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Activism is Change: A View From the Struggle in Gaza

March 18, 2010 Ramzy Baroud

An activist is a person who feels strongly about a cause and who is also willing to dedicate time and energy towards advancing and realizing this cause. This might be my own limited interpretation of what activism means. I was born and raised in a Gaza refugee camp where the daily struggles of the community included challenging military occupation while attempting to survive under the harshest of circumstances. Activism then involved civil disobedience, general strikes, confronting armed Israeli soldiers with stones and slingshots. But it also involved much more than that.

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The Way Forward for the Movement in Defense of Public Education

On March 4, students, staff, teachers, faculty and their unions on all levels of public education created history by uniting and pouring out onto the streets to engage in what were overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations to defend public education.  The movement swept through small towns and large cities with demonstrators, including young elementary school students, carrying picket signs while yelling chants expressing their determination to fight back.

A San Francisco Civic Center rally, organized by the California Faculty Association (covering the California State University system), American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 (covering San Francisco Community College) and the United Educators of San Francisco (covering K-12), drew somewhere between 12 to 15,000 participants, far more than many of the organizers anticipated.  The rally was also sponsored and built by the San Francisco Labor Council, which called on all its affiliates to support it.  The Labor Council’s banner, which was displayed above the stage, set the theme of the rally.  It read:  “Full funding for Public Education and Social Services.  Progressive Taxation Now!”

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Liberal Arts Education and the Growing Class Divide

January 11, 2010 Valerie Saturen

Antioch College

Source: In These Times

At the end of the 2007-2008 academic year, shrinking enrollment and a budget crisis forced Antioch College to close its doors after 156 years of progressive liberal arts education. Other liberal arts colleges and programs are under similar stress. University of California-Santa Cruz is not accepting applications to its History of Consciousness for the 2010-2011 academic year. Goddard College underwent dramatic restructuring in 2002, and the New College of California ended operations in 2008. These losses are emblematic of the hardships facing liberal arts and humanities programs.

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