thepeoplesrecord

thepeoplesrecord:

+ a huge thanks to Carina for designing our pitch!

So far, I’ve connected with a couple of people who would like to contribute to The People’s Manual & share their organizing experiences for this project, but we need more contributors! I know there are so many effective housing justice organizations around the country that are doing amazing direct action to protect the human right to safe, affordable & accessible housing. 

If you have organizing experience, ideas on what the future of de-commodified housing could look like, a knack for design & layout or photos/videos/art/illustrations you’d like to share with this project, feel free to email us or send us a message! 

"It’s not just two pesos; it’s the country:" Mexico City’s #PosMeSalto protests rising transit costs
January 12, 2014

Mexico City’s extensive subway system, constantly packed with its 5 million daily users, has just become one of the most expensive public transit systems in the world.  On December 13th, 2013 the subway fare was raised from three pesos (roughly 25 cents ) to five pesos (roughly 40 cents.) Basic mathematics informs you that this is a whopping 66.66% increase, placing Mexico City transit costs at the top of the list among the top 30 countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). To understand how a 50 cent fare is considered one of the most expensive in the world, you have to take into account Mexico City’s minimum wage which has stagnated around 64 pesos, just shy of five dollars for a day’s work. Therefore, a basic daily commute can account for a minimum of one sixth of one’s daily salary and sometimes up to one half if the commuter has to pay extra for  buses or minivans to travel from their house or job to the subway stop.

Confronted by this daunting reality of prohibitively expensive public transit, hundreds of students and young people, largely coordinated via social networks, organized #PosMeSalto on the first day of the fare increase. #PosMeSalto loosely translates into, “guess, i’ll just jump,” a city wide transportation protest which took place in the majority of major train stations on the first day of the fare hike. In the stations, participants assisted thousands of commuters in jumping over the turnstiles, ducking under them or sliding through sideways. Even subway police officers declines to intervene, and some even assisted passengers to duck below, begging them not to vault over the turnstile.

One of the popular chants during the #PosMeSalto actions was “they didn’t survey me, I’m just gonna duck below.” Chanters were referencing a Mitofsky survey that was conducted over two days with only 2400 participants, or a mere .05% of the commuter population of the city. The questions were front loaded, asking commuters if they would be in favor of a two peso increase if the government promised to improve service, increase ventilation and up security in the wagons.  

The population of the metropolitan area of Mexico City is currently estimated at 21 million people and has far outgrown the current system.  Often commuters have to wait for three trains to pass by before they can even board a wagon in which people are literally packed in like sardines.  With these kind of frustrations and questions worded with a focus on the improvements, 52% of the 2400 people surveyed said they would be in support of a fare hike.  This government later plastered the statistic all over the subway system in slick advertising promoting the fare hike.  In the months before the fare hike, many commuters, including the author of this article, noted a worsening of the subway service, and some suspected that the transit authorities slowed service to  convince people of the necessity of a fare hike.

One student spoke anonymously in a video published by Subversiones AAC about what he viewed as the metro’s false promises.  “We didn’t see any improvements when they raised the fare before, it continued to be the same, so it’s ridiculous for them to raise it,” commented the young man.  Like him, many commuters were outraged by the Mitofsky survey and pointed out the small percentage of people who were surveyed, affirming their opposition to the fare hike.

In contrast, an independent group of multidisciplinary researchers from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) conducted an online study in which over 34,000 people participated, of which close to 30,000 entries were considered valid.  Of these 30,000, who hailed from neighborhoods all across the city and metropolitan region, 93% said they were against the fare hike.

Full article

sexgenderbody

loriadorable:

I’ve been linking to this recent study (cited below as “Jana et al., 2013”) a lot in discussions on trafficking and how ‘rescue’ orgs perpetuate violence against sex workers, but I know that it’s behind a pay wall. So I’m posting a summary of what the article said, for those who can’t access it. This is an excerpt from an academic paper I wrote on sex worker organizing in India and how it functions as a form of resistance to interpersonal and structural violence. If you’re going to quote it, link back to me. Thanks. (A link to the other source cited here: SANGRAM/VAMP Team, 2011)

Sex workers in the Sonagachi red light district of Kolkata, West Bengal have been organizing formally since 1995 as the DMSC [Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee], and they’ve been notably successful in helping the trafficked women and children in their midst. (Jana et al., 2013) The group has implemented a total of thirty-three self-regulatory boards, eight in Kolkata itself and twenty-five elsewhere in the state. (Ibid) Through community outreach and careful documentation of the changes that are noted in these outreach efforts, the members of DMSC identify trafficking victims and provide “assistance with reintegration— to return home or find alternative placement.” (Jana et al., 2013:2) Unlike the state, sex worker organizations do not detain or forcibly repatriate victims but provide them with options from among the community’s social and financial resources. (Jana et al., 2013) (SANGRAM/VAMP Team, 2011)

The DMSC also has several programs in place to help prevent trafficking through educational and economic empowerment of women and their children, including “savings and credit schemes [that] have reduced dependency on sex work.” (Jana et al., 2013:1) Further, all of these initiatives protect the privacy of the victims first and foremost, unlike the state-sponsored raids. (Jana et al., 2013) The success of these programs is therefore measurably greater than those initiated by local police and NGO’s: a full 80% of successfully rescued trafficking victims in the state of West Bengal between the years of 2009 and 2011 were rescued by DMSC. (Ibid)

ETA: And here’s why you should start listening to actual sex workers and stop relying exclusively on academia as the only valid source of information, i.e. fuck you and your respectability politics (another excerpt)

There is one final method of sex worker organizing that serves as a form of resistance against violence, and it is often overlooked because the violence it combats is indirect. It is a method of resistance present in both Jana et al.’s study on human trafficking and the case review written by Ahmed and Seshu: getting involved in academic research. Smarajit Jana is a member of DMSC, and Meena Seshu is the head of VAMP. Through their insistence on shaping academic discourse, they are challenging institutionalized prejudices against sex workers and sex work experiences and producing a new scholarly body of knowledge that can affect the amount of funding given to structurally violent governments and NGO’s for the purposes of ‘rescuing’ workers.

Sex workers need to be leading this discourse, and I made damn sure to cite those directly involved instead of perpetuating neocolonialist academic bullshit. The fact that I couldn’t out myself as a sex worker in this paper because of the threat of expulsion was enraging and humiliating, and I wish to god I could call out the whorephobia in that course from a position of authority without risking my education.

In conclusion: FUCK THAT SHIT (Ibid)

#Not1more strikes again: California youth protest for-profit immigration detention centerNovember 25, 2013
Three young adults chained their necks with bicycle locks to the front gates of the newly reopened Adelanto Detention Center, a for-profit immigrant prison in California.
Since its reopening in 2011, Adelanto has become the largest immigrant detention center in California. It’s privately owned and run by GEO Group Inc., a for-profit prison corporation. Adelanto is already known for its “segregation cells,” a form of solitary confinement. The privately-owned prison has 1,200 beds to hold migrants who are either waiting for a ruling on their immigration cases or to be deported from the country.
The three young women are part of the Empire Inland-Immigrant Youth Coalition. The action was organized to support three family members currently detained inside the prison, with the broader demand to end inhumane incarceration and release everyone detained in time for the holiday season.
“We need a moratorium on deportations, deferred action for all, and the end of inhumane treatment,” said Luis Serrano of the Coalition.
Today’s action is part of the broader national #Not1more campaign intended to pressure President Obama to take administrative relief and halt deportations. Since he has taken office in 2008, nearly two million people have been deported, more than during any other time in U.S. history. The #Not1more campaign is behind the escalating national movement to use direct action to stop deportations, which include shutdowns of ICE detention centers across the country.
Source

#Not1more strikes again: California youth protest for-profit immigration detention center
November 25, 2013

Three young adults chained their necks with bicycle locks to the front gates of the newly reopened Adelanto Detention Center, a for-profit immigrant prison in California.

Since its reopening in 2011, Adelanto has become the largest immigrant detention center in California. It’s privately owned and run by GEO Group Inc., a for-profit prison corporation. Adelanto is already known for its “segregation cells,” a form of solitary confinement. The privately-owned prison has 1,200 beds to hold migrants who are either waiting for a ruling on their immigration cases or to be deported from the country.

The three young women are part of the Empire Inland-Immigrant Youth Coalition. The action was organized to support three family members currently detained inside the prison, with the broader demand to end inhumane incarceration and release everyone detained in time for the holiday season.

“We need a moratorium on deportations, deferred action for all, and the end of inhumane treatment,” said Luis Serrano of the Coalition.

Today’s action is part of the broader national #Not1more campaign intended to pressure President Obama to take administrative relief and halt deportations. Since he has taken office in 2008, nearly two million people have been deported, more than during any other time in U.S. history. The #Not1more campaign is behind the escalating national movement to use direct action to stop deportations, which include shutdowns of ICE detention centers across the country.

Source

tinypancakegirl asked:

you guys are everything i've been hoping for. there's a lot of good activism coming from tumblr. but it seems not to escape past the internet or social media. there needs to be ground-work done. it's necessary. i'm in new york city, and there's no physical places to go especially for young minds to discuss and do something. OWS was kicked from their place. i hope you guys are able to help construct things for the sake of solidarity. but keep spreading the knowledge.

Thanks so much for the kind words :)

Tumblr is a great way to share ideas/theories that can be put into action & to connect with others already doing amazing social justice organizing. I’m in NYC, too, & I can suggest a few places you might want to consider to meet other radical folks!

  • Free University: This mainly student organization is working against militarization campaigns within the CUNY system as well as fighting for the Morales/Shakur Center right now. Check out their March on the CUNY Machine rally/speak out on Nov. 25 at noon at 42nd & 3rd Ave. Find out what else they’re up to here.
  • The NYC Anti-Eviction Network: This organization is just starting up, but it’s going to be a direct-action focused group with a lot of OWS organizers involved. I’ll make sure to post any upcoming news/events with them on our FB
  • Bluestockings: You need to visit you haven’t been already. Not only do they have a great selection of radical literature, zines, etc., they also host weekly bookclubs, speakers & a prison letter writing group!  
  • The Brecht Forum: Here you can find teach-ins, lectures, book readings, etc. you might be interested in! Richard Wolff frequents the Brecht Forum with his lectures on the economy & workers self-directed enterprises.
  • Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC: I stumbled upon this place a few months ago when I went to a talk on racial justice post-MLK & how to move forward in light of events like Trayvon Martin’s murder. It’s an international non-profit, but the Harlem location often hosts a number of really good talks.
  • DSGN AGNC: I’ve been to a few events recently centered around the commodification of space & how it feeds our current housing injustice crisis & DSGN AGNC has been a part of most of these discussions. It’s an interesting mix of activists & architects who explore politics through art & space.
  • 596 Acres: This is an awesome interactive project that maps out various empty lots/private vacant spaces where people can organize to start neighborhood art venues, community gardens, etc. It’s a great way to see what people are currently working on & what the possibilities are for future projects.  

These are just a few organizations/spaces I can think of in NYC where you may want to get involved or at least meet people who are organizing here! 

People should also feel free to leave links/suggestions in the comments for other places to check out in the city. 

(PS tinypancakegirl, I love your icon.)

Teachers’ Day protests in Turkey met with violent police repressionNovember 23, 2013
Hundreds of teachers faced a police crackdown on Nov. 23 as they joined in a march in Ankara to protest the government’s policies on education on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. Seven protesters were injured during the crackdown, while one female teacher sustained cerebral trauma due to the impact of a gas canister fired by the police.
The teacher, Aslı Akdemir, has been transferred to the hospital. Doctors said although severe, her injury wasn’t life-threatening.
The demonstrators, who came to Ankara from all over Turkey, assembled at the iconic Tandoğan Square on a call from the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen. However, the police did not allow the crowd to pursue their march past Kızılay Square, resorting to tear gas and water cannons after the demonstrators forced police barricades,  aiming to pursue their protest.
Police chased the teachers in side streets surrounding Kızılay Square. Two people were detained, the Daily Hürriyet reported.
Tension on education rose this week after the government announced plans to change the status of test prep institutions, known as dershanes, transforming them into private schools. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said they would not back down on the measure. The test prep institutions have been criticized for favoring the high-income families.
Source

Teachers’ Day protests in Turkey met with violent police repression
November 23, 2013

Hundreds of teachers faced a police crackdown on Nov. 23 as they joined in a march in Ankara to protest the government’s policies on education on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. Seven protesters were injured during the crackdown, while one female teacher sustained cerebral trauma due to the impact of a gas canister fired by the police.

The teacher, Aslı Akdemir, has been transferred to the hospital. Doctors said although severe, her injury wasn’t life-threatening.

The demonstrators, who came to Ankara from all over Turkey, assembled at the iconic Tandoğan Square on a call from the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen. However, the police did not allow the crowd to pursue their march past Kızılay Square, resorting to tear gas and water cannons after the demonstrators forced police barricades,  aiming to pursue their protest.

Police chased the teachers in side streets surrounding Kızılay Square. Two people were detained, the Daily Hürriyet reported.

Tension on education rose this week after the government announced plans to change the status of test prep institutions, known as dershanes, transforming them into private schools. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said they would not back down on the measure. The test prep institutions have been criticized for favoring the high-income families.

Source

Latino activists want Texas schools to address institutionalized racismNovember 20, 2013
Latino activists in Texas are demanding a public school curriculum that reflects the student body, calling on the State Board of Education to offer high schoolers courses in Mexican-American Studies.
At a board meeting Wednesday, activists will ask for Mexican-American history and literature classes to be added to the list of high school courses that can be taken for college credit, as well as to the list of “endorsed” special topics in the arts and humanities.
Despite the fact that more than half of the nearly 5 million students in Texas public schools are Latino, Mexican-American Studies are not currently in the state’s planned curriculum. Librotraficante, a group founded to protest the Arizona legislature’s dismantling of a controversial Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson, says the Republican-majority Texas board could help institutionalize the field by including it.
“We’re not asking for any laws to be changed,” Tony Diaz told The Huffington Post. “Mexican-American Studies is an accepted field of study.”
The idea has resonated with historian Emilio Zamora, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I think it’s high time for our public schools to demonstrate greater interest in the history and culture of Mexican-Americans, primarily because it makes pedagogical sense,” Zamora told HuffPost. “It’s going to encourage the kids and it’s going to provide a very creative perspective to study U.S. history.”
But the chair of the State Board of Education, Barbara Cargill (R), says supporters of Mexican-American Studies should pursue the idea through local districts, rather than asking the state to mandate the development of new courses.
“It takes a long, long time to develop a course,” Cargill said. “In the future, it could be a consideration, but just boom, developing a course like that by the time we’re going to vote in January, is not possible.”
Some high schools already partner with community colleges to offer Mexican-American Studies. Other programs are in development.
Tony Villanueva, the chair of Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, began exploring the possibility of teaming up with local high schools to offer Mexican-American Studies courses for dual credit last year. The plan is still in development.
“Four schools immediately jumped in and said ‘Oh yeah, that would be great,’” Villanueva said. “And it’s not exclusive to Mexican-American kids, it should be for anybody. We are a very Hispanic community here in South Texas, so it behooves all of us.”
Juan Tejeda, an instructor of Music and Mexican-American Studies at Palo Alto, is spearheading the dual credit effort. He doesn’t oppose the idea that education in Mexican-American Studies should emanate from initiatives like his, but he says he’d like to see the education board take a more active role.
“Ultimately I would feel better if it were a sanctioned discipline and approved by the State Board of Education,” Tejeda says. “It would be an affirmation.”
Tejeda pointed to the comparatively high dropout rate among Hispanics as evidence for the need for a greater emphasis on Mexican-American Studies. The graduation rate for Latino students stood at 84.3 percent for the class of 2012, according to the Texas Education Agency, while it was 93 percent for white students.
“Unfortunately, there’s some institutionalized racism in our educational system that needs to be addressed,” Tejeda said. “Students are not seeing themselves reflected positively in the textbooks … If the schools are making you feel bad about who you are, you’re not going to be able to succeed.”
SourceIllustration by Julio Salgado

Latino activists want Texas schools to address institutionalized racism
November 20, 2013

Latino activists in Texas are demanding a public school curriculum that reflects the student body, calling on the State Board of Education to offer high schoolers courses in Mexican-American Studies.

At a board meeting Wednesday, activists will ask for Mexican-American history and literature classes to be added to the list of high school courses that can be taken for college credit, as well as to the list of “endorsed” special topics in the arts and humanities.

Despite the fact that more than half of the nearly 5 million students in Texas public schools are Latino, Mexican-American Studies are not currently in the state’s planned curriculum. Librotraficante, a group founded to protest the Arizona legislature’s dismantling of a controversial Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson, says the Republican-majority Texas board could help institutionalize the field by including it.

“We’re not asking for any laws to be changed,” Tony Diaz told The Huffington Post. “Mexican-American Studies is an accepted field of study.”

The idea has resonated with historian Emilio Zamora, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I think it’s high time for our public schools to demonstrate greater interest in the history and culture of Mexican-Americans, primarily because it makes pedagogical sense,” Zamora told HuffPost. “It’s going to encourage the kids and it’s going to provide a very creative perspective to study U.S. history.”

But the chair of the State Board of Education, Barbara Cargill (R), says supporters of Mexican-American Studies should pursue the idea through local districts, rather than asking the state to mandate the development of new courses.

“It takes a long, long time to develop a course,” Cargill said. “In the future, it could be a consideration, but just boom, developing a course like that by the time we’re going to vote in January, is not possible.”

Some high schools already partner with community colleges to offer Mexican-American Studies. Other programs are in development.

Tony Villanueva, the chair of Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, began exploring the possibility of teaming up with local high schools to offer Mexican-American Studies courses for dual credit last year. The plan is still in development.

“Four schools immediately jumped in and said ‘Oh yeah, that would be great,’” Villanueva said. “And it’s not exclusive to Mexican-American kids, it should be for anybody. We are a very Hispanic community here in South Texas, so it behooves all of us.”

Juan Tejeda, an instructor of Music and Mexican-American Studies at Palo Alto, is spearheading the dual credit effort. He doesn’t oppose the idea that education in Mexican-American Studies should emanate from initiatives like his, but he says he’d like to see the education board take a more active role.

“Ultimately I would feel better if it were a sanctioned discipline and approved by the State Board of Education,” Tejeda says. “It would be an affirmation.”

Tejeda pointed to the comparatively high dropout rate among Hispanics as evidence for the need for a greater emphasis on Mexican-American Studies. The graduation rate for Latino students stood at 84.3 percent for the class of 2012, according to the Texas Education Agency, while it was 93 percent for white students.

“Unfortunately, there’s some institutionalized racism in our educational system that needs to be addressed,” Tejeda said. “Students are not seeing themselves reflected positively in the textbooks … If the schools are making you feel bad about who you are, you’re not going to be able to succeed.”

Source
Illustration by Julio Salgado

We are dealing with life itself, so the first place we get power is by aligning ourselves with the forces of life. That is why the act of seed saving is such an important political act in this time. And that is the part that is linked to self-organizing—organizing yourself to save the seeds, have a community garden, create an exchange, do everything that it takes to protect and rejuvenate the seed.

But at this point, industry is hungry to have absolute control. They will not tolerate a single farmer who has freedom in his seed supply. They will not stand a single seed that grows on its own terms.
Vandana Shiva on resisting GMOs
supersailormarx

sinidentidades:

There was a time when Filipin@s and Xican@s stood together. Filipin@s were also forced to work fields for almost nothing right alongside Xican@s. That was until the United Farm Workers of America (UFWA) came about after the merging of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee [AWOC] led by Filipino organizer Larry Itliong (pictured above) and the National Farm Workers Association [NFWA] led by César Chávez (pictured above). Together, they organized a force of Filipin@s and Xican@s loud enough to make Washington D.C. hear them. They were not the only ones who took notice of the UFWA. During César Chávez’s 25 day fast to promote nonviolent action, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent a telegram showing his support for Chávez and the efforts of the UFWA (pictured above).

A+ post!

Also, I’m pretty excited to see Diego Luna’s “César Chávez: An American Hero.” It has a solid cast, including goddesses America Ferrera as Helen Chávez & Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta. Watch the trailer here.

Madrid trash collectors protest against layoffs
November 4, 2013

Trash collectors in Madrid have started bonfires and set off firecrackers during a noisy protest in one of the Spanish capital’s main squares as they prepare to start an open-ended strike.

Hundreds of street cleaners and garbage collectors who work in the city’s public parks converged on the Puerta del Sol plaza late Monday.

They were due to walk off the job at midnight in a strike called by trade unions to contest the planned layoff of more than 1,000 workers.

Madrid’s municipal cleaning companies, which have service supply contracts with the city authorities, employ some 6,000 staff.

The labor groups want the city council to intervene and halt the job cuts.

Source