Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy Education Builds Momentum

Watch live streaming video from occupynyc at livestream.com

Teachers across America are joining the 99% and building links and solidarity with the Occupy movement.

In New York City, teachers and parents were some of the firs to join the protests. See a good video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1cuFUC9iSE

Recently, a group of teachers took their marking to the Occupy Wall Street protest. American blogger Fred Klonsky describes their action and how they were dispersed by the police:

"Grade-ins have become common in cities across the country as teachers gather in public spaces to do work that usually gets done at home, off the clock and unrecognized: prepping for classes, grading papers and doing the unending paperwork that the school bureaucracies demand.

Since there was no open space in Liberty Square, this group of teachers gathered across the street. A few minutes later two uniformed New York cops arrived on the scene.

“What’s going on.”
“We’re grading papers.”
“Can’t do that here.”

The cops disappeared for a few minutes and suddenly there were a half-dozen more New York cops.

“Can’t do that here,” they repeated.

“Thank you, officers,” one of the teachers politely said. And the teachers gathered their tests, folding chairs and hand-made cardboard signs and moved across the street, disappearing into the crowd."


Across the country, in Los Angeles, another group of teachers and supporters went to the Los Angeles Unified School District office to initiate Occupy LAUSD. This movement has three demands:

1. Tax the 1% to fully fund schools for our students.
2. By the 99%. For the 99%. Keep our public schools public!
3. Democratic community based schools: Not corporate wall street reform.

It should be no surprise that teachers are in the forefront of the Occupy movement. Teachers have, in many cases, been first in the firing line of US policies to cut wages and benefits. In addition, schools and boards have suffered massive cut backs and the American "reform" movement has explicitly attacked public schooling through the promotion of Charter schools.

For more information on Occuply LAUSD: http://www.occupylausd.org/

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