Read

Search form

In April, Education Movements Are Gaining Full Steam

In April, Education Movements Are Gaining Full Steam
Fri, 4/19/2013 - by Graciela Razo

Fighting against austerity measures and racist educational policies, the political pushback led by students and teachers has reached new levels of resistance this April. Global student movements are in full bloom, from Indiana University to the streets of Santiago, Chile, where students are exerting their power against the barriers that stand between them and their future.

Thousands flood Chile for free education

As many as 100,000 protesters filled Santiago, Chile last week demanding fair and free education for all, in what was the first nationwide protest of the year. Police officers responded with water cannons and tear gas as they detained more than 100 protesters.

Under-funded schools have forced poor and working class students into shanty schools after massive privatization efforts. Students who are fortunate enough to attend private universities are fighting against tuition hikes and the poor quality of education they receive. Chile’s education system is known to be one of the best in Latin America, but it is also among the most expensive, making it available to only a select percentage of students.

“Education should be equal for everyone, it should be free — we all have the same rights,” said Valentina Ibañez, a first-year student at Universidad Alberto Hurtado. The two-year struggle for education reform has gained momentum in recent weeks with revitalized protests and even larger turnouts than previous years.

Indiana students and teachers go on strike

Students at Indiana University launched a university-wide strike on April 11. Their demands include eliminating fees, reducing tuition, ending privatization and prioritizing raising enrollment of black students to at least 8 percent. The collective strike began at the Board of Trustees meeting where students presented their demands. The protest has also recently extended into an energy strike as students rally against the university’s dependence on natural gas and fossil fuels.

Students are currently holding weekly assemblies to gather more support and participants, as well as to create an open forum for ideas to further the student movement. Other students from Wisconsin to Michigan have hung banners in solidarity with the Indiana University strike.

Campaign to save ethnic studies takes off in Texas

A resistance movement to preserve Latino and African American studies in Texas is growing in opposition to the legislation SB1128 and twin bill 1938, proposed by State Representative Giovanni Capriglione and Senator Dan Patrick.

The bill is in response to a study on two Texas universities, Texas A&M University and University of Texas at Austin, done by the National Association of Scholars, which concluded “all too often the course readings gave strong emphasis to race, class or gender.” The bill would prevent credits from ethnic studies classes from transferring to other universities and from counting toward advanced credits.

State-wide actions are already planned for the week of April 26, from El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley. Librotraficantes, a group of activists that emerged with the ethnic studies ban in Arizona to smuggle Latino history and literature books back into the state, has also planned to travel to Austin to protest the bill.

Mexican educators rally for free public education

Mexican teachers marched throughout Guerrero and Oaxaca on April 4 to oppose educational reforms by President Enrique Pena Nieto. Educators say the new provisions leave no guarantees for free public education and that privatization will soon threaten availability of schools in many areas.

The National Union of Education Workers in Oaxaca blocked entrances to shopping malls as tens of thousands of protesters declared that the reforms were a privatization attack on education, as control over the school system was shifted from teachers’ unions to the federal government. Teachers are currently planning to occupy several public spaces and universities to continue the protest.

The movement is also in an effort to expand higher educational opportunities to students in a country where only 13 percent of students earn a degree and only 2 percent earn their Master’s degree.

Chicago Teachers Union declare political fight against school closures

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis vowed to begin a “comprehensive and aggressive political action campaign” to defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials who are leading the way to 54 school closures.

One initiative the union will begin working on involves getting more than 100,000 new voters to the polls before the May 22 vote. Union members will go door to door in areas most affected by the school closures, in an attempt to oust officials who are supportive of the plan.

The closure initiative will shut down schools in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods and most likely overcrowd existing schools where students will transfer. Parents and educators are also worried that if students are forced to travel longer distances to schools in unknown neighborhoods, violence and crime rates could rise.

Graciela Razo is a writer and editor for The People's Record.

 

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

basic income, universal basic income, Scotland basic income, Holland basic income, Finland basic income, Guy Standing, Basic Income Network Scotland

One of the driving forces behind the basic income proposals in Scotland is the Fairer Fife Commission, which aims to tackle social inequality through living wage, living rent and basic income programs so that no worker lives in poverty.

police repression, mass arrests, Disrupt J20 Collective, National Lawyers Guild, kettling protesters, anti-Trump protests, anti-Trump resistance, Light on Friday, Movement for Black Lives, anti-fascist movement, riot police, police surveillance, DHS

More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and quarter-million-dollar fine.

Isidro Baldenegro, Goldman Environmental Prize, illegal logging, killing activists, activist intimidation, Berta Cáceres

Indigenous activist Isidro Baldenegro López, who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his crusade against illegal logging, has been gunned down, becoming the second award-winner murdered in less than 12 months.

Women's March, anti-Trump protests, Trump resistance, women's rights, mass protests, global protests, pussy hats, people against Trump

What began as a Facebook post by a Hawaii grandmother the day after Hillary Clinton's loss in November blossomed into a massive protest uniting people of all ages, races and religions who turned out across the globe.

Pakistan drought, Pakistan climatic changes, species die-off, climate-borne disease, Pakistan glacier run-off

“This sickness of fish is an indicator of the worst climatic changes occurring in the region,” said Pakistan fisheries director Zubair Ali, and “will have negative impacts on many sectors, in particular food, water and energy.”

creative activism, Act Out, Donald Trump, Trump Inauguration, Inauguration 2017, #DisruptJ20, Women’s March, J20, anti-Trump protests, non-violent direct action, Samantha Castro, WACA, dissent, protest, political left, hierarchy, NGO, community organizing

As stages are set for the upcoming inauguration, activists across the country prepare to strike, block, march and disrupt. We’ll outline what's happening in D.C. and where you are.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago

The 142-mile-long Trans-Pecos Pipeline would bring fracked gas to the small border city of Presidio, where it would continue on into northern Mexico – in the process crossing under the Rio Grande, threatening fragile water supplies.

Posted 5 days 17 hours ago
money in politics, corporate political class, Michael Gecan, community organizing, parallel political structures, Death of the Liberal Class, Industrial Areas Foundation, Donald Trump, Saul Alinsky, Ralph Nader, mass movements, popular movements

"People who understand power tend to have the patience to build a base, do the training, raise the money, so when they go into action they surprise people,” says community organizer Michael Gecan of the Industrial Areas Foundation.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
Betsy DeVos, public eduction, Chicago Public Schools, privatized education, charter schools, Donald Trump, voucher programs, Charter School Program, dismantling public schools, national voucher program, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin t

The president-elect has already pledged $20 billion to expand voucher programs nationwide, and his appointee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, views dismantling public education as a mission from God.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago
Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare repeal, repeal and replace, Congressional Budget Office, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump

The Congressional Budget Office also estimated that premiums for policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers would increase by 20 to 25 percent next year if Obamacare is repealed without a replacement.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
Inauguration Day

Some of the Inauguration Day Protests photos sent to us by our friends on the streets of DC.

map

More than 20 places around DC are opening up their doors to people attending the Women’s March

Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks, The New York Times

While not technically a pardon, the order reduces Manning’s sentence from 35 years to just over seven years.

creative activism, Act Out, Donald Trump, Trump Inauguration, Inauguration 2017, #DisruptJ20, Women’s March, J20, anti-Trump protests, non-violent direct action, Samantha Castro, WACA, dissent, protest, political left, hierarchy, NGO, community organizing

As stages are set for the upcoming inauguration, activists across the country prepare to strike, block, march and disrupt. We’ll outline what's happening in D.C. and where you are.

Pakistan drought, Pakistan climatic changes, species die-off, climate-borne disease, Pakistan glacier run-off

“This sickness of fish is an indicator of the worst climatic changes occurring in the region,” said Pakistan fisheries director Zubair Ali, and “will have negative impacts on many sectors, in particular food, water and energy.”