13 May 2009

Rouge Forum Update--5-9-09--from Rich

Dear Friends,

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies "academic freedom award," and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist. http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Education News Students at Los Angeles' Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts: http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/local/west-edition/44620717.html

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win? http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers10-2009may10,0,1000273.story

Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the LATimes is running a series of articles on "bad teachers" and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.The LATimes does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital's relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited. But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn't speak in those terms either. Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root. http://www.utla.net/

There are alternatives: http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Here is the New Yorker's abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_mcgray and a response from Susan Ohanian http://www.susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=545

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/20965

Industry, Finance, War, and PedagogyChrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?http://www.freep.com/article/20090504/BUSINESS01/90504013/Judge+lets+Chrysler+borrow+$4.5+billion

Don't forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters: http://www.geocities.com/elethinker/posters.html

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2CCs-x9q9UThe banks behind the Meltdown (Center For Public Integrity): http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/economic_meltdown/

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen:

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world's most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDk6Qal2DCI

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US--Victory in Europe day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/What_Is_Fascism_Gibson.html

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam Renner and Gina Stiens for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US. http://richgibson.com/rouge_forum/newspaper/spring2009/index.html

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.

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