Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eugene IWW Plans 'Free Speech Week'

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or 'Wobblies' for short), is planning to commemorate the 1909 West Coast free speech fight. Where IWW members from Portland rode a train south towards California, making stops along the way to unite working people everywhere! The 1909 Wobblies were fairly successful, until they arrived in the Eugene station and were thrown from the cars. But instead of give up, they marched through the siskiyous into California. This trek to fight for their own freedom and the freedom of all people to organize is being honored in several events in Eugene

Movie Showing:
Berkeley in the 60's
Tuesday, February 15, at 7:30pm- Maitreya Buddhist Center: 55 W.Broadway in Eugene.

Free Speech Soap Box:
Open Forum Soap Box,
Wednesday, February 16th, at 2:30pm- Eugene Train Station: 4th and Willamette in Eugene.

Come check out these events! The Student Insurgent stands in Solidarity with the IWW and all workers with their organizations of empowerment. Solidarity Forever!

Egyptian movement call for 'Days of Departure'

The Egyptian Liberation movement Leadership has organized a list of demands and secured several pledges on government restructuring. Despite these gains, there remains fear of political reprisal, as the unstable Mubarak regime has appointed a know agent who has a background of torture and if the protests cease, this man may reign over the people. Already there are fears of protesters just to go home, as some activist have 'disappeared'. Meanwhile in the streets, the protesters are gathering, crossing gender lines, class lines, racial lines and even religious lines in the common goal of scraping a better life in this world, tired of living under a dictator. With all the work the protesters are experiencing fatigue, from days of exhausting street confrontations with police. The uncertainty of battles has the promise of a better country, but the peril of a even more totalitarian regime.

"Amid a beefed-up Egyptian army presence and few major clashes — unlike the previous days — the demonstrators called for three more days of mass anti-Mubarak rallies next week. The mood was upbeat at the square, where chants and nationalist songs echoed until well after nightfall from a huge, diverse crowd.

Young women in headscarves mingled with retirees walking with canes, pious Muslims with prayer marks on their foreheads and young men with bandaged heads who'd been wounded in the week's fighting.

Obama said, "My understanding is that some discussions have begun" between the Egyptian government and the opposition. However, U.S. officials described the talks Thursday between Vice President Omar Suleiman and some opponents, overshadowed by the violence a day earlier, as unfruitful."-McClatchy

This idea that the government is negotiation seems all well and good, but it may be a way to buy off the protests and retain a brutally oppressive regime. If Mubarak doesn't fall, he may come back with an iron fist, seeking to crush any further resistance. The Obama administration isn't neutral, they are 'whispering' in the ear of the Mubarak government, while fearing the loss of a unequivocal ally in the region- it is in the US empirical interest to support the Mubarak regime- but it is in the US democratic interest to support the people in the protest.

"While many experts doubt Washington’s ability to contain the Arabs’ march to claim their dignity and liberty, Washington‘s extraordinary capacity to create a breathing room for Arab authoritarian regimes must not be discounted.

Policy makers in Washington have long understood the depth of the Arab people’s anger toward their dictators and have concluded that the current upheaval, if not controlled, could inaugurate a new era of Arab masses openly defying and seeking to unseat Arab totalitarianism. Washington also feels uncomfortable with the possibility of the emergence of grassroots governments in the region. Therefore, in its general approach to the Arab World, Washington places considerable priority on the renewal of the authoritarian regimes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was clear when she stated, “recent events in Egypt and certainly in that broader region — remind us all how crucial it is to have top-notch leadership on the ground and how quickly the ground can shift under our feet."- AlJazeera

"In Old Cairo, a tourist spot east of the square with an ancient bazaar, a group of armed men stopped a car carrying first-aid kits, water, juice boxes and other supplies for demonstrators and told the passengers not to go to the square, said one of the passengers, Mustafa Adel, 27. The men brandished knives and swords, Adel said, and were fraternizing with two uniformed police officers watching the scene.

The mob let the group go but seized their supplies. Outraged, Adel and his friends reported the incident to a military patrol, which retrieved the supplies with only a carton of juice missing."- McClatchy

How will the resolve, with self-determination for the people, or supplication of the people? How will Washington side, with the people or with the oppressor? These questions we all must wonder. The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the protesters, the movement for the will of the people to cast off their oppressor. How long must the oppression go on? How long must the people suffer? Uf the movement wins, the answer is no more, and the Insurgent stands in Solidarity with the protesters.

Read more:

Street Talk VII: Dana on Train Hopping, Traveling and his Truth

Street talk is an ongoing series of interviews with various homeless and transient, or just interesting individuals. Their stories are their own with as little editing as is possible. Studs Turkle (a noted union activist), set a historical precedent for these interviews with a series of his own, based on the principle that ‘everyone has a story to tell’. The Insurgent’s motto is that ‘truth must not just be the truth, it must be told’, as I see it, every individual holds their piece of the truth and the Insurgent is a forum for truth to be told. So enjoy ‘street talk’. With Dana, from Modesto California.

Part of it was nothing better to do. Freedom, I consider what I do to be the last American Dream, true freedom, the best you can do in this world. People say to travel you have to go to college, get a job, save money and when you retire, you can go see the world. I wanted to prove them wrong, to prove that you can see the world. I continue to do it, because I have never been happier or more satisfied with anything I have done in my life. I have been to, about three quarters of the country, everywhere but the North east and Alaska, been to Mexico and Canada too.

I travel almost all by freight train. Probably 95 percent of the time. Sometimes I might meet a group with a car and go with them or hitch hiking- but only if I have to. You only go on trains if you have to, like kids with face tattoos, not some hippie kid who can get a ride. I prefer trains, it gets rid of the factor of the unknown person picking you up. Some people just don’t want to pick me up, maybe I scare people. Which I find amusing because I am one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Most of the time I travel with other people, but sometimes its good to get away and be by yourself. You can come across some interesting things wandering by yourself. Like the really random person you wouldn’t expect. Like in Elko NV, there were a bunch of rednecks and then a Mexican kid with an ARA patch on his jacket and a bunch of down anarchists and I had a great time. They were really cool.

Too many hippies is a good sign that you got to go, because those kids sell drugs to make a living. Cops are hassling you every five minutes, that’s when it’s time to move on. You get into town and try to make a few bucks, see what happens, a lot of time you meet local people, hang out and have a good time. If there are too many travelers, it’s time to move on, because that means the cops are going to start cracking down.

Dealing with the cops is a daily thing. Pretty much wherever you go they are watching. Looking to bust you for something. Like in savannah, Georgia, one cop comes up “How long you been in town”, we said “about a week”, cop “you been to jail yet?” Us “No” cop “It’s Coming”. But in some places there is a cop that really wants to do their job, mostly in small towns. like in Sharon Springs, KA, a Cop rolls up, he asked for Ids and told us about a church who would hook us up with food. Some cops are good people just trying to do a job, but most are just trying to get us and run us out of town as soon as possible. They are cops either way, whether they are nicer or not, they are still cops.

There are a lot of scarry times riding trains, luckily I have been able to avoid most of those. I have had some sketchy moments that I was able to maneuver myself out of. I was in Kansas City, and a guy walked up to a train without any gear, we recognized him as what we call a “streamliner’, someone who gets their gear from stealing other traveler kid’s gear. Luckily there was enough of us to run him off without any serious confrontation. We gave him a look like don’t fuck with us and he took off. But I have woken up with guys standing over me, that’s fuckin’ scarry, my friends Pitbull woke us up and we scared that guy off. I haven’t seen that kid for years. A lot of time you can go three or four months without seeing friends. There is a loose route following the seasons. I tend to avoid that. I was just in St.Louise in the snow, I can go months between seeing people, but sometimes I run into people all the time. Most kids settle down or house up for the winter. I have a hard time staying more than a few weeks in one place.

I definitely think about staying in one place, It gets rough, riding for many years non-stop it wears you out, mentally and physically. It would be nice to settle down for a while, but I haven’t found a place. I might think I have found a place, but I lay awake at night and hear the trains. I am called by it. It’s like there is that next train out there, like an addiction to see the next place, life it too short to settle down, too much to do, too much to see, just in that next town. I spent last winter in Portland and I was going stir crazy just stuck in one place, I should have gotten out nine months before I did, maybe six months before I did.

I have tried Weed, Alchol, Cigarettes, I have lost too many friends to heroine. I decided long ago, I have enough with my drugs of choice. I have tried other things, but what I use is detrimental enough for me. Drugs are just an accepted thing in the train community, it’s normal everyday thing. I want to do this for a long time, past thirty to forty years old. I want to be able to retire, somewhere on a farm in the South, but I still have ten or fifteen years on the road before I can think about that. Too many friends lost to heroine, or I would run into a friend who was messed with psychedelics, all looking for a dose. Just about everyone I know does drugs, in Portland it’s Heroine, ‘cuz that’s what you do in Portland, you go to Denver for cheap Crack, drugs are something you do, but I just choose not to. It’s counter productive to what I do.

About the community, a lot of people look at us, as if we are dirty. We look weird, drunk, being rowdy and fairly intimidating. Honestly, just come up and say high, come talk to us. You meet kids and you are camping with them makin money with them and spending 24 hrs a day together. After 2 or 3 days you’re best friends. Its not like normal people were it takes years to build a solid friendship. You have to trust these people with your life and everything you own so you get to know each other very fast. Train kids are very open, very accepting, it’s a gigantic family and we treat each other like that. For anybody that would be interested, in trying it, don’t. But if that’s not enough to stop you, meet some kids in your town and talk to them, they may even take you with them. But never, ever, try riding a train by yourself if you haven’t done it. It is dangerous and you’re hungry a lot of the time. It requires everything all the time, or it will chew you up and spit you out. Don’t’ let one experience of a traveling kids sour your experience of all of us, because there are some shitty ones, but the vast majority are good ones. But I recommend everyone travel and there ain’t not better way to travel than for free. I hear people say “man, I wish I could do what you do” well, do it. But don’t be stupid and try to do it by yourself.

The SOA Watch speaks on the the Egyptian struggle

This release from the SOA Watch (a peace organization dedicated to ending global violence, with roots against the 'School of the Americas' a training camp for how to torture- used by US backed South American dictators). The SOA observes all violent struggles with a keen eye towards history and building a non-violent future.

-The world is holding its breath as it witnesses an unprecedented expression of people power on the streets of Egypt, inspired by the recent victory of people power in Tunisia, where President Ben Ali was recently forced to resign. After 30 years of repressive rule, Hosni Mubarak – Egypt’s dictator and key U.S. ally in the Middle East - may be facing his last hours or days in power, as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians from all walks of life gather at Tahrir (Liberation) Square, on what is now being called D-Day, or Departure Day. People power is spreading in the region: mass demonstrations in Jordan, Palestine and Yemen echo the calls of the Tunisian and Egyptian people, with their demands for democratic reform, independence and liberation.

Egyptian-born singer and author Raffi Cavoukian said: "Egyptian courage emboldens the region and the world. Let the song of Egypt's liberty ring in our ears. Her sun is ours."

While eyes are focused on Egypt’s doomed dictatorship, the people of another nation – Haiti - cry to allow an elected president to return. Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been in exile in Africa since the 2004 coup that overthrew him. Aristide has recently indicated his desire to return to Haiti, in spite of U.S. objections. While he awaits a promised diplomatic passport, former dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier found the country’s doors open to him, in apparent disregard to the 3,000 murders attributed to his regime. Meanwhile, Haitian citizens are asking for a new chance to choose a new president in elections that are fair, free and inclusive. The U.S. has opposed this request, even indicating that economic sanctions could follow if this path were chosen. On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the government of President Preval caved in to US pressure and bumped its own party's candidate from the run-off ballot leaving only two right-wing Duvalierist candidates. Those candidates combined received the votes of only about 10% of Haitian registered voters in the first round of the election according to the Center for Economic Policy Research. Former President Aristide's Lavalas Party, the largest party in Haiti, was excluded from the ballot.

The richest country in the hemisphere threatens the poorest country in the hemisphere with further poverty if democracy is chosen over foreign interests.- SOA Watch

Communiqué: Radical Women Defending Reproductive Freedom!

Radical Women is on the frontlines for defense of reproductive rights everyday of the year. But on January 22, the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, we're even more likely to be on the streets. This year, three RW chapters took part in defense of women's right to control their own bodies. And the media took note! See the links below for video, photos and news reports.

--Portland RW faces down the right in Salem

--New York City RW rallies in the South Bronx

--San Francisco RW takes on the "Walk for Life" (scroll down to first slideshow)

In addition, National Radical Women issued a powerful statement on the condition of the fight for reproductive freedom.

If you want to support militant grassroots action for abortion rights, please donate to Radical Women. Your donations help us carry on the fight! Send checks to National Radical Women, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle,WA 98118 or click here to donate online.

In struggle,

Anne Slater
National Radical Women Organizer

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the women across the world defend their rights and freedoms, in an effort for a safer more egalitarian world. Let all join is defending each other!

Contact at:

National Radical Women
625 Larkin St. Ste 202, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone 415-864-1278 * Fax 415-864-0778

Reports from Egypt Continue

Some military are working with the people resisting the Mubarak Police and loyalists. Some Egyptian intellectuals have formed demands and the state has been assassinating prominent activists.

"04 Feb 2011: CAIRO: Military have arrested a police officer. DemNow! has footage of this happening to cheers from the very large crowd on this morning's show."-IndyMedia

"Sitting on filthy pavements, amid the garbage and broken stones of a week of street fighting, they have drawn up a list of 25 political personalities to negotiate for a new political leadership and a new constitution to replace Mubarak's crumbling regime."- The Independent

Despite this twinge of hope, the Mubarak assassins are targeting anyone with vocal opposition. The police lead mobs of deputized murderers, to repel the popular protest and Fire into the crowd. The police also infiltrated the early protests with violent agents, to provoke violence- in an effort to justify state violence and control.

"Already, there are dark reports of demonstrators who dared to return home and disappeared. The Egyptian writer Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who is involved in the committee discussions, is fearful for himself. "We're safe as long as we have the square," he said to me yesterday, urging me to publish his name as a symbol of the freedom he demands. "If we lose the square, Mubarak will arrest all the opposition groups – and there will be police rule as never before. That's why we are fighting for our lives."

The state security police now have long lists of names of protesters who have given television interviews or been quoted in newspapers, Facebook postings and tweets.

The protesters have identified growing divisions between the Egyptian army and the thugs of the interior ministry, whose guards exchanged fire with soldiers three days ago as they continued to occupy the building in which basement torture chambers remain undamaged by the street fighting. These were the same rooms of horror to which America's "renditioned" prisoners were sent for "special" treatment at the hands of Mubarak's more sadistic torturers – another favour which bound the Egyptian regime to the United States as a "trusted" ally."- The Independent.

"As the Mubarak regime turns to violence in a vain attempt to repress the peaceful protests that have swept Egypt’s streets for over ten days, the risks associated with current U.S. strategy for Egypt and the wider region continue to grow. In its response to the events, the Obama administration has subtly shifted its message, incrementally increasing pressure on the regime over the last week. But the more important story is the remarkable continuities reflected in the administration’s approach. A definitive break from the scripts of stability and moderation and a reorientation of American policy toward Egypt –and the broader region – around the democratic aspirations of protesters is the only way forward."-FPIF

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the people of the middle east in gaining liberation and self-determination. "The natural state of the people is free one"-Solidarity.

Thanks to:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stop the FBI Raids

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has recently be involved in raids, surveillance and domestic espionage on political organizations. The FBI has a laundry list of raids, wire tapping, disruption, pseudo-legal interrogation and entrapment against political movements, even (and especially) non- violent organizations. As with the Civil Rights movement, Labor organizations, environmental organizations and more. This behavior must end, the police and investigatory organizations need to disband, because they cannot be trusted to follow their own laws, much less actually end investigation of organizations which pose no physical threats to anyone.

"A protest to stand in solidarity with those being arrested and hassled by the FBI for working for peace and anti war issues. Around 45 citizens stood in front of the Portland Federal building to bring attention to this terrible case of American citizens being spied upon and their civil right violated for working for peace on earth.

This rally was in Portland in front of the FBI office, at 5:30 pm on Tuesday 1/25/11" Portland IndyMedia

In January there were two stories on this blog about under-cover police agents. One that focused on the length of observation- as long as eleven years. The other about the ability for 'activist' police to travel internationally to continue observation and disruption. These mark dangerous trends which make trusting anyone in your movement difficult. The Insurgent stands in solidarity with all organizations who seek to make a more egalitarian world, to resist all police and investigative repression or incursion. There is no excuse for the observation of lawful activities and even most 'unlawful' political action is done with deeply rooted consciences involving no property damage, violence or physical harm. For 'violent' groups, most of that is in response to systematic corporate and industrial violence- Do you not investigate the corporations, the people WITH the power to seriously damage the global infrastructure of human rights, environmental freedom and personal liberation. Why not investigate the corporations, the scandals which lead to monopoly, market-fixing, exploitation? Must you always seek out the already powerless who are seeking only to improve the social conditions of themselves and their community?

In Conclusion, FBI, all your agents, all your informants. STOP, leave the organization and realize that most of your work is pointless and just a nuisance on us, also you are violating what civil protections the Unites States theoretically has to offer.

earlier stories on police interventions:

thanks to:

Solidarity Forever

When the Union's inspiration,
through the worker's blood shall run,
there can be no greater power
anywhere beneath the sun.
For what force could be weaker,
than the meager strength of One,
For the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

Well, have we ought in common,
with the greedy parasite,
who would lash us into serfdom,
or would crush us 'neath his might,
is there ought for us to do,
but to organize and fight,
For the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

It was we who ploughed the prairies,
Built the cities where they trade,
Dug the mines, built the workshops,
endless miles of railroad laid,
Now it's we who are cast asunder,
'midst the wonders we have made.
But the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

For all the world that's owned by idle drones,
is ours and ours alone,
We have laid the wide foundations,
built it skyward, stone by stone
It is ours not to slave in
But to master and to Own,
But the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

Now they have taken untold millions,
that they never toiled to earn,
but without our brain and muscle,
not a single wheel can turn,
We can break their haughty power,
Gain our freedom when we learn,
that the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

Well, Placed in our hands is a power,
greater than their hoarded gold,
greater than the strength of armies
magnified a thousand fold,
We can bring to birth a new world,
from the ashes of the old.
For the Union makes us Strong

Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever, Solidarity Forever
For the Union Makes us strong

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Egyptian Government firing on the people!

Reports of ongoing government violence from the Egyptian government. The bloodshed is on the hands of the state police, now closely controlled by the Mubarak government. Meanwhile the former Prime Minister of England defends Mubarak and justifies is violence!

""America does not presume to know what is best for everyone." Those words should have been cast in gold and placed in the portico of the White House. Instead, they drift like wisps in the wind, occasionally sighted for propaganda purposes, but in a time of crisis, hidden behind the clouds of imperial interests (or those of Tel Aviv). America presumes to know, and presumes to have a say equivalent to those of the millions who have thronged Egypt's squares"-Counter Punch

"Bursts of heavy gunfire aimed at anti-government demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir [Liberation] Square, left at least five people dead and several more wounded, according to reports from the Egyptian capital on Thursday.

Sustained bursts of automatic weapons fire and powerful single shots began at around around 4am local time (2.00GMT) and was ongoing more than an hour.

Pro-democracy protest organiser, Mustafa el-Naggar, who's in Tahrir Square, said the gunfire came from at least three locations in the distance."-Al Jazeera

"Mubarak's counter-revolution smashed into his opponents yesterday in a barrage of stones, cudgels, iron bars and clubs, an all-day battle in the very centre of the capital he claims to rule between tens of thousands of young men, both – and here lies the most dangerous of all weapons – brandishing in each other's faces the banner of Egypt. It was vicious and ruthless and bloody and well planned, a final vindication of all Mubarak's critics and a shameful indictment of the Obamas and Clintons who failed to denounce this faithful ally of America and Israel.

The fighting around me in the square called Tahrir was so terrible that we could smell the blood. The men and women who are demanding the end of Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship – and I saw young women in scarves and long skirts on their knees, breaking up the paving stones as rocks fell around them – fought back with an immense courage which later turned into a kind of terrible cruelty."- The Independent

State violence is the easy out. But this ongoing and escalating violence is a threat to more than just a few lives, it threatens the movements and sends the message 'this is what will happen in the future'. If this course is followed, the only option for the people of Egypt will be violent upheaval. But some already powerful and living luxurious defend the rotten system-

"Tony Blair has described Hosni Mubarak, the beleaguered Egyptian leader, as "immensely courageous and a force for good" and warned against a rush to elections that could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

The former prime minister, now an envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, praised Mubarak over his role in the negotiations and said the west was right to back him despite his authoritarian regime because he had maintained peace with Israel."-Guardian

"Egypt of course is -- you have to be idiotic or hypocritical not to know after thirty years -- a tyranny. When the tyrant is in trouble, what can he do? Two options: make tyranny worse by declaring a state of emergency: curfew, suspension of all civil liberties, etc. . . . But when tyranny is really in deep shit because of internal turmoil and uproar, it can enhance anarchy. That is exactly the function of the police forces that were signaled by several sources partaking in the looting in Caïro. Or even being its main perpetrators. So first lesson: tyranny can resort to anarchy to save its skin. The strategy of chaos."-FPIF

"So Obama is in a tough position, but he could once more since his election be on the good side of history: by being serious about democracy, and not just using it as a useful myth. If he has the courage to whisper in the ear of the tyrant to step down. But alas, this opportunity is also a dilemma. If he supports democracy, foreign policy hawks across the board will nail him, and Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in America will never forgive him. If, on the contrary, he supports the tyrant, he will forever lose his credibility... if he finds the courage, the turmoil in Egypt is Obama’s chance to once again write history, simply by letting the people of Egypt write history."-FPIF

The Insurgent stands in Solidarity with the ongoing struggle of people for self-determination.

Thanks to:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mexican Steelworkers Union Leader harassed, arrested.

"Manny Armenta, a USW sub-district director in Albuquerque, NM, was arrested while on his way to meet with attorneys for the Mexican mineworkers’ union called Los Mineros. The USW has been supporting the mineworkers who have waged a nearly four-year strike against Grupo Mexico with a copper mine property at Cananea in Mexico’s northern state of Sonora.

At about 2 p.m. (MST), a customs officer stopped Armenta’s car, which is leased by the union, accusing him of driving a stolen vehicle. Armenta presented documentation to no avail. After searching the vehicle with dogs, the officer attempted to extort a “fine” of 185,000 pesos (about $15,000). When Armenta refused to pay he was arrested, detained overnight, and released early Tuesday, Jan. 25 after posting a bond of 80,000 pesos (about $7,750).

Amenta’s car was impounded and it has not been returned. Armenta’s wallet was taken from him in the arrest, but later returned, minus $700 in cash.

USW President Leo W. Gerard declared in a statement, “This outrageous treatment by Mexican federal authorities shows the extent of the government’s corruption.” He adds: “We demand that these bogus charges be dropped with the immediate return of the union property along with what belongs to Manny”

He said, “It is ironic that although Mexican courts have issued 20 warrants for Germán Larrea – the owner of Grupo Mexico – the government has never been able to arrest him. Yet they can arrest Manny because he is in Mexico helping the mineworkers defend their rights.”

On January 17-18, Mexican mineworker leaders joined USW copper miners who met with officials of Asarco - a copper producer also owned by Grupo Mexico - at a “sound-off” event in Tucson. The USW contract with Asarco expires in June. Armenta is a lead negotiator at Asarco.

Gerard said, “By arresting Manny, the Mexican government is trying to intimidate the USW copper miners from exercising our right to collective bargaining and showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Mexico.”

Commenting that Armenta was arrested on the same day the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Mexico in support of that country’s law enforcement actions on illegal drug activity, Gerard said: “I hope the U.S. State Department will put as much energy into seeking justice for Manny and for the rights of workers at Cananea as they have in praising the Mexican government.”

The USW said that they would file a formal complaint with the U.S. State Department."-AZ.IndyMedia

This a textbook example of police harassment. Authorities use their power to silence the people making any attempts to improve the condition of their lives. The Insurgent Stands in solidarity with all political prisoners and with movements of liberation. All Power to the People!

For more on the USW and Los Mineros in Mexico:

thanks to:

The largest political demonstration in the history of Egypt

The Protests are ongoing and despite police corruption, an attempt to co-opt the protests and sabotage: The protest remain largely peaceful. Most violence is from the Egyptian Police. While major networks report nearly a million people, these agencies chronically under-report participation. Meanwhile the president refuses to step down. But Egypt is part of a larger trend in a region that is empowering itself, working for citizen sovereignty. Updates are shaky and much analysis is full of speculation, but one thing is clear, the people are rising.

In many U.S. cities locally and elsewhere solidarity protests are ongoing "We stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt for their courageous resistance against the brutal, corrupt rule of Mubarak and the US Empire. We support their struggle for human rights, justice and freedom"-Portland IndyMedia.

"Arab world getting nervous: Breaking: Jordan's King Abdullah dismisses Government appoints new prime minister. Feb 2011: Millions of people (literally) are assembling right this moment in Tahrir Square in response to a call put out for "1 million" to gather. Still more coming! This really HAS BEEN every sector of civil society."-Independent Media Center

"It was a victory parade – without the victory. They came in their hundreds of thousands, joyful, singing, praying, a great packed mass of Egypt, suburb by suburb, village by village, waiting patiently to pass through the "people's security" checkpoints, draped in the Egyptian flag of red, white and black, its governess eagle a bright gold in the sunlight. Were there a million? Perhaps. Across the country there certainly were. It was, we all agreed, the largest political demonstration in the history of Egypt"-The Independent

"There is little doubt that the Tunisian experience triggered the escalation of unprecedented protests in Egypt against the Mubarak regime. The question on every media pundit's lips is, "Will events in Tunisia and Egypt have a domino effect throughout the Arab world?'...[Egypt is] viewed by the U.S., Britain and West as "a strategic pivot" and a "a vital ally" in the "War on Terror'. No wonder then that activists across the world are holding their breath in anticipation that one of the world's most notorious dictators, and one of the West's most favoured client-regimes, might be overthrown."-OpEd News

"The brush fire spread to Egypt, Jordan, Algeria and Yemen with thousands of young and old demonstrators, not belonging to any specific group, demanding the ouster of their corrupt regimes. In Jordan, the demonstrators demanded that the Prime Minister step down. In Yemen, the demonstrators demanded the ouster of the corrupt President ruling the country for three decades. Egypt, the center of gravity for Arabs, has had the most vociferous demonstrations. In cities across Egypt, Egyptians are demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak – their ruthless ruler for three decades. Mubarak’s answer was to send his goons of security forces to intimidate the demonstrators without success. "-FPIF

"[This may be]a deeper convergence of fundamental structural crises which are truly global in scale. The eruption of social and political unrest has followed the impact of deepening economic turbulence across the region, due to the inflationary impact of rocketing fuel and food prices. As of mid-January, even before Ben Ali had fled Tunis, riots were breaking out in Algeria, Morocco, Yemen and Jordan -- the key grievances? Rampant unemployment, unaffordable food and consumer goods, endemic poverty, lack of basic services, and political repression."-OpEd News

"For decades, the pundits in America belittled the Arab streets’ reaction to political events. But, they are now silent since they never understood or did not want to understand the extent of oppression the Arab people are under with our active support. We gave these regimes massive military hardware; we trained their security services; and we provided them with intelligence information to suppress their people and remain in power. Today we are doing the same thing. If the U.S. policy towards Middle Eastern countries truly is changing, we need to have overt and covert operations congruent in goals and practice. For decades, the Arab streets were aware of our support of their regimes, and have held us complicit. This is the root of anti-American sentiment. We are reaping the results of seeds we planted long ago."-FPIF

"There were several elements about this unprecedented political event that stood out. First was the secularism of the whole affair. Women in chadors and niqabs and scarves walked happily beside girls with long hair flowing over their shoulders, students next to imams and men with beards that would have made Bin Laden jealous. The poor in torn sandals and the rich in business suits, squeezed into this shouting mass, an amalgam of the real Egypt hitherto divided by class and regime-encouraged envy. They had done the impossible – or so they thought – and, in a way, they had already won their social revolution."-The Independent

The Student Insurgent Stands in Solidarity with the ongoing protests.

thanks to:

TchKung Lyrics to Clearcut

This a by-ear transcription of the TchKung Song Clearcut. Enjoy!

[news real recording]
{song sound effect}
“Musician Lyrics”

CLEARCUT, by: TchKung!

[Today only 2% of the original ancient forests survive]
{Falling Tree}
[Georgia Pacific, Weyrhauser, Odell… Pay back per acre... we can get four times the pickup rate with alternatives such as hemp… help create jobs… Tree Farms are not, tree farms are not, tree farms are not a forest]
[Clearcutting is wrong, its wrong on a spiritual level… you can try writin’ a letter, signing a petition…more than 10% of everybody will… the forest a Clearcut is not a sale it’s a slaughterhouse]

[Forests, Forests, Forests, What are we going to tell the people of tomorrow, the children of your children and so on, these timber lands belong to the American people]

“Don’t answer the phones,
hammer in my hand,
don’t answer the phones,
don’t get a speck off of this land.

You try to compromise,
They’re gonna’ lie
So as long as they’re Clearcut,
We’re gonna’ Spike!

Clearcut… We Spike
Clearcut… Spike!”

[The forest service has already built or permitted enough logging roads to reach the moon and plans for a hundred thousand miles more]

“So you thought you could stop me
by tappin’ my tele-phone
Got two po-lice parked outside
Who won’t leave me alone.

'Cuz you’ve got lot’s of money
Our forests are for sale?
And if you let them rig the law
You go to JAIL!

Clearcut… We Spike
You Clearcut… Spike!”

[The United States, The United States is the only country in the world who permits massive export of raw lumber.]

“We’re makin’ it the end
What’s left is almost gone
What’s left is going fast
And wont be here for long

We could get shot
We gotta’ be strong
Before its to late to stop it
Clearcutting is WRRRONG

Clearcut… Spike
They Clearcut… Spike!”

[hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it!]

{Drum Chorus to end}

-The End-

I could not find another version, so this is posted here for anyone. If I made a mistake on the lyrics please post a comment. I am especially concerned about the two lines of news-recording, which played over each other and I barely hear in the recording I have. Solidarity in defense of the wild lands of the world!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Defense of the Land: Xayakalan, Michocán

Compañero Trompas as part of an indigenous land seizure in Mexico! This interview with members of the Independent Media Center Collective, is a inspirational tale of how to reclaim a better world. The Insurgent stands in Solidarity with the populations seeking self determination and all movements in defense of the land.

"The historic recovery of indigenous lands in the Sierra nahua of the state of Michocán, Mexico on June 29, 2009 and describes the current situation in the new community of Xayakalan.

The recovery of 1,300 hectares of Nahua lands in Xayakalan, Santa María Ostula, on June 29, 2009 was one of the most amazing things that’s happened in Mexico in the last few years. How did the people do it? Last week I had a chance to find out more about that.

As soon as I got to Xayakalan with two friends last week, the head of security didn’t take long to verify that we were trustworthy and show us a palm-branch shelter where we could camp.

“How’s everything going out here?”

“Well, here we are. You can see with your own eyes. We’ve been here for a year and a half and nobody’s left. And nobody´s going to move us out of here”.

C: Compañero, what led all of you to recover the lands?

T: Some of us were longing to do it for years and some had tried through the courts with the support of politicians, but it didn’t work. The political parties have used all kinds of dirty tricks. I don’t know how those things work from the inside, but I’ve seen the injustices they’ve committed.

C: What about the government?

T: The government has done things that have been impossible to set right as of now. It’s like they dirtied the water, all of it, and now they want us to clean it up. We have the primordial land title. But a hundred years ago the government gave part of our communal lands to five small property owners, and then in 1967 it gave them an ejido. We have our documents, but they’ve written over them. The small property owners are sure to have influential friends. We don’t. Our best friend is the land title. When we came here on June 29th, nobody lived here yet. We’d tried to do it, but the government is really clever. One of their agents said, “I’ll deal with everything. You should go ahead and leave. I’ll work things out”. So we left. And what did they work out? Nothing. We’re of no importance whatsoever to the government. Not the least bit. Even now we still haven’t recovered all our lands. We lack 800 meters. And we’re going to have to fight with the government about it. We don’t receive any support from them. We don’t even ask the government to come here to put in streets. No. We’re autonomous.

C: How many hectares did you recover? At first it was reported that there were 700 and then 1,300.

T: We recovered 1,300 hectares. The engineers made a mistake in the measurements. At first they said “there are 700 hectares.” But we said to the lawyer, “No, he’s wrong to say 700 hectares. There are 800 meters alone from here to there that we haven’t yet recovered. No, we recovered much more land. So they measured again and it turned out that there were 1,300 hectares. But we don’t want measurements. What we want is recognition of the land boundaries. Because the primordial title says exactly where they are. So we came here on June 29th and some people had questions about exactly where we had come to, but it was clear to us. We already knew. Our grandparents and parents had told us where the boundary is. So for us there was no doubt about it. We’ve always known.

C: What was the situation in 2009?

T: In 2009 there were a lot of land pressures. Hotel owners, drug traffickers and mining interests all wanted the lands, and they still want them. There were a lot of business interests. The politicians of different parties have fed off of these lands. They’re friends of the supposed property owners. Friends of local freeloaders. Maybe they gave them a piece of cheese. Or maybe it was 10 or 20 pesos. Or more [laughter]. In 2009 there was nowhere left for us to work around here. We had some small plots of land and a lot of people wanted more plots, but there was no more land available. All this was going on before 2009. Around 2003, the small property owners of La Placita had put up “no trespassing” banners saying that we, the indigenous of Ostula, would be dead if we set foot on their land. Then in 2009, they were dividing the land up into lots and selling the lots. That’s when we couldn’t wait any longer.

C: How did you organize the land recovery? Pedro tell us that you personally went to all the villages to convince people to join in. There are a lot of them ¿aren’t there?

T: Yes, there are 22, all part of Ostula, where around 7,000 people live. Yes, it’s true, I went to all the villages. I didn’t always go alone. It was a lot of work, but it’s been worth it. We had to talk about what was going on and what we needed to do. What did I say to them? Well, maybe I gave an example: Supposing I’m here and somebody comes from Colima or Manzanillo or Uruápan and says, “Hey comrade, you know what? I like it here. You’d better get going because I like your house. I like where you’re living.” “Oh yeah? They’re going to run me off just like that? And I’m not going to do anything about it? I’ll just leave? If they said that to you, would you just leave? No. Am I right? Well listen, the same thing is going on. We’re taking back what’s ours.”

“So when we didn’t have any more land to work, I said: ‘Let’s go over there.’ And that’s the way we did it, going from village to village. Some said: ‘Yeah, you’re right’. Others said, ‘No way. They’ll kill us’. Other said: ‘That’s what we’ll do’. So then for three months we held General Assemblies. And that’s where we decided to do it. But the whole thing took more than a year.”

“Look, this a paper dated November 16, 2008, signed by 41 people that agreed with the land recovery. Then we gradually added signatures. 60. 100. We reached an agreement on this: We’re not after a bag of money. We’re after our land. We’re going to take back what’s ours. We’re not interested in fighting, but if they want to fight, we’re not going to just sit by and do nothing. But that was the day we started organizing to come here.”

C: How did you organize the community police?

T: We planned the community police a little bit later, because we said to ourselves, “If the municipal president won’t help us, what should we do? He didn’t want to help us. So I said, “How about if we arm around fifty men to be our community police?” When we agreed to do it, we talked to a lawyer and told him, “This is what we want to do and this is the way we want to do it.” “Ah,” he said, “that’s good. The community police is a good thing.” So we armed ourselves. We had agreed on taking charge of the land and then all the villages cooperated to form the community police. We set it up and moved on ahead.

“At first we had 300 people in the community police, all of us together. Coíre was going to send 200 and Pómara was going to cooperate, too, I don’t remember with exactly how many. They’re sister indigenous communities that have supported us from the first.”

C: What kind of support have you had from other groups?

T: Well, when Comandante Marcos passed through here in 2006, his caravan stopped in Ostula and he expressed his support. I wasn’t here, but we’ve always been in contact with them. Then just before and just after the land recovery, the National Indigenous Congress met here. On June 13 and 14, we issued the Ostula Manifesto, which supports the rights of indigenous people to self-defense. Then on August 9, we issued the Xayakalan Statement, where we said that the defense of the territory is the defense of the people and that our right to self-defense is not subject to negotiation. That support was really important because it came from many indigenous peoples and communities. They were here with us.

C: What happened on the 29th?

T: On the 29th we just came in, the police and everybody ––men, women and children––there were around five or six thousand of us from Ostula. When we came in, they fired first. They wounded one of our people and several were wounded on their side. The supposed land owners from La Placita had gotten here first, right over there. Maybe they’d heard about our plans. So I said to our people, “Well, there they are.” Then everyone met and said, “Well, there they are, so let’s go.” “Well, let’s go then.” So we did. They fired. The owners themselves or their gunmen. But it didn’t turn out as they planned. So they turned their cars around and left. They got out. We all came in and took up positions. And here we are.”

“Yes, we had everything planned. Building the houses was part of the plan. We had the materials and everything. We built 20 houses in a week. At the same time, we blockaded the highway for 15 days. A lot of people came from other parts of Michoacán and Colima to help.”

C: What is life like in Xayakalan now?

T: Things are calm, but the conflict still hasn’t been resolved. We have assemblies here. We all give our opinions. This is where we decide what we’re going to do. Here nobody backs down. We’re all down for whatever. We’re not here to fight. No no no no no. But if that’s what they want, what else can we do? Right now there’s a lot of work going on. There’s a lot to do. A lot of people are cooperating. We have nothing, so if we want things to take shape, we have to work, right? We’ve been planting crops and working the land. We’re still building houses. Right now we have 50 and there are 50 more families that want to come here. We’re putting a lot of emphasis on the schools. We want to set up a community radio. I’ve been down to see the compañeros in Radio Ñomndaa in Guerrero three times and we really like what they’re doing. Maybe we’ll be able to do something here like we did in La Ticla. I lived there at the beginning of the ‘60s when the lands were virgin. Some of us didn’t have plots of land and began to work the plots that other people weren’t working. We had to argue about that and demand our right to water, but the lands finally became productive. We’ve been to see both the federal and state governments and have told them that we’re here and that there’s nobody who’s going to move us out. It looks like they got kind of sloppy, ¿don’t you think? It looks like Godoy is trying to hide, too. He hasn’t helped us a bit. But he did want our votes so he could do us more harm than ever. There were elections year before last. We didn’t vote. We’re really stubborn about not voting. What do we stand to gain? So why do it? Now we’re saying we’ll also abstain in the upcoming elections. We’re continuing to demand recognition from the government that the lands are ours and recognition of our community police.

C: What kinds of repression and harassment are you dealing with? There’ve been reports of narco-paramilitary violence against you and of a lot of murders and disappeared peoples.

T: In Xayakalan we haven’t had anybody killed or disappeared, although the death of Diego, one of our teachers, surely had to do with our struggle. He had all the paperwork and supported the land recovery. He started drinking in La Placita and that’s where they lifted him. But that was in 2008 before the land recovery. It’s true that in Ostula there have been many deaths and several people disappeared, but most of them are not related to the struggle for the land. The Commissioner Francisco de Asis Manuel wasn’t appointed by the community. He was appointed by 3 or 4 or 5 people to come here and see that a mine was set up. That was his job. But we don’t want a mine here. Javier Martínez didn’t agree with the land recovery because he was being paid off. He was a politician. He was the Commissioner’s secretary and an official in the municipal presidency. They disappeared him in Aquila. A teacher named Gerardo was also disappeared because he was with him. We are really sorry about the teacher’s disappearance because he wasn’t mixed up in anything."-IndyMediaCntr.

special thanks to:

Negotiations not Upheld

A Report on: The IWW Open Harvest Workers Union Campaign
The workers at natural food Co-op Open Harvest have been ignored and finally negotiations were disrespected. While the Insurgent supports the Cooperative movement, this particular food co-op needs to respect its workers and honor the demands it has already agreed to.

"The Nebraska Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the newly-formed Open Harvest Workers' Union have been engaged in a month long struggle to improve treatment and compensation of workers at Open Harvest Cooperative Grocery in Lincoln. On Monday, January 3rd, the Nebraska IWW met with the Open Harvest board of directors. We presented a list of 5 demands, which the board agreed to address. In fact, we left the meeting feeling somewhat optimistic, as the board declared at that meeting that the current grievance policy was not compliant with their policies on fair treatment of workers.

Subsequently the board ruled that the general manager was to formulate a new, compliant grievance policy. We considered this to be a small victory as one of our demands was the complete overhaul of the grievance procedure. We previously stated that the existing grievance policy was unfair and intimidating because it forced the worker, who may very well have a grievance with management, to address part of management - the general manager - with any grievance and the general manager is given the power to throw out any grievance he or she felt was without merit, instead of passing it on to a board of directors committee for review. We argued that a fair grievance policy should bypass management altogether and go to a "grievance committee", a committee which should include members of the board and at least one democratically-elected peer (a non-management worker).

Our impression following the meeting was that most of the board members were sympathetic to this proposal and the rest of our demands (in fact a couple even stated so in private to us after the meeting). Our other demands are as follows: the reinstatement of IWW member Andrew Losh until his grievance is reviewed by a grievance committee; that board positions be made available to workers (a growing trend with progressive co-ops); wage increases for workers (workers currently start out at minimum wage and are given little opportunity for advancement, our goal is a living wage and benefits for all co-op workers); and full-time hours/benefits made available to non-management workers (currently only management receive full-time hours and insurance benefits). For more on this meeting see this article:

Unfortunately our optimism soon began to fade. All demands, except the first one, were not given a concrete deadline, all we asked was that progress be made; but we did set a one week deadline for our first demand - the reinstatement of IWW member, Andrew Losh. This deadline (Jan. 1, 2011) came and went, so we announced our intent to picket the co-op in order to further expose the problems at the co-op and to encourage swifter action from the co-op bureaucracy.

Finally on January 15th at around 8 PM (the night before our scheduled picket), Andrew received a letter from Kelsi Swanson, the Open Harvest general manager, which informed him that she would not be passing on his grievance to the committee. Underneath its veneer of professionalism and politeness, this letter stated that Swanson was using the current grievance policy (even though it was ruled as “non-compliant” by the board) to completely dismiss the grievance of Losh.

On Saturday, January 15th we went ahead with our picket. The intent of this picket was not to prevent people from shopping at co-op, and we openly stated so; our intent was to publicize the concerns of Open Harvest workers. Despite this, store management presented all staff with a memo on how to deal with the picket "out of concern for their safety". The Open Harvest Workers' Union sees this as a propaganda tactic - the promotion of a "siege mentality" - that is, spreading the idea that the co-op is under attack by a group of vindictive and possibly violent outsiders, and that the IWW does not have the workers' interests in mind.

In addition, the general manager posted this flippant dismissal of worker concerns on Facebook: "Please do not let a few sour apples stop you from getting your fresh organic apples from our wonderful produce department!" These are tactics often used by private employers to undermine efforts by workers to organize. Open Harvest members need to be made aware of the fact that the management of their cooperative, intentionally or unthinkingly, embraced what is clearly a hostile anti-union strategy. At the picket we handed out informative handbills which stated the issues and our demands and we spoke with many patrons who were sympathetic to our efforts and we all felt that it went very well despite the dishonest tactics used by Open Harvest management."

The Student Insurgent stands in SOlidarity with workers seeking to improve the conditions of their labor.

Special Credit to:

If you care about the forest get ready to do some tree sits!

The word from the esteemed boughs to the Great Douglas Firs of the Western Cascades:

The Forests are sacred, a part of the land and home of profound center, holding spiritual value. They retain a strong symbolism to as a sign of the health of the region, cutting them is disrespectful to the idea of healthy environment. Outside the deep aesthetic and cultural value, the Pacific Northwest's great trees help to be a great carbon sink, a sequestering force of toxic chemicals, buried in the boughs and in the roots. Cutting the trees has far longer consequences than the initial cut, but the stumps and desecrated land continue to release toxins long after the cut. The trees form a critical element in soil retention, ecosystem balance and the presence of large forests are fundamental in the process of wildlife habitat and species diversity.

Do you know what you are losing?

The Trapper land sale in Oregon is still in negotiations, if the companies move forward to log this Spotted Owl habitat, they can "expect resistance". The Company executives have been warned in a seasonal greeting. The forest a pristine ecosystem has been the subject of great debate. But will be defended.

But the Trapper sale is not the only one to be be coming up and logging happens year round.

As any stories come up the Insurgent will continue to update and put out the calls to action. For all the many who have sacrificed so much already, know that we stand with you and honor your devotion to the sacred grounds of this world. Solidarity!

Portland Police are being watched: Get to Know PDX officers!

Portland Activists have compiled a database of PDX officers, allowing any citizen to look up the history of these officers. A great way to understand your local unchecked authoritarian thugs. The Insurgent supports a communities right to protect itself without the need of roving thugs in uniforms.

"PDF of latest update, plus instructions on how to use the G2KPDX booklet, and a link to G2KPDX.COM, the updated database.

As you are reading a story in a newspaper, such as the recent article in the Oregonian entitled "Veteran Portland Officer Mike Stradley honored with Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal at 2011 police awards ceremony," (January 20, 2011) in which officer Stradley is awarded by the Portland Police Bureau for "compassion towards others, excellence in service and high moral and ethical standards," you can then turn to the "Get to Know Your Police Officers" booklet or the on-line database (G2KPDX.COM) and look up the officer in question, listed alphabetically by last name. In the case of officer Stradley, you would find out that officer Stradley is named in a BOLI complaint by a female officer (Sgt. Reyna) as taking part in the sexualized and sexist hazing rituals that Portland's SERT (like SWAT) team engages in, including forcing an officer to the ground while another officer would sit naked on the officer's face, and storming into the quarters of a sleeping officer, rousting him and simulating having sex with him. The complaint also states that officer Stradley was present at a scene in a hotel room during a "training trip," in which "walked a single female, and they started having sex with this woman. Gary Barbour said, quote: She was sucking and fucking everyone in the room, and he was describing that—he said it with a big smile on his face, and he said at one point Mike Stradley stuck a dildo in her behind, and she didn't like it and that she waved him off."

Somehow, these details about officer Stradley (as well as other not-so-flattering details) were left out of the story (which glorified officer Stradley's "compassion" and "high moral and ethical standards," including 4 pictures of officer Stradley, but not a single one picture of officer Robby Truong, who was credited with saving two lives within two months). Use of the booklet and database in this way can help to reduce the mis- and dis-infomation spread by the Portland Police Bureau, and news companies such as the Oregonian."-PortlandIndyMedia

thanks to:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Speak Out and advocating sometimes helps

A local group in Rochester, NY, defended their rights In a battle for community schools. Sometimes a little effort can go a long way and we can win victories.

"Community organizing and protest [1, 2] proved to be successful at last Thursday's school board meeting, where commissioners decided against voting to close Schools 2 and 6. "They didn't even bring that to a vote because they knew it would be voted down. That's a victory for 2 school and 6 school together with parents, students, community, organizing that was put in to push back on that issue." said Mark Friedman of the Community Education Task Force.

Before the meeting, School board president Malik Evans, announced on YNN that neither schools would close, but interestingly many people I talked with still seemed tense. People discussed not feeling like they could trust either the current decision makers or the media. In addition they stressed how critical the schools were to their surrounding communities and the importance of continuity in education.

I heard it, but I need to hear it tonight face-to-face to be sure. I need to find out directly what's going on because I want to have the facts. That's a big problem that's been going on: we've been getting mislead about the facts.

[School 6 is] not just a school it's a community. Children eat at some of the programs we offer after school, and we don't know if kids are eating at home. This is the reality that we're dealing with. It's our job to, as supporters of our community, to make sure that happens. We offer things at our schools — washing machines, irons, coats and hats — a lot of our students don't got that. Not only do we provide education, but we provide life to a lot of our students.
-Rashad Smith, School 6 parent

[12 school is] my home, I've been there 19 years as a parent and a teaching. I just couldn't imagine going out to another school. This is home because I've had so many families, entire families, come through my room. It means a lot when you can get involved with a family, more than just one year and you're gone. Over the years, I get to see them grow.
-Patricia Crane, School 2 teacher

Another common theme was importance of the organizing work that had gone into keeping the schools open and the need for it to continue.

We had great support from our school community. Our Parent Teacher organization worked right from the initial announcement saying what can we do? What do we need to do? The union helped with buses to get parents back and forth. Basically, we called on our relationships that we had. We have a good relationship with parents and teachers at our school and we reached out and told what could possibly happen and they came with great force. I'm very touched.

I think if nobody said anything, they would have just gone through with it.
-Mat Lavonas, School 2 teacher

I was so happy to see the teachers who were honored for credentialing last night with their prominent solidarity buttons. When nurses tried to unionize at Strong about 15 years ago, one of the divide strategies was to make those of us with "special" credentials or titles feel more connected to the administration than to our fellow nurses. When I saw Mr. Petronio's press release about honoring these four teachers for newly earned credentials, I thought of that. When I saw the teachers' union buttons one after another, I felt compelled to show that not only is there solidarity among teachers, but we parents are with you all too!

We chanted "Sol Sol Sol… Solidarity," three in a row as they were returning to their seats from the stage.
-Mary Adams, Community Education Task Force

[In response to: "will the people who fought to keep the schools open, continue to organize?"] It's absolutely crucial that they do and I'm confident that people will. We've made some strong connections with teachers, with leadership, with students and families in those schools and we intend to build on those connections.
-Mark Friedman, Community Education Task Force

So what's next for Rochester Schools? The impetus for closing the schools came from a need to create "swing space" for the 1.5 billion dollar facilities modernization project (background on facilities modernization and more). What happens now seems very much unclear. Much of the discussion revolved around a resolution passed by the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board.

[…]they wouldn't read that resolution out-loud at first, but then we demanded the resolution to be read out. They were talking about this, but it wasn't in anyone's hands, it wasn't public. When they read that out loud, it became clear that it said it's preferable, but not necessary to have a stated swing space. I found that very interesting because I've payed close attention to this and that was never stated in any of these other facilities modernization meetings when they were bringing up swing space and closing schools.

Then in came forth that the board has not even reviewed that document. Allan Williams said, "we the board have never seen that, we've never read that, it's never been handed to us."
-Mark Friedman, Community Education Task Force

Clearly, last night represents a win for community organizers, but there is still a larger fight ahead for control of Rochester Schools."

The Insurgent stands in solidarity with communities seeking self-determination!

Special Thanks to:

The Latest from Egypt

The state entities of Egypt remain embattled with protesters. There are several developments, the state has shut down the last of the Internet hubs and this limits information exchange. Also the recent appointment of Omar Suleiman, a CIA front man, who is suspected of being involved in the US 'Extreme Rendition' cases (Extreme rendition is the process of sending a US citizen of Detainee to an international government, to torture and extract information- to avoid national backlash of violating human rights). If Suleiman is as bad as some suggest, the US is liable to open new 'black zones' as places to outsource torture. Finally the Washington 'solution' to the Egyptian upheavals.

"Pres. Mubarak has closed down internet, sms, banks, schools, universities, courts, now the trains in all of Egypt. The last working ISP in Egypt has been shut down. Confirmed reports from @ioerror and by phone from @RamyRaoof. Reports now dependant on landlines, dialup via international ISP. People preparing for million person march on Tuesday"-IndyMedia

"In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Aljazeera commentators were describing him as a "distinguished" and "respected " man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition to torture program. Further, he is "respected" by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.

Katherine Hawkins, an expert on the US's rendition to torture program, in an email, has sent some critical texts where Suleiman pops up. Thus, Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman's role in the rendition program:

Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments....The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as "very bright, very realistic," adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to "some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way" (pp. 113).

Stephen Grey, in Ghost Plane, his investigative work on the rendition program also points to Suleiman as central in the rendition program:
To negotiate these assurances [that the Egyptians wouldn't "torture" the prisoner delivered for torture] the CIA dealt principally in Egypt through Omar Suleiman, the chief of the Egyptian general intelligence service (EGIS) since 1993. It was he who arranged the meetings with the Egyptian interior ministry.... Suleiman, who understood English well, was an urbane and sophisticated man. Others told me that for years Suleiman was America's chief interlocutor with the Egyptian regime -- the main channel to President Hosni Mubarak himself, even on matters far removed from intelligence and security"- STEPHEN SOLDZ

Meanwhile the opposition, still in protest and slowly arming themselves. Meanwhile Washington wants to mitigate any social reform.

"Egyptians want their dictator's regime to end, but Obama wants only a "shift in Egypt's administration." These are clashing demands. Indeed, since the events in Egypt began, Obama has been busily speaking through both sides of his mouth.

His administration continued to give support to the dictator as protesters were being shot in the street. Obama called for calm "from both sides," giving equal credibility to the murderous dictatorship and the masses of people who demanded he leave. It should be obvious that, if the protesters "show restraint," as Obama wants, the dictatorship would stay in place."-Portland IndyMedia

"The Egyptian uprising, which emerged as a disparate and spontaneous grass-roots movement, began to coalesce Sunday, as the largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, threw its support behind a leading secular opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, to negotiate on behalf of the forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak...Though lacking deep support on his own, Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate, could serve as consensus figure for a movement that has struggled to articulate a program for a potential transition." (January 30, 2011).

""In surreal scenes in Cairo, soldiers stood by tanks covered in anti-Mubarak graffiti: "Down with Mubarak. Down with the despot. Down with the traitor. Pharaoh out of Egypt."...Asked how they could let people scrawl anti-Mubarak slogans on their mostly American-made vehicles, one soldier said: "These are written by the people. It's the views of the people."

This army will find it difficult to suppress the inevitable protests if Elbaradei is installed as a U.S. puppet; inevitable because he will follow the path laid by Mubarak: support of U.S. military presence in the region; support of Israeli policy against the Palestinians; support of U.S. free-market economic policy; and support of further U.S. aggression against neighboring countries like Iran.

In short, any regime that continues to support U.S. policies will be a dictatorship, something the Egyptian people clearly do not want. If the Muslim Brotherhood props up such a government, they will be completely exposed and discredited by their own members, and a tremendous void will be left open, to be filled by the self-organization of the Egyptian people"-Portland IndyMedia.

Put more Bluntly "Though the dangers of an experiment with democracy in a such a strategic country - make Democracy rather unappealing for the United States Government which has financed the Egyptian military for the past 30 years; For them the more favored outlook is rule by the military"-US IndyMedia.


Lariviere is a Slytherin. (Learn about UO 'Public safety becoming police')

-“Correct me if I’m wrong… It’s been a while since I read the New Partnership, but I remember there being something in it about turning into DPS into a police force… Will you talk about that?” I asked President Lariviere at the January 25 town hall meeting regarding the New Partnership. No one had yet mentioned a word about establishing a police force at the UO, which is one of multiple parts of the legislation called the New Partnership.

The president responded with ‘’… That is a separate issue…’’ telling the attendees that the New Partnership has nothing to do with establishing a University police force.

“Well… okay, then” I said as I stepped away from the microphone.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from Vice President Robin Holmes informing me that “something that the president in answer to your question was not correct.” There is, in fact, a section of the New Partnership that will provide for the ability to have a University Police Force.

In the face of the student body, Lariviere has shown us once again that his words are suave, diplomatic, and often misleading. With high hopes for dependence on (excuse me, partnership with) private donors, and an armed police force, Lariviere must use his every trick to divide and silence the student body. With each of these moves, power is slipping out of our hands, and into the hands of the already powerful elite—not only the University bureaucracy, but their sponsors as well—Nike, Pepsi, Seneca Sawmill, Wells Fargo, and the list goes on. The less involved students become in the University system, the easier it is for the administration to move away from the University’s mission-- which is education, not a BCS championship, thank you.

And while the Prez is telling us that the New Partnership has nothing to do with establishing a police force, so is DPS telling us that the creation of a police force has ‘’Arming with handguns or tasers isn’t part of this discussion” In the informational packet that DPS gave out at on Friday’s ‘Coffee with the Chief’, it is stated that the decision to arm the police force with guns, tasers, etc., will be left to University officials.

But really, the police force has nothing to do with guns; that is, until the decision is out of our hands.

This is not a new battle. Four years ago, a similar battle was waged, and the administration lost. Again, us students must raise our voices, as those students after us will again have to do the same.

Keep our Campus safe. Keep Cops away.- Writes one Insurgent

Check it out!
UO DPS Town Hall meeting... 3:00-4:30 at the Fir Room in the EMU

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the all the campus, in resisting the addition or increase of a violent police elements to campus. The Student Insurgent also finds the lies of the Administration to be deplorable and further proof of corruption which surrounds the University policies.

Return power to students!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Protesters in Egypt seizing power

Amid violence, a new narrative needs to be told.

From the stories of the living, the dead must be honored, please give them Silence and prayer for souls yearning. The protesters, seeking liberation have done something that has never been done- a popular protest is taking power with the military, away from the state. In a scene surrounded by the potential for a massacre, the president's cabinet has resigned and it would seem the people are taking the power which the president has cast off. While the exact details are still uncertain and the outcome is unresolved, the people have done something more than simply protest. "30 Jan 2011: Al Jazeera: number of protesters in Alexandria exceeds 150,000. BBC Arabic estimated crowds in Meydan Tahrir at 7pm to be 150,000. Massive protests in Mahalla, Mansoura, Suez & Ismailiya in addition to Cairo & Alexandria. Curfew defiantly ignored"

"In a day of anger at the Mubarak regime hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said and in many Egyptian towns and cities in one of the biggest protests seen so far in the country and with intense confrontations with state security forces. Major protests started on January 25. Hundreds were wounded during street battles with the police with fifty three confirmed deaths from Friday's protests.

The protests came after the protests that led to the fall of the Tunisian government and the ousting of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, driven by poverty, high food prices, autocratic governments, high levels of corruption for many years, and the absence of political freedom."-Independent Media.

The people, rather than be culled by police and army, have begun to make allies and now tanks are in the hands of the people. This is a great time of empowerment. "It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak's own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship"-The Independent. When the police fight and fight they may either break the back of a movement- or -they may realize that the movement is bigger than the forces they were protecting and the police will join in the protest or perish.

"It is important to keep in mind that historically, animosity has existed between Egyptian police and army officers. The Interior Ministry, according to STRATFOR sources, wanted to prevent the military from imposing control in the streets. It appears that the absence of police on the streets Jan. 29 was (at least in part) encouraged by the outgoing interior minister, who was sacked the same day along with the rest of the Cabinet. Egyptian plainclothes police allegedly were behind a number of the jailbreaks, robberies of major banks and the spread of attacks and break-ins in high-class neighborhoods. The idea behind the violent campaign was to portray the protesters as a public menace and elicit a heavy-handed army crackdown to embroil the military in an even bigger crisis."-Stratfor

This is a dramatic change in the nature of protest, which sought to simply dislodge the police and seize a building, landmark or thing. Now the nature of protest is with the people dislodging the power of the police, by not quitting, backing down or surrendering to just force. For the human spirit and conscience will not submit forever, but must rise as surely as the earth is rotating and the sun will rise.

With tanks in the hands of the protesters and the police forced over bridges, we must ask who is violent? Is it the people marching and running, massing as a part of a collective need for empowerment, or the armed police who's actions have been responsible for most of the nearly 100 deaths? Do not say 'there is violence in the Middle East', instead say 'the police are acting in violence across the Middle East'. It is these police, in charge of administrating laws and it is they who inspire fear greater than any military brigade. Their presence justifies the authoritarian systems that crush freedom.

The police commissioner from Alabama during the latter years of American Segregation had this to say of police "The Problem with police work, is that by its nature it tends to attract a certain percentage of sadistic people, who enjoyed the job because it legitimized their natural meanness". The police held the line in segregation, for Apartheid in South Africa and Palestine, for the dictators and the power hungry, the police become the perfect institution to carry out cruelty and repression. Since the police have a sense of perceived legitimacy, they become the ideal tool, for the state wishing to frighten its people. But as we are learning, people will not remain frightened forever and therein lies hope for us all. A hope found in "The demonstrators, who still number in the tens of thousands in downtown Cairo and in other major cities"-Stratfor.

Let this be a lesson to every state- return your power to its source of divestment- the people.

THE Student Insurgent remains in Solidarity with resistance across the world!

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