Puerto Rico’s Joyful and Committed Days of Protest

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New Yorker | July 26, 2019

Demonstrations against the Puerto Rican governor, Ricardo Rosselló, were inclusive, uniting people of different beliefs against a widely hated figure.

Photograph by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / AP

Shortly before noon in San Juan on Wednesday, with the resignation of the Puerto Rican governor, Ricardo Rosselló, thought to be imminent, a group of protesters circled under the midday sun, banging pots and pans with wooden spoons and holding Puerto Rican flags. The epicenter of the protests was the intersection of Calle del Cristo and Calle de la Fortaleza, in the touristy neighborhood of Old San Juan. It was a picturesque setting, with cobblestone streets and pastel-painted colonial apartment buildings whose wrought-iron balconies overlooked the crowds that gathered below day and night. The entrance to the Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, was a block away, and the baby-blue-and-white façade of the sixteenth-century palace gleamed in the sunshine, its flags fluttering in the breeze.Read More »

U.S: An analysis of the 2019 Oakland teachers strike

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MR Online | June 06, 2019

2019 Oakland teachers strike

Could [striking Oakland teachers] have won more? No. The question is how could they have won more?…I congratulate them for what they did pull off…and I hope that … every critic of that strike has been knee-deep, building the structures since the day the strike ended, instead of just complaining about it, because that’s what it takes to win bigger next time. We win in relationship to the power we build.

—Jane McAlevey, author of No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age,
Interview from “The Dig” podcast, March 27, 2019

The important thing is not to stop questioning.

—Albert Einstein, LIFE Magazine, May 2, 1955

The recent seven-day strike by the Oakland Education Association (OEA) was eerily similar in key ways to its 26-day strike in 1996. Both strikes demanded that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) “chop from the top” of its bloated administration to fund better learning conditions and fair pay. In 1996 the learning-condition demand was smaller class size. In 2019 educators also demanded class size reduction, but also smaller caseloads for counselors, nurses, and other student-support services. Another focus this time was stopping the district’s plan to close 24 schools in Black and Brown communities. Both strikes had very strong picket lines and community support. And both strikes ended with a resounding “What just happened?”Read More »

50,000 teachers take part in New Zealand’s largest education strike

Peoples Dispatch | May 29, 2019

New Zealand teachers' strike

As many as 50,000 teachers across New Zealand went on strike on May 29 to demand a pay hike and better working conditions. Members of education unions NZEI Te Riu Roa, which represents primary school teachers, and the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA), which represents secondary school teachers, voted to jointly call the strike when negotiations with the Ministry of Education reached a deadlock earlier this month. This will be the largest teachers’ strike the country has ever seen.

The teachers are demanding a pay increase of up to 15-16%. Apart from increased wages, they are also seeking reduced workload, and more classroom resources. The teachers are also calling on the government to devise long-term solutions to address increasing underemployment in the teaching sector. The average wage for primary school teachers is about USD 47,980 a year, which equates to about USD 23 an hour (USD 5.30 above the minimum wage).Read More »

‘Hands Off Venezuela’ Protesters March on White House Saturday

teleSUR | March 12, 2019

An Answer coalition banner promoting march against U.S. intervention in Venezuela.

An Answer coalition banner promoting march against U.S. intervention in Venezuela. | Photo: National Coalition

Demonstrators are gearing up for major demonstrations in front of the White House in Washington March 16 to protest President Donald Trump’s violent attempts to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Read More »

The Long Goodbye of Antiwar Protest

by Howard Lisnoff

It’s been a case of the long goodbye for what’s left of the peace movement in the U.S. On Saturday (January 26, 2019), a small group, very small by historic peace actions go, protested in front of the White House.

Watching the protest and interviews with protest participants on The Real News Network was almost painful. Medea Benjamin’s insightful observations, and a few other people’s, about the ongoing coup against Venezuela were just about the only sane and adult comments in the “room.” Across the globe, the vast majority of governments lined up behind the U.S. administration in its attacks against the people of Venezuela and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.  The fallen zeitgeist of peace was as clear as it was after September 11, 2001.Read More »

UK: Students occupy SOAS’s famous library in protest at staff cuts

by Phil Miller

Morning Star | January 16, 2019

FIFTY students at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) staged an overnight occupation of their famous library in protest against savage cuts to staffing.

The action came after university managers apparently threatened to slash a quarter of the librarians, including highly trained archivists.Read More »

Is Revolutionary Fervor Afire—Again—in Tunisia?

The New Yorker | December 31, 2018

On Christmas Eve, Abderrazak Zorgui, a thirty-two-year-old television reporter, posted a chilling cell-phone video shot in Kasserine, a city in western Tunisia that dates back to ancient Roman times. “I have decided today to put a revolution in motion,” he said, looking intently into the camera. “In Kasserine, there are people dying of hunger. Why? Are we not humans? We’re people just like you. The unemployed people of Kasserine, the jobless, the ones who have no means of subsistence, the ones who have nothing to eat.” Zorgui, who had short brown hair and wispy hair on his chin, then held up a clear bottle of gasoline. “Here’s the petrol,” he said. “I’m going to set myself on fire in twenty minutes.” His video was live-streamed onto YouTube. In his poignant farewell, Zorgui added, “Whoever wishes to support me will be welcom­e. I am going to protest alone. I am going to set myself on fire, and, if at least one person gets a job thanks to me, I will be satisfied.”Read More »