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Articles tagged students


Quebec: The Fight for Free Education Continues

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 22, 2012, 8:57 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: students, education, canada, quebec, montreal

Marchers in Montreal; banner reads "The strike is for students, the struggle is for everyone" in French

If you listen to the mainstream media in Canada and Québec (or elsewhere), you could be forgiven for believing that Québec's student movement is running on cold embers these days. After a historic and lively protest movement that saw hundreds of actions and hundreds of thousands of people in the street demanding an end to the continued neoliberalization of the education sector, a great victory was achieved when the newly-elected Parti Québécois promptly repealed the tuition hikes proposed by the former government. But this victory has proven to be far from the end of the story for Québec's students, which inspired the world with their activism, and - strangely enough - brought banging pots and pans back in vogue.

The tenacious group of students known as CLASSE have reformed their organization as the ASSÉ - roughly in English the "Association for a Solidaric Student Union." ASSÉ, not content with wasting the momentum they fought so hard to gain, is preparing to take the tuition fight to the next level by demanding free university-level education be guaranteed for everyone. Today's (continuing the tradition of monthly protests on the 22nd of the month) brought this demand back to the forefront of the education debate in Québec. Thousands marched in Montreal, and nearly 60,000 students were on strike today. A recent press release by the group stated that "in reality, though the tuition hike has been cancelled, teaching institutions are not sheltered from other dangers such as the commodification of knowledge." ASSÉ continues to lead the way in demonstrating how education in a free and fair society can really work.

Aside from the fight for free education, there are many exciting developments on the front to ensuring the tuition hikes are beaten back for good. The newly-elected governments' Higher Education minister, Pierre Duchesne, will be hosting a roundtable commission on the financing of universities in Québec, which receive a large portion of their funding from the government as public universities. A great number of scandals have arisen in recent months. Notably, Concordia University (which the author attends) was hit with a $2,000,000 fine for granting $3.1 million in severance packages to 6 departing staff members, one of which then pocketed the money and returned to the university with a salaried position only a few months later. Radio-Canada later learned that one of the University of Sherbrooke's expensive new Longueuil campus buildings, found at the time to be necessary expansion of the university, is almost vacant and lacking private partners three years after its opening. Because of these frequent and continuing scandals, the student movements are eager to meet Minister Duchesne and defend student budgets against the excesses of the universities' senseless spending sprees.

And finally, student organizations continue to contest the violent police repression that was seen during the student strike. This week, students at the CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal (a post-secondary college) voted with a nearly two-thirds majority to go on strike again this week, demanding that the government drop all criminal charges against student strikers. At this time, there are hundreds of charges awaiting student strikers for a variety of actions of civil disobedience that were committed. The ASSÉ, as well as the two other student groups representing university and CÉGEP students, have partnered with several prominent unions in Québec to call for a full inquiry into police repression and violence against the student movement.

Those interested in hearing more about the fight for free tuition in Québec are encouraged to visit Translating the Printemps Érable or the ASSÉ website (French only).

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2,500 March on Wall Street South: We Need Jobs, Housing, Justice, Not War!

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 4, 2012, 2:36 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: students, immigrants rights, labor, anti-war, dnc, foreclosure defense, wall street south, charlotte

2,500 March on Wall St. South

"DNC/RNC = 1%"

(more images below)

via Occupy Wall Street South:

Braving extreme heat, more than 2,500 people from throughout the South and across the U.S. filled the streets of Charlotte on Sun., Sept. 2 for the March on Wall Street South. The demonstration confronted the banks and corporations headquartered in Charlotte that are wreaking havoc on communities throughout the country, and raised a people’s agenda for jobs and justice as the Democratic National Convention convenes here.

Participants came from cities throughout North Carolina, including Winston-Salem, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, Rocky Mount, Greenville, Asheville, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and Wilmington. Many traveled hours from cities such as Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA; Greenville, MS; Washington, DC; Tampa, FL; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY. A bus of more than 40 people, many of whom being foreclosed on by Bank of America and who are unemployed, spent 15 hours traveling from Detroit, MI.

The No Papers No Fear bus, which left Phoenix, AZ on July 29 with more than 40 undocumented people to arrive in Charlotte for the DNC, also joined the march with a spirited contingent against the deportations and criminalization of immigrant communities.

Also on the march were an unemployed workers contingent, a Southern labor contingent, a contingent against U.S. wars being waged at home and abroad, a no war no warming contingent, an LGBTQ contingent, and more.

“This was an historic demonstration that built an unprecedented level of unity between so many different groups and struggles on a grassroots level,” said Yen Alcala, an organizer with the Coalition to March on Wall Street South and Occupy Charlotte. “The March on Wall Street South showed what is possible when we unite, and pointed the finger at those who are responsible for the injustices being experienced by the 99% – the banks and corporations, and a political system that is controlled by the 1%. Building people’s power from the bottom up is the only solution to win jobs and justice for poor and working people.”

Along the march, demonstrators stopped in front of the Bank of America’s world headquarters and Duke Energy’s headquarters. At each stop, people who have been directly impacted by the practices of these banks and corporations –whose homes are being foreclosed on, who have massive amounts of student loan debt, and whose communities are being devastated by coal mining and energy rate hikes — spoke out and exposed these profit gauging institutions.

“The March on Wall Street South was a tremendous success,” said Elena Everett, another Coalition organizer. “Our message for jobs and justice was heard loud and clear by the bankers and the politicians of both parties. But this is just the beginning. We know that the only way that real change has ever been won is when people come together, get organized, and build social movements to raise demands to the powers that be. And that’s exactly what we’re doing — building a movement for jobs, education, healthcare, the environment, housing, and against wars, racism and bigotry, deportations, and jails.”

Throughout the remainder of the week, the MOWSS coalition will be supporting actions and events being developed by other groups, including the Undocubus and the Southern Workers Assembly on Sept. 3 at Wedgewood Baptist Church. The Coalition will also be mobilizing support for the reoccupation of Marshall Park being led by Occupy Charlotte.

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March on Wall St South – Mobilization info

Posted 2 years ago on Aug. 29, 2012, 8:40 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: students, immigrants rights, labor, anti-war, dnc, foreclosure defense, wall street south, charlotte

Poster and schedule for March on Wall St South

There’s just a few days left until the March on Wall Street South mobilization kicks off! See below for a schedule of events and many other updates. You can also find transportation leaving from your area to bring folks to Charlotte!

Schedule of Events

Saturday, September 1: Festivaliberación begins the mobilization! There are many great workshops being planned, and an amazing concert at night featuring local artists, Jasiri X, and Rebel Diaz. Check out this great video Jasiri X just recorded to help get the word out!

And we’ve got some exciting news: the Undocubus will also be arriving at the festival in the evening and joining us for the march the next day! You won’t want to miss this!

Sunday, September 2: Thousands will flood the streets of Charlotte for the March on Wall Street South, beginning at 11am in Frazier Park. We’ll march together at 1pm to the big banks, and past the sites where the Democratic National Convention will meet during the week. We say: YES to jobs, housing, healthcare, education, the environment, workers rights and justice, NO to wars, cutbacks, racism and bigotry, and deportations.

The main targets of the march include Bank of America’s world headquarters, Wells Fargo’s eastern headquarters, the Time Warner Cable Arena, and the Bank of America Stadium. Additionally, there will be two stops along the route for a peoples’ tribunal and speak out against these banks and corporations. We’ll stop in front of the international headquarters of Bank of America and hear from people who have been directly impacted by home foreclosures, student debt, and BofA’s bankrolling of the private prison system, war, and environmental destruction. Then, we’ll stop in front of the headquarters of Duke Energy. We’ll hear from folks impacted by Duke’s funding of dirty energy, and how Duke funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the right-wing bill mill.

Monday, September 3, 1pm: We’ll join the Labor Day Parade in the morning, and gather in the afternoon for the historic Southern Workers Assembly, starting at 1pm at Wedgewood Baptist Church. More info on the Southern Workers Assembly:

Join Southern unions, workers organizations, civil/human rights groups, immigrant rights groups, unemployed, young workers, faith and community for a workers speak-out that uplifts our on-the-ground actual workers’ rights struggles in the US South.

The Southern working class must encourage our workers and organizations to have an independent presence at the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity to discuss, plan and organize around our own working class needs and struggles for independent political action as we continue to challenge Right-To-Work (for less) & Taft-Hartley laws, low wages, denial of collective bargaining, and workers’ human rights connected with the historical demands against the South’s legacy of Jim Crow laws, anti-immigrant scapegoating and racism.

The Southern region is the least unionized region in the country. NC is the single least unionized state and is home of Wall Street South as headquarters of Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank East with the largest concentration of finance capital outside NYC. Workers must let the big banks, corporations and both parties know that we as workers will continue building our powerful Southern movement that addresses our needs as workers and not corporate greed! Enough is enough! We will Organize, Unionize and fightback!

Monday, September 3, 6-11pm: Sin Papeles y Sin Miedo: Festival de canto, poesía y arte with the Undocubus at Mexican Restauran Fiesta Jalisco (5317 E. Independence Blvd)

Wednesday, September 5, 6-10pm: UndocuNation in North Carolina, an artist showcase organized by CultureStrike and the Center for New Community at the Neighborhood Theatre (511 E. 36th Street)

September 4 -6: Affinity group and other actions

Convergence Space

The new convergence space is now open at Area 15 (514 E. 15th St, at the corner of North Davidson and 15th Sts)! We’ve been hard at work getting it all set up and ready for all the folks that will be traveling to Charlotte for the March on Wall Street South and the other actions around the DNC. For those coming into town looking to get involved, the convergence space is the place to go to get plugged in and get active.

Make a much-needed contribution to the March on Wall Street South today!

March Contingents

Many groups and organizations have been collaborating to pull together dynamic, struggle-based contingents during the March on Wall Street South. At the march, each contingent will have an identifying banner and signs to find them and march together. Here are the contingents that will be marching with us:

  • Unemployed workers
  • Organize the South! Workers Rights are Human Rights!
  • No Papers No Fear/Sin Papeles y Sin Miedo (Undocumented/Immigrants Rights organized by the Undocubus)
  • LGBTQ
  • Housing is a Right! Stop Home Foreclosures!
  • Youth and Students (including Stop the School to Prison Pipeline section)
  • Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad (including No War/No Warming, anti-drone, and Free All Political Prisoners sections)

Program

We have a very exciting program of speakers and cultural performers from across NC, the South, and the U.S. working on a range of struggles. Here’s a few of the freedom fighters who will be joining us at the March:

  • Yen Alcala, Occupy Charlotte
  • Farm Labor Organizing Committee
  • Cindy Foster, President of the Southern Piedmont Central Labor Council
  • Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers Center
  • the Undocubus
  • Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination
  • John Heuer, Veterans for Peace
  • Monica Embrey, Greenpeace
  • Larry Hales, Peoples Power Assembly
  • Fernando Figueroa, Coalition to March on the RNC
  • Larry Holmes, Peoples Power Assembly
  • Clarence Thomas, ILWU 100
  • Rev. CD Witherspoon, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Victor Toro, May 1 Coalition for Worker and Immigrants Rights
  • Sarah Shanks, Charlotte Clinic Defense
  • Marilyn Levin, United National Antiwar Coalition
    and more!

See here for more information on volunteering, tabling, public transportation, posters, and lots more!

For even more information and other actions going on during the DNC, see also: DNC National Call to Action from Occupy Charlotte

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