This photo (and the story behind it) belong in the So Cool You Must Share file, so here it is. Taken in Carlow, 1921 after their escape from Mountoy Prison, Mae Burke, Eithne Coyle and Linda Kearns (left to right) stand on the Butcher’s Apron with a look in their eye that says it all. A documentary on Linda Kearns fascinating life can be viewed at RTE’s Irish language station TG4 (the documentary has subtitles).
It’s on at campuses across the California as the state seeks to impose a series of steep tuition hikes. Here are a few on-site videos that give a flavor of what’s going on. These actions have made my week. Much more at Student Activism. One criticism: while “hell no, we wont go” retains all of its potency, the egregious chant “…ain’t no power like the power of the people, cause the people don’t stop ” just won’t die the death it so richly deserves.
Here’s a report and some links lifted from the Solidarity webzine and written by Isaac:
California knows how to party – students strike across UC system
Building on more modest actions one month ago, California’s statewide public university system has exploded in protest as thousands of students rally against outrageous tuition hikes. Tactics have ranged from mass rallies to five building occupations. At UCLA and UC Berkeley, the professional union UPTE staged a one-day strike Wednesday, followed a day later by a rally of 2,000 students encircling the Board of Regents meeting as they voted on the monster 32% fee increase.
Under a call for “No Business as Usual,” the student activists have united around several demands:
- That the Regents vote no on the proposed fee increases.
- That the UC stop cuts and layoffs, and end its aggressive union-busting tactics.
- Transparency of the UC budget, including complete figures on how much of the additional revenue from fees will be diverted for construction and used as bond collateral.
- Expand enrollment of underrepresented groups and ensure equal access to education for all by maintaining all educational institutions as sanctuary spaces for undocumented students and workers and by providing adequate financial aid for undocumented and underrepresented students.
- An explanation for the failure of the UC leadership to make an effective case for public higher education. As both students and taxpayers, we demand leaders who can make that case, and an administration whose transparency can once again inspire the confidence of the state and its citizens.
Intimidation of the protesters has ranged from tasering of African-American UCLA students to slapping one demonstrator at Berkeley with the major charge of inciting a riot, and rumors of threats of tear gas. Student occupiers at UC Santa Cruz have included in their demands the disarming of campus police – which is the case in many countries throughout the world.
While this round of demonstrations is not yet concluded, the Regents decision is a real blow to education access. However plans are underway for more action this spring, as California students lead the way in refusing to pay for the fallout of the capitalist crisis.
For on the scene information:
A few months ago I posted a couple of Mekons songs as proof that they were the Greatest Living Rock Band. For the doubters and haters out there I add more evidence of this indisputable fact. Indeed, a close reading of Marx’s Grundrisse reveals this startling passage from Notebook IV-
…while at the same time the capitalist produces himself as capital as well as the living labour capacity confronting him. Each reproduces itself, by reproducing its other, its negation. The capitalist produces labour as alien (exemplified in the 1985 Mekons LP Fear and Whiskey) ; labour produces the product as alien. The capitalist produces the worker, and the worker the capitalist etc….
And some dare say Marx was not a prophet!
Class matters! Compare this to the “analysis” offered in the mainstream media. There is no comparison. In this speech from last month Marxist economist and geographer David Harvey traces the pathways of the current crisis to their sources. This is well worth the time comrades.
Warren Ellis (fiddle), Mick Turner (guitar) and Jim White (drums) make up Australia’s finest export The Dirty Three. These musicians often play in different combinations with other folks (Jim White is currently propelling Will Oldham’s finest touring band), but when they get together they make a sound unique to the gathering of their three musical voices. And what a sound!
A Dirty Three show is something akin to a whirling Sufist rite. They can pull the sound in so taught that it feels almost fragile, ready to break at any moment. Yet this is robust music; and all without the easy help of rock’s power chord. They don’t get on the road often, but if they ever come to your town (or within travelling distance) see them.
Ladies and gentleman, comrades and friends, please turn up your speakers, fasten your seat belts, open your neuron receptors and join The Dirty Three for Sue’s Last Ride then travel on another One Thousand Miles with them, but beware- Some Summers They Drop Like Flies….three more exams left and the semester ends only for a new one to begin…in the meantime…dive into it and let the current take you where it may.
2010 will see the United States Social Forum come to Detroit. Comrades are excited and a little daunted at the work ahead necessary to organize a successful gathering. There is, in the my admittedly biased opinion, no better place in the midst of the crisis to hold the Forum than Detroit. This blog will try and keep readers updated on the planning as it progresses.
The real kick off for organizing begins this May Day with what promises to be the social event of the season for radicals. Brad Duncan, Detroit’s most determined keeper of the flame, once again opens his Corktown flat for the revelry. Brad, who held an immensely successful benefit for Palestine this winter, assures this writer that the May Day benefit will not only be an important place to network, organize and raise money; it will be a swinging festival of spring and sumptuous musical feast. Bring something to share even of it is only your solidarity.
To prove it here’s some of the folks providing the wide variety of sounds that evening: Jennie and the Sure Shots playing High Country Swing as sincerely and sweetly as it comes; Al Scheurman, Detroit singer-songwriter, plays with a with full band; the fearsome San Francisco free music pianist Thollem McDonas lends a hand as do the Detroit Free Jazz All Stars (the best of Detroit’s out jazz scene) with others to be announced.
Celebrate International Workers’ Day and the promise of spring with comrades and friends, old and new, and all for a good cause? Comrades, really, you don’t want to miss this. If you are in Michigan mark your calenders, if you need a reason to come here (Michigan currently has more push than pull factors going for it) now you have one. A Facebook page is up and running. From 8:00 pm Friday, May 1st until the next morning at Brad’s (1812 Church #2 Detroit). For more info email Brad at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you there!
I saw Sleater-Kinney a couple of times at my old home away from home Zoot’s Coffee in Detroit. It was literally like inviting the band and your friends into your living room. This video doesn’t do justice to the power the band has in front of an audience. Fierce Rock n’ Roll.
More! A friend just sent in this gem. A Sleater-Kinney encore from 2005….volume, comrades. volume…