CUNY brings in cops & District Attorney to file criminal charges against student activists
November 17, 2013

There is now a new and unprecedented escalation in repression against the CUNY movement and the campaign to save the Morales / Shakur Center at the City College of New York (CCNY).

Earlier this week, Tafadar “Taffy” Sourov and Khalil Vasquez, two student leaders suspended without a hearing by CCNY, were ordered by the New York State Police and the New York County District Attorney’s office to present themselves downtown to be arrested. They were told that criminal charges would be filed against them, as a result of three-week-old allegations against them from the October 24 demonstration at CCNY to save the Morales / Shakur Center.

Preempting its own student disciplinary process, which has yet to run its course for Taffy and Khalil, CUNY brought in the cops and the District Attorney to punish these two student activists. This represents a heightening of collaboration that is without precedent between CUNY and the cops, between the University and the Repressive State. This is an attack on the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC), Taffy and Khalil’s organization which has been at the forefront of the CUNY movement.

More than any other recent event, this embodies the entire trend in CUNY towards increasing repression and militarization. The appointment of ex-General David Petraeus to a teaching position at the CUNY Honors College. The raid and seizure of the Morales / Shakur Center, the last autonomous student space in CUNY. The draft “Policy on Expressive Activity” proposed by the CUNY administration severely restricting free speech on campus. The deployment of massive numbers of cops and barricades against demonstrations.

Now, the CUNY administration is overtly collaborating with the criminal legal system to punish student protesters. The CUNY administration is planning for a future where not only will student protesters be suspended, but they will be arrested and given criminal charges as well. Our student leaders, the CUNY movement, and the University must be defended against this repression.

On Monday, November 18, Taffy and Khalil will present themselves at the District Attorney’s office to be arrested and held in jail for 24 hours. On Tuesday, November 19, they will see a judge for their first court appearance. Students, faculty, and community must turn out from throughout CCNY, CUNY, and New York City to stand with our courageous young leaders in court.

PREVIOUS TIMELINE

On Sunday, October 20, the CCNY administration illegally raided and seized the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community Center, a space that has existed at CCNY for more than 20 years and was first won in 1989 through a mass student strike and occupations throughout CUNY.

On Thursday, October 24, Taffy and Khalil participated in a demonstration on campus to save the Morales / Shakur Center.

On Monday, October 28, CCNY VP of Student Affairs Juana Reina suspended Taffy and Khalil without a hearing or due process. As they were leaving their Monday morning classes, Taffy and Khalil were stopped and removed from campus by CCNY Public Safety officers.

On Friday, November 8, after being suspended already for two weeks, unable to go to class and threatened with arrest if they stepped back onto campus, Taffy and Khalil attended their first scheduled disciplinary hearing at CCNY. About a hundred people rallied outside to support them, with a large red banner reading, “LIBERATE CUNY FOR THE PEOPLE / LIBERAN CUNY PAL PUEBLO.”

No observers were allowed to attend the closed hearing. Taffy and Khalil’s lawyers made motions for a public open hearing, for a chance to review the evidence against them before going forward, and for other elements of due process for a more fair hearing. Following the motions, the chair of the disciplinary committee adjourned the process to another date, to be scheduled.

Taffy and Khalil remain suspended from CCNY.

On Tuesday, November 12, Taffy and Khalil were told that the New York State Police and the New York County District Attorney’s office was demanding their arrest and prosecution for criminal charges.

Source

Stand with CUNY student activists!
Tuesday, November 19 at 8:45 AM Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, Arraignment Part AR1 or AR2

Undocumented Students

Dear Community,

Join Liz and Vivi for a pozole dinner fundraiser for college expenses on Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. The fundraiser will take place at 2700 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido Ca, 92027. Dinner will include a bowl of pozole, a water (agua fresca), and a slice of cake.

Tickets will be pre-sold for a suggested $10 donation or can be bought at the door the day of the event. Contact Liz (760) 670-9934, or Vivi (760) 917-1334 to purchase tickets or respond to this email.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the college expenses of Liz, a CSUSM Sociology student and Vivi, a SDSU Graphic Design student for the Fall 2013 semester. As continuing college undocumented students your support will truly make a difference in our education.

Attached is the flyer for our fundraiser. Feel free to invite other community members or forward this email to friends that may be interested in attending the fundraiser. If you can not attend the fundraiser but would like to donate you can do so online through our FundRazr account (https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3Wgz4).

We can’t wait to see you there!

Sincerely,

Liz and Vivi

Submitted by: http://vivi-ahna.tumblr.com/

Chile education protests continue to rage on for the third day as 110,000 students & supporters marched throughout Santiago demanding education reform. Encapuchados (“hooded ones”) threw molotov cocktails & rocks at riot police as violence ensued.

40 people were arrested included a number of human rights observers. Protests took place around the country today resulting in 227 arrests. 

Following the march, Carabineros, Chile’s uniformed police, entered into the central campus of Universidad de Chile which — alongside 25 other university buildings — has been occupied by students sympathetic to the march’s demands. The police intrusion — captured here in an eyewitnesses video— drew fierce condemnation from university chancellor Víctor Pérez.

“Carabineros entered into the central campus without permission, dispersed tear gas inside and hit students with batons. More than 20 students are injured,” said Pérez. “This is unacceptable and we condemn it and call on authorities to put an end to the aggression suffered [here].”

Student leaders rejected recent promises made in this week’s presidential debates, after many left-leaning candidates promised to reform education and address the inequality which protesters allege is rife in the current system.

FECH Andrés Fielbaum said rhetoric of change is completely undermined by a lack of action on the part of the left-leaning Concertación opposition coalition.

“Now we see that all the [presidential] candidates are adopting our plans and copying our position without this having any correlation to what they do in parliament or what the political parties propose,” Fielbaum told The Santiago Times. “On one hand, the Concertación is promising free education and an end to profit, while at the same time they are discussing policies which allow profit making in education.”

MESUP spokesman Manuel Erazo was equally unimpressed by the recent promises of Concertación candidates.

“We don’t believe any presidential candidates, no one responds to the needs of the people,” said Erazo.

Source
Photos

Power to the students!

BREAKING EMERGENCY RESPONSE: COME TO COOPER UNION @ 6PM FOR A RALLY TODAY! Free Cooper Union students announced that security is warning them right now of disciplinary actions if they don’t leave the president’s office by 6pm. If you’re available, please come to show solidarity!

Please, if you’re in NYC, come to show your support. Show up ready to defend free education on demand.

Democracy Now! on the Cooper Union occupation.

270+ arrested in Montreal over freedom of assembly rallyApril 6, 2013
At least 279 protesters have been arrested in central Montreal during a rally against police tactics as police claimed the assembly was illegal, local media reported quoting law enforcers.
Protesters began gathering at Place Émilie-Gamelin on Friday evening, the Montreal Gazette website reports. Shortly afterwards police officer announced, via loudspeakers, that the demonstration was illegal.
Montreal police said three people were arrested for assault, while the rest were detained for illegal assembly, according to CBC News. No injuries were reported.
The protest was organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (the CLAC) to contest a controversial bylaw.
The demonstration sought to “assert our opposition to bylaw P-6” in a year “marked by an escalation of police repression against political protesters in Montreal,” the CLAC said in a statement issued before the protest.
Bylaw P-6 requires groups to provide police with an itinerary of their demonstration beforehand. Otherwise police can declare the gathering illegal. The law also prohibits to wear masks at gatherings. The legislation carries a fine of CA$637 for the first offense.
In early March some 250 protesters were arrested in Montreal for violating P-6, as they gathered for an annual march against police brutality.
The P-6 bylaw was adopted following the surge in mass protests in Montreal in 2012. The city saw numerous massive student demonstrations last year as thousands protested tuition hikes. Some of the protests turned violent.
Source

270+ arrested in Montreal over freedom of assembly rally
April 6, 2013

At least 279 protesters have been arrested in central Montreal during a rally against police tactics as police claimed the assembly was illegal, local media reported quoting law enforcers.

Protesters began gathering at Place Émilie-Gamelin on Friday evening, the Montreal Gazette website reports. Shortly afterwards police officer announced, via loudspeakers, that the demonstration was illegal.

Montreal police said three people were arrested for assault, while the rest were detained for illegal assembly, according to CBC News. No injuries were reported.

The protest was organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (the CLAC) to contest a controversial bylaw.

The demonstration sought to “assert our opposition to bylaw P-6” in a year “marked by an escalation of police repression against political protesters in Montreal,” the CLAC said in a statement issued before the protest.

Bylaw P-6 requires groups to provide police with an itinerary of their demonstration beforehand. Otherwise police can declare the gathering illegal. The law also prohibits to wear masks at gatherings. The legislation carries a fine of CA$637 for the first offense.

In early March some 250 protesters were arrested in Montreal for violating P-6, as they gathered for an annual march against police brutality.

The P-6 bylaw was adopted following the surge in mass protests in Montreal in 2012. The city saw numerous massive student demonstrations last year as thousands protested tuition hikes. Some of the protests turned violent.

Source

Angry parents protest CPS closures
March 21, 2013

Parents and community leaders angry about Chicago Public Schools’ plans to close classrooms protested on Thursday outside the homes of members of the Chicago Board of Education.

Their group, “Action Now,” took their “School Board Bullies Bus Tour” to the houses of Andrea Zopp, President David Vitale, and Penny Pritzker. However, Pritzker resigned from the board on March 14th.

They’re accusing the board members of bullying parents, students, teachers and community members by forcing schools to adopt policies that don’t work and hurt education.

“If they were to get off their high horse, get off their cans and go out into those communities or the school that they decided they want to close, you know, they’ve been deciding our destiny far too long,” said one demonstrator.

Source

10,000 Quebec students clash with police after rejecting tuition increase
February 28, 2013

A tuition-fee compromise by Quebec’s premier couldn’t prevent a violent protest that rekindled memories of last year’s Quebec Spring.

The window-smashing rally of 10,000 people took place despite Pauline Marois’s efforts to appease student hardliners with a bilateral meeting.

The hardliners instead boycotted Marois’s summit and organized a massive demonstration after the premier refused to abolish tuition fees.

As the meeting drew to a close south of downtown, Montreal riot police charged crowds of mask-wearing protesters north of the summit site.

Suspects pelted officers and their horses with rocks, eggs and red paint. Windows were smashed and vehicles were damaged along the rally route and police tackled at least one masked man and led him away in handcuffs.

It was the second straight day of vandalism related to the student movement. Suspects splattered red paint at the offices of several provincial politicians hours before the meeting got underway on Monday morning.

The premier concluded her two-day summit by holding firm on a $70 annual tuition increase and $250 million in cuts to university budgets over two years.

Marois marched with the students when she was opposition leader but has since drawn their ire despite cancelling the previous Liberal government’s seven-year, $1,800 tuition hike.

Before the violent outbreak Tuesday, she suggested the summit that brought together unions, university rectors and moderate students was a success.

"We have done a tremendous job," she told reporters. "We managed to put the fighting behind us and return to dialogue."

Even moderate student groups opposed to Tuesday’s protest gave Marois the thumbs down.

They said they were “extremely disappointed” Marois didn’t maintain a tuition freeze first implemented in 1993.

University principals and rectors are also upset at the budget cuts, warning that student services will suffer.

Quebec students have been willing to create social unrest to make their point.

The previous Liberal government’s decision to hike tuition led to months of protests last year that taxed police services, disrupted Quebec’s economy and made international headlines.

Source

We desperately need this kind of organization in the US. My alma mater is raising tuition & living costs yet again this year & barely any students even know about it.

Edit note: The 3 percent increase is cumulative, so $70 more the first year, but even more the second, and the third, and so on.

School-closing protests are nothing new in Philadelphia, but students who stood outside The School District of Philadelphia building today at 440 N. Broad St. added a new twist.

Members of the Philadelphia Student Union staged a “Student Apocalypse: A Brainless Future” dressed as zombies to rally against the district’s plan to close 37 public schools.

Students were there to act out scenes they say create “brainless” pupils being pushed through a system that doesn’t work. Part of the protest included a “Thriller” dance performance.

Source

Students for a free Cooper Union reissue their demandsDecember 8, 2012
We, The Students for a Free Cooper Union, having occupied The Peter Cooper Suite on the top floor of The Cooper Union Foundation Building for more than 100 hours, have chosen to reissue our demands of the Cooper Union administration and guiding principles to the citywide higher education community and general public.
Over the past five days, we have received amazing displays of solidarity from Cooper Union students, faculty, alumni, and supporters around the world. Meanwhile, the college’s deadlocked administration has been shaken by community action and presence. Cooper Union has received positive attention as an institution, and the community’s numerous creative responses to tuition-based, expansionist models have stressed the necessity and preservation of free education. However, Jamshed Bharucha and his administration have yet to officially respond to our demands. Rather than addressing the pressing issues raised by student, faculty, and alumni, Bhaurcha’s administration has attempted to marginalize our voices along with the vision and mission of Cooper Union: to provide free education to all.
We now find ourselves in a space of unity and true democratic discourse among students, faculty, and alumni. Our peers have taken this opportunity to come together across disciplines, forming a unification committee, carrying out guidelines for peaceful protests, and crossing institutional boundaries.
To move forward with the support of the Cooper Union community and an assembly of New York City high schools, colleges, and universities, The Students for a Free Cooper Union have published 2,000 copies of our original communique and list of demands to be distributed at the Citywide Student/Faculty Rally on Saturday, December 8. The rally will begin at 11:00 AM in Washington Square Park with student and faculty speak-outs, followed by a march to Cooper Union at 3:00 PM. This celebration of free education and the student reclamation of higher education will conclude with a dance party.
The march from Washington Square Park to Cooper Union will be fun, family-friendly, participatory, and welcoming to those not well-versed in protest.
Our demands as follows:
The administration must publicly affirm the college’s commitment to free education. They will stop pursuing new tuition-based educational programs and eliminate other ways in which students are charged for education.
The Board of Trustees must immediately implement structural changes with the goal of creating open flows of information and democratic decision-making structures. The administration’s gross mismanagement of the school cannot be reversed within the same systems which allowed the crisis to occur. To this end, we have outlined actions that the board must take
Record board meetings and make minutes publicly available.
Appoint a student and faculty member from each school as voting members of the board.
Implement a process by which board members may be removed through a vote from the Cooper Union community, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and administrators.
3. President Bharucha steps down.

Students for a free Cooper Union reissue their demands
December 8, 2012

We, The Students for a Free Cooper Union, having occupied The Peter Cooper Suite on the top floor of The Cooper Union Foundation Building for more than 100 hours, have chosen to reissue our demands of the Cooper Union administration and guiding principles to the citywide higher education community and general public.

Over the past five days, we have received amazing displays of solidarity from Cooper Union students, faculty, alumni, and supporters around the world. Meanwhile, the college’s deadlocked administration has been shaken by community action and presence. Cooper Union has received positive attention as an institution, and the community’s numerous creative responses to tuition-based, expansionist models have stressed the necessity and preservation of free education. However, Jamshed Bharucha and his administration have yet to officially respond to our demands. Rather than addressing the pressing issues raised by student, faculty, and alumni, Bhaurcha’s administration has attempted to marginalize our voices along with the vision and mission of Cooper Union: to provide free education to all.

We now find ourselves in a space of unity and true democratic discourse among students, faculty, and alumni. Our peers have taken this opportunity to come together across disciplines, forming a unification committee, carrying out guidelines for peaceful protests, and crossing institutional boundaries.

To move forward with the support of the Cooper Union community and an assembly of New York City high schools, colleges, and universities, The Students for a Free Cooper Union have published 2,000 copies of our original communique and list of demands to be distributed at the Citywide Student/Faculty Rally on Saturday, December 8. The rally will begin at 11:00 AM in Washington Square Park with student and faculty speak-outs, followed by a march to Cooper Union at 3:00 PM. This celebration of free education and the student reclamation of higher education will conclude with a dance party.

The march from Washington Square Park to Cooper Union will be fun, family-friendly, participatory, and welcoming to those not well-versed in protest.

Our demands as follows:

  1. The administration must publicly affirm the college’s commitment to free education. They will stop pursuing new tuition-based educational programs and eliminate other ways in which students are charged for education.
  2. The Board of Trustees must immediately implement structural changes with the goal of creating open flows of information and democratic decision-making structures. The administration’s gross mismanagement of the school cannot be reversed within the same systems which allowed the crisis to occur. To this end, we have outlined actions that the board must take
  • Record board meetings and make minutes publicly available.
  • Appoint a student and faculty member from each school as voting members of the board.
  • Implement a process by which board members may be removed through a vote from the Cooper Union community, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and administrators.

3. President Bharucha steps down.

Students occupying Cooper Union insist on founder’s visionDecember 4, 2012
The clock tower of the Foundation Building of Cooper Union on 3rd Avenue and 7th Street in Manhattan stopped at 12:40 pm on December 3 signifying the start to the occupation of the Peter Cooper suite, a studio room behind the clock where twelve students barricaded themselves yesterday. The students mounted the protest to urge the school not to begin charging tuition to undergraduates.
The taking of the 8th floor was followed by the quick arrival of security staff and administrators who tried to literally saw their way through the bolted door. These attempts were put on hold out of fear of injuring the students that were physically defending the space with their bodies pressed against the barricades.
Aside from military schools across the US, Cooper Union is one of eight free higher education institutions in the country. Founded by philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, the school is known for its rigorous admissions program and a curriculum providing free, high-quality education for the brightest and most innovative budding engineers and artists from all over the world. Cooper himself asserted that university was founded on the idea that education at the institution would be as “free as air and water”, and its mission being to create access to art education to students regardless of their race, religion, sex, wealth or social status.
Like the City University of New York [a public institution that first implemented tuition in 1975, at which the cost of education has gone up 500% for students since], Cooper Union was free through the Great Depression. However, over the past several years the Board of Trustees has been devising plans to address the institution’s growing deficit of 16.5 million dollars, largely the result of an expansion plan, by shifting the weight of administrative spending onto the shoulders of students and their families.  The school says it has not made a decision on charging tuition for undergraduates but in April, it broke precedent by instituting tuition costs for graduate students for the first time in its 110-year history.
The twelve occupiers students along with the group, Students for a Free Cooper Union, released a statement with three tough demands:
1) The administration publicly affirm the college’s commitment to free education.2) The Trustees immediately implement structural changes with the goal of creating open flows of information and democratic decision-making.3) The President of the college, Mr. Bharucha, step down from his position.
In the evening, the students put on a session on education and debt in the Great Hall of Cooper Union that involved performances, presentations, videos and a brief livestream of the occupiers from a mere seven floors above the gathering.
Writer and organizer Marina Sitrin began the session by locating the current occupation of Cooper Union in the larger context of social movements across the globe, from the Arab Spring to the anti-austerity movement of Chile to the #YoSoy132 movement in Mexico to the student movement that successfully stopped the proposed tuition increase in Quebec. Sitrin asserted that what makes our movements significant and also threatening to the status-quo is that they are not only movements of refusal and the rejection of policies that do not reflect the world we want to see but also movements of creation, where we assemble, learn from one another, make art, and build social relations that are pre-figurative.
The occupying students themselves are not only refusing to allow their institution to implement tuition for students that will come after them (they are not self-interested, but are hell-bent on protecting the integrity of their school for future generations to come) but also outside while they reclaimed the interior of their school building, fellow students and allies providing free and participatory classes outside through the Free University—providing a creative and pre-figurative component to the protest.
Sitrin also stressed that what’s especially exciting about the last year is how we have been able to borrow strong messaging, tactics, strategy and imagery from other successful social movements and have thus built a dialectic relationship across the globe in the process. The occupation of Peter Cooper suite was a prime example of how students in the US are learning from other student struggles: the bright red bannering was reminiscent of the Quebec student strike of 2012, the messaging of “free education for all” was similar to that of the banner drops and signs at CUNY student protests over the past several years.
The students continue to occupy the space today. Whether they will leave or be ejected is anyone’s guess. Moving forward, examples of grassroots struggle for social change abound. In New York City, where I live, the Cooper Union struggle to remain a tuition-free institution may yet be tied together with the continuous organizing in communities post-Hurricane Sandy, the recent fast food workers strikes, the new Rolling Jubilee that buys people’s anonymous debt for pennies on the dollar and numerous other ripples of popular dissent.
This is what democracy looks like.
SourcePhoto
Rally at Cooper Union at 1 p.m. today. Be there & be a part of the fight for free education.

Students occupying Cooper Union insist on founder’s vision
December 4, 2012

The clock tower of the Foundation Building of Cooper Union on 3rd Avenue and 7th Street in Manhattan stopped at 12:40 pm on December 3 signifying the start to the occupation of the Peter Cooper suite, a studio room behind the clock where twelve students barricaded themselves yesterday. The students mounted the protest to urge the school not to begin charging tuition to undergraduates.

The taking of the 8th floor was followed by the quick arrival of security staff and administrators who tried to literally saw their way through the bolted door. These attempts were put on hold out of fear of injuring the students that were physically defending the space with their bodies pressed against the barricades.

Aside from military schools across the US, Cooper Union is one of eight free higher education institutions in the country. Founded by philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, the school is known for its rigorous admissions program and a curriculum providing free, high-quality education for the brightest and most innovative budding engineers and artists from all over the world. Cooper himself asserted that university was founded on the idea that education at the institution would be as “free as air and water”, and its mission being to create access to art education to students regardless of their race, religion, sex, wealth or social status.

Like the City University of New York [a public institution that first implemented tuition in 1975, at which the cost of education has gone up 500% for students since], Cooper Union was free through the Great Depression. However, over the past several years the Board of Trustees has been devising plans to address the institution’s growing deficit of 16.5 million dollars, largely the result of an expansion plan, by shifting the weight of administrative spending onto the shoulders of students and their families.  The school says it has not made a decision on charging tuition for undergraduates but in April, it broke precedent by instituting tuition costs for graduate students for the first time in its 110-year history.

The twelve occupiers students along with the group, Students for a Free Cooper Union, released a statement with three tough demands:

1) The administration publicly affirm the college’s commitment to free education.
2) The Trustees immediately implement structural changes with the goal of creating open flows of information and democratic decision-making.
3) The President of the college, Mr. Bharucha, step down from his position.

In the evening, the students put on a session on education and debt in the Great Hall of Cooper Union that involved performances, presentations, videos and a brief livestream of the occupiers from a mere seven floors above the gathering.

Writer and organizer Marina Sitrin began the session by locating the current occupation of Cooper Union in the larger context of social movements across the globe, from the Arab Spring to the anti-austerity movement of Chile to the #YoSoy132 movement in Mexico to the student movement that successfully stopped the proposed tuition increase in Quebec. Sitrin asserted that what makes our movements significant and also threatening to the status-quo is that they are not only movements of refusal and the rejection of policies that do not reflect the world we want to see but also movements of creation, where we assemble, learn from one another, make art, and build social relations that are pre-figurative.

The occupying students themselves are not only refusing to allow their institution to implement tuition for students that will come after them (they are not self-interested, but are hell-bent on protecting the integrity of their school for future generations to come) but also outside while they reclaimed the interior of their school building, fellow students and allies providing free and participatory classes outside through the Free University—providing a creative and pre-figurative component to the protest.

Sitrin also stressed that what’s especially exciting about the last year is how we have been able to borrow strong messaging, tactics, strategy and imagery from other successful social movements and have thus built a dialectic relationship across the globe in the process. The occupation of Peter Cooper suite was a prime example of how students in the US are learning from other student struggles: the bright red bannering was reminiscent of the Quebec student strike of 2012, the messaging of “free education for all” was similar to that of the banner drops and signs at CUNY student protests over the past several years.

The students continue to occupy the space today. Whether they will leave or be ejected is anyone’s guess. Moving forward, examples of grassroots struggle for social change abound. In New York City, where I live, the Cooper Union struggle to remain a tuition-free institution may yet be tied together with the continuous organizing in communities post-Hurricane Sandy, the recent fast food workers strikes, the new Rolling Jubilee that buys people’s anonymous debt for pennies on the dollar and numerous other ripples of popular dissent.

This is what democracy looks like.

Source
Photo

Rally at Cooper Union at 1 p.m. today. Be there & be a part of the fight for free education.

Italian students clash with police in austerity protestsOctober 5, 2012
Police clad in riot gear violently clashed with student protesters as thousands poured onto the streets during anti-cuts demonstrations in several major Italian cities. Similar anti-austerity rallies were reported throughout the country.
Hundreds of high-schooled aged protesters scuffled with police in Rome as they attempted to reach the country’s education ministry. 
Riot police allegedly beat several student demonstrators with truncheons during the anti-cuts rally. Several demonstrators claim police pinned them to the ground with knees and batons pressed against their necks.
Four police officers were reportedly injured, and several organizers of the “unauthorized” protest were detained.
Police say they confiscated missiles lobbed at them during the skirmishes.
Several of the detained student protest organizers are currently being identified, and one 15-year-old demonstrator scooped up by police was later released to his parents.
"No to the Crisis and Austerity! Let’s take back our Schools and Cities!" read a large banner at the front of the protest in Rome.
"We take to the streets not only to say that we do not accept these austerity politics, but also to bring to the attention of the public the problems of the schools, to say that the school is an important piece of society and we can’t do without it," one demonstrator who did not provide his name said.
Source

Italian students clash with police in austerity protests
October 5, 2012

Police clad in riot gear violently clashed with student protesters as thousands poured onto the streets during anti-cuts demonstrations in several major Italian cities. Similar anti-austerity rallies were reported throughout the country.

Hundreds of high-schooled aged protesters scuffled with police in Rome as they attempted to reach the country’s education ministry. 

Riot police allegedly beat several student demonstrators with truncheons during the anti-cuts rally. Several demonstrators claim police pinned them to the ground with knees and batons pressed against their necks.

Four police officers were reportedly injured, and several organizers of the “unauthorized” protest were detained.

Police say they confiscated missiles lobbed at them during the skirmishes.

Several of the detained student protest organizers are currently being identified, and one 15-year-old demonstrator scooped up by police was later released to his parents.

"No to the Crisis and Austerity! Let’s take back our Schools and Cities!" read a large banner at the front of the protest in Rome.

"We take to the streets not only to say that we do not accept these austerity politics, but also to bring to the attention of the public the problems of the schools, to say that the school is an important piece of society and we can’t do without it," one demonstrator who did not provide his name said.

Source

Student debt load deepens - reaches 1 in 5 households
September 28, 2012
One in five American households now owes money on student loans — more than double the percentage of households and nearly triple the average amount of college debt of two decades ago. That’s causing a ripple effect across the economy, stalling new car purchases and home ownership for young middle-class households that face longer-term debt, paying off their student loans, according to two separate reports released this week. Since 2007, the number of Americans carrying student debt has increased in nearly every demographic and economic category, as has the size of that debt, a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data shows. Student loan debt in Wisconsin has slashed new-car purchasing and made owning a home less likely for young middle-class households, found a separate survey by the liberal special interest group, Institute for One Wisconsin in Madison. "The trillion-dollar student loan debt is not just a crisis for students," said Scot Ross, the Wisconsin organization’s executive director. "It is literally standing between college graduates and their share of the American dream and a more robust economic recovery both nationally and, as shown by our research, in Wisconsin." Those in the Wisconsin survey with bachelor’s degrees reported making an average monthly student loan payment of $350, while those with graduate or professional degrees paid an average $448 monthly. Those without a monthly student loan payment bought new and used vehicles at about the same frequency. But the likelihood of buying a new vehicle, rather than a used vehicle, was influenced by student loan payments. Fifty-two percent of those in the Wisconsin survey who had never had a student loan were likely to buy a new vehicle, rather than a used vehicle, compared with 32.8% who were paying a student loan. The length of student loan debt was nearly 19 years for persons with bachelor’s degrees and over 22 years for those with graduate or professional degrees in the Wisconsin survey. Tiffany Koehler, who has a four-year college degree, doesn’t expect to pay off her student debt for 30 years. She said she’d love to buy a fuel-efficient car to replace the 2000 Ford Explorer passed down from her godfather. But the 42-year-old Greenfield woman said she is living paycheck to paycheck, working full-time as a director for a non-profit, and paying off a combined $52,000 student loan debt from her bachelor’s degree in political science at Cardinal Stritch University, plus one year of seminary. Her monthly student loan payments total $475, more than a typical new car payment. "I have been self-sufficient, never in legal trouble, I walk the straight-and-narrow and cannot even grasp at the American Dream of owning property. My retirement in 30 years looks like a used trailer in the desert of Arizona," Koehler said. "The American dream is changing for a lot of us." The Wisconsin survey also suggested a link between renting and student loan debt, decreasing as income exceeds $150,000. Eighty-five percent of renters with a household income of $50,000 to $75,000 in the survey were currently paying on a student loan. The survey found an increasing reliance on private student loans vs. government loans, and more young adults consolidating loans, which the institute attributed to the 1996 Student Loan Marketing Association Reorganization Act. That act spun off the formerly government-sponsored Sallie Mae corporation as a private company.
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Student debt load deepens - reaches 1 in 5 households

September 28, 2012

One in five American households now owes money on student loans — more than double the percentage of households and nearly triple the average amount of college debt of two decades ago. 

That’s causing a ripple effect across the economy, stalling new car purchases and home ownership for young middle-class households that face longer-term debt, paying off their student loans, according to two separate reports released this week. 

Since 2007, the number of Americans carrying student debt has increased in nearly every demographic and economic category, as has the size of that debt, a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data shows. 

Student loan debt in Wisconsin has slashed new-car purchasing and made owning a home less likely for young middle-class households, found a separate survey by the liberal special interest group, Institute for One Wisconsin in Madison. 

"The trillion-dollar student loan debt is not just a crisis for students," said Scot Ross, the Wisconsin organization’s executive director. "It is literally standing between college graduates and their share of the American dream and a more robust economic recovery both nationally and, as shown by our research, in Wisconsin." 

Those in the Wisconsin survey with bachelor’s degrees reported making an average monthly student loan payment of $350, while those with graduate or professional degrees paid an average $448 monthly. 

Those without a monthly student loan payment bought new and used vehicles at about the same frequency. But the likelihood of buying a new vehicle, rather than a used vehicle, was influenced by student loan payments. Fifty-two percent of those in the Wisconsin survey who had never had a student loan were likely to buy a new vehicle, rather than a used vehicle, compared with 32.8% who were paying a student loan. 

The length of student loan debt was nearly 19 years for persons with bachelor’s degrees and over 22 years for those with graduate or professional degrees in the Wisconsin survey. 

Tiffany Koehler, who has a four-year college degree, doesn’t expect to pay off her student debt for 30 years. 

She said she’d love to buy a fuel-efficient car to replace the 2000 Ford Explorer passed down from her godfather. 

But the 42-year-old Greenfield woman said she is living paycheck to paycheck, working full-time as a director for a non-profit, and paying off a combined $52,000 student loan debt from her bachelor’s degree in political science at Cardinal Stritch University, plus one year of seminary. 

Her monthly student loan payments total $475, more than a typical new car payment. 

"I have been self-sufficient, never in legal trouble, I walk the straight-and-narrow and cannot even grasp at the American Dream of owning property. My retirement in 30 years looks like a used trailer in the desert of Arizona," Koehler said. "The American dream is changing for a lot of us." 

The Wisconsin survey also suggested a link between renting and student loan debt, decreasing as income exceeds $150,000. Eighty-five percent of renters with a household income of $50,000 to $75,000 in the survey were currently paying on a student loan. 

The survey found an increasing reliance on private student loans vs. government loans, and more young adults consolidating loans, which the institute attributed to the 1996 Student Loan Marketing Association Reorganization Act. That act spun off the formerly government-sponsored Sallie Mae corporation as a private company.

Source

Chilean student movement floods the streets as brutality escalates
September 28, 2012

At least 20 people have been arrested as thousands of students clashed with riot police in Santiago, Chile after a rally in support of education reform turned violent.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hooded youths that started throwing objects filled with paint at police and turned over demarcation barricades. 

Earlier, thousands of high school and university students had come together to march in support of educational reform, asking Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera to consider their demands ahead of 2013’s national budget consolidation.

On Wednesday, Pinera’s government introduced a law that cut the interest rate of student loans from six per cent to two per cent, but activists said it was not enough. 

One of the main demands of the crowd is for the government to stop funding private education, arguing that the country’s educational system fails families whose children attend poor quality public schools. 

The government is expected to raise $1 billion in taxes for education, which students and their advocates say is still not enough.

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Photos

As Madrid, Athens & Chile continue to show us, oppression will only fuel incredible backlash from the oppressed. 

Power to the Chilean students!

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher educationSeptember 23, 2012
Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.
Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.
A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.
On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.
Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.
In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.
The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.
“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.
“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.
However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.
CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.
Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.
Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.
“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.
Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.
The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.
Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.
SourcePhoto
Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 
After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements. 

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher education
September 23, 2012

Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.

Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.

A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.

On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.

Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.

In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.

The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.

“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.

“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.

However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.

CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.

Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.

Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.

“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.

Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.

The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.

Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.

Source
Photo

Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 

After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements.