and led the crowd in chanting various slogans, such as “Drop Bush Not Bombs!!!” and “Money for Schools Not War!!!” The day was peaceful for the most part, although after the march a group of about 50 persons decided to challenge the police and “take to the streets,” blocking traffic. Pushing matches and harsh words ensued but no arrests or serious injuries have been reported.
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06 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Education : International : Organizing
City plays catch-up with Boston's bicycle activists
Back in September city councilors appeared surprised by the number of attendees at a hearing for crosswalk safety and the amount of anger they brought to the meeting. After last nights hearing, called to consider both bike safety in general and the appointment of a “bike czar” for the city, they should now realize that they have awoken a sleeping monster. Activists and citizens packed the Ianella chamber and instead of a line of individuals sounding off the hearing began with a well-organized power point presentation to the councilors by an informal organization of bicyclists and pedestrians. A comprehensive bike safety plan was requested and drawn out in detail for the councilors.
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24 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Education : Environment : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : Technology
Interview: Krzysztof Krol of the Polish Anarchist Federation
logo2.jpgDuring a workshop on solidarity economics at the WoGan Decriminalizing Resistance conference last weekend (November 12th-13th) I met Krzysztof Krol, a member of the Anarchist Federation of Poland who resides at the Rozbrat Collective in the Polish city of Poznan. Of the many participators in that particular workshop only the two non-U.S. presenters seemed to have practical solutions for working class people. While Americans talked of seed exchanges, alternative currencies, and green investment schemes Krol told of his groups foray into radical labor organizing and a presenter from Argentina’s MST talked about a community center built by the community itself geared around food production and education.

As the debate over the validity of alternative currencies roared on past the workshop’s scheduled time I pulled the labor-minded Krzysztof aside to get a one-on-one interview.
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19 Nov 2004 Modified: 03:23:02 AM | Filed under: Interview / Education : Globalization : International : Labor : Organizing : Social Welfare
Anti-racist struggle continues at UMass Amherst
UMASS AMHERST – At a joint press conference Nov. 4, two leading unions at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have charged the administration with collaborating with racists in the Student Government Association to undermine the Office of ALANA Affairs. ALANA advocates for institutional support for African, Latino/a, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American students.
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09 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor : Race
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