Saturday, February 19, 2011

IWW: national call for aid for striking Wisconsin workers.

The IWW released this call for aid. The situation is basically a crisis. They need bodies if you're in the area, they need food, money for striking workers and their families:

"At present, people are on the streets and in the Capital 24/7. The Tea Party will be at the capital on Saturday February 19 from noon-3pm. The Democrats have fled the state and a stalemate is ensuring.

Please consider coming this weekend and giving public workers the support they need. We will be making best use of the time that the Democrats have given us by holding an emergency meeting. We are expecting this situation to continue, allowing time for a deeper analysis. We are asking members to understand that we are working with the militant tendencies with-in the existing unions and asserting our perspectives when appropriate. This may be the half way point but it may also be the beginning. The situation is developing steady by itself but we need to direct it towards empowering the rank-n-filers. We will be developing short term strategies to push this forward and long term plans for support.

This will be a chaired meeting that is open to the public but you must have your red card to vote or pass motions. Delegates will be on hand to sign people up and pay dues up. There is a parking lot at the Labor Temple and the room can fit 70 people. We'll have a couple of guest speakers to brief the membership and bring them up to speed on the current events.

For those who can not come please consider supporting the Madison IWW financially.
Check:
Madison GMB Mail - PO Box 2442, Madison, WI 53703
Right now we are working on housing and logistical issues. Please contact Marty for housing at: mjk-333@att.net

Madison@iww.org"-Madison I.W.W.

More locally, the Portland IWW is fighting for fair treatment as well.

"Some workers and wobblies in Portland, OR could really use some solidarity in the form of some phone calls.

The Portland branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), workers at Streetlight and Porchlight youth shelters, and workers form Harry's Mother (two Janus non-profit programs) began picketing in front of Janus Youth Program's main office at 707 NE Couch on February 7th. We are doing so because Janus is in contract negotiations with these two different IWW-represented shops, and in both of those contacts, there is an employee review panel which has been in place for a decade which gives workers the right to contest firings and have a no-cost review of those management decisions. Janus is now claiming they will not sign the contacts with those time-honored panels, and is refusing to give workers their pay increases, until workers accept binding arbitration instead of the peer review panel, which would cost the workers and the union potentially thousands of dollars they don't have.

More info and a press release are available at portlandiww.org

Please call this week (2/14-2/19) in the morning between 9am and 11am west coast time.

Call Janus's Main office, request to speak with Dennis Morrow. (503) 233-6090.

Email the executive director at dmorrow@janusyouth.org

And. their negotiating team which consists of a program director and a lawyer kdonegan@janusyouth.org, andrew@portlandemploymentlaw.com

We are looking to set a tone that is both polite and firm.

Here is a sample script,

Hello,

This is ________________________. I am calling in support of the union workers at Janus Youth. They deserve both the peer review panel and a decent wage. Do not deny the democratic oversight provided by the peer review panel and replace with a process that could cost workers and the program thousands of dollars. As a non-profit, you should use your money to help youth, not fight workers." Portland I.W.w.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity will all the workers of the world trying to build a movement to end oppression and make a better life. "Stand together and answer the call, an injury to one is an injury to all"-TchKung!

thanks to:
http://www.iww.org/en/node/5346

http://www.iww.org/en/node/5341

Minesota: The government threatens to take away collective bargaining.

Wisconsin is protesting the end of collective bargaining! The Republican-led government is trying to shut workers out of fair pay, benefits and their rights to organize.

"On Tuesday, some 15,000 people massed inside the Capitol and on the grounds to oppose the Republican governor’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many of the state’s public employees...

Schools in Madison were closed Wednesday as hundreds of teachers joined thousands of people at the state Capitol to protest Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip workers’ rights.

The largest protests in Wisconsin in years continued Thursday at the state capitol in Madison, which was occupied by upset state workers earlier this week in response to Governor Scott Walker's proposal to cut salaries, benefits and collective bargaining rights and his threat to call in the National Guard against the workers. On Wednesday, Walker's measure was advanced in committee, and the State Senate is expected to take up the measure today."-Twincities IndyMedia

On Friday night, crowds gathered in Madison, huge crowds. With the capital rotunda filled and spilling outside, the police are waiting nearby, while their union, along with the firemen are not threatened. The

"The State estimates 35,000 people alone were inside the Capitol rotunda. And judging from the photos of the simultaneous demonstration outside, the crowds on the Capitol grounds were just as big, if not bigger.

Together, the entire crowd had to be closer 70,000. And let's remember, it was literally freezing outside.

While the protest is receiving a decent amount of attention, the enormity of the crowd has not."-Al Rodgers

Meanwhile conservative talk show host says people shouldn't "bend over and take it" by keeping collective bargaining rights. Because every worker should get fucked over by themselves. Brilliant.

The organizers are determined to remain non-violent, but resistant.

"Today is NON-VIOLENT. Stay close to friends, watch out for each other, if your temper is up get out of the situation."-the labor organizers said

The Student Insurgent stands with the Wisconsin labor movement, in efforts of empowerment to make sure all the workers are taken care of.

follow on twitter #wiunion #killthisbill @DefendWisconsin

Thanks to:
http://twincities.indymedia.org/2011/feb/labor-unrest-rocks-wisconsin

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/19/947139/-70,000-in-Solidarity-(Photo-Diary)

Friday, February 18, 2011

While we wait for Egypt, From Jordan, Bahrain

News from the middle East!

"Egypt's new military rulers dismantled ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak's regime on Sunday, dissolving parliament, suspending the constitution and promising a referendum on political reform.

While the civilian cabinet met for the first time since Mubarak's downfall, the generals made it clear where authority now lies, issuing a proclamation setting a six-month timetable to prepare democratic elections."-Al Jazeera

Jordan's uprising has been subject to military intimidation and violence.

"The most common demands are a new election law that would be more equal between urban and rural areas. Many are now calling for a return to the 1952 constitution. This would strip the current constitution of a lot of the measures giving additional powers to the monarchy. Everyone wants increased transparency in the budget and in the finances of ministers to decrease corruption. Lots of talk about educational reform. Many urging Jordanians to do their part in combating racism against Palestinians, to stop littering, to avoid smoking in non-smoking areas, to drive safer, to educate themselves on Jordan's history and politics. Some are demanding reform of Jordan's state-run TV and newspapers. Many want to see increased economic initiatives in renewable energy, and are urging Jordanians to support Jordanian businesses.

This isn't to say that people think that Jordan's a miserable place that needs to change everything. This guy thinks that freedom of speech is just fine. I have some evidence that there might be some reason for concern/reform. At least one student activist has been arrested. That wouldn't be especially notable except that the man's father was arrested so the young man would turn himself in. Seems like a questionable practice at best...and I'm not sure at all, to be honest, how any of that fits in with loosening restrictions on public gatherings. Or on escalations of criticism against the government that seems to be tolerated without legal action.

In sum, the last month there's just been a mood of inspiration across the region. This blog encapsulates the best of the feelings here, starting with Tunisia and amplified tenfold by Egypt. Demonstrations and online discussions aren't against the government, or against some new policy, but advocating real changes."

Meanwhile in Bahrain, the protests continue, cabinet members step down and Bahraini government threatens to use troops to quell crowds.

"Eighteen members of Bahrain parliament have resigned from their posts in a show of protest against the violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

The lawmakers announced on Thursday that they have suspended their membership in parliament over the killings of Shia demonstrators, Press TV cited an unnamed opposition parliamentarian as saying... Armored vehicles rumbled through the capital on Thursday as the government tried to quell the protests inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt... The demonstrators are demanding a new constitution that would move the country toward democracy and limit the king's powers.

Bahrain is ruled by a royal family, who are blamed for discrimination against the country's Shia population -- comprising 70 percent of the population.

The Bahraini government has issued warnings about taking strict measures against pro-democracy protesters, amid the ongoing popular uprisings in the country... Witnesses say military forces have been deployed across Manama, as army has alerted people to avoid central areas of the city. On Thursday, at least four protesters were killed and about 230 others injured after Bahraini security forces stormed a protest camp in Pearl Square in downtown Manama and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. "Al Jazeera

The US is not a free agent here, with both interests and a military. But the might hand is not swayed against the people.

"Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line to hear from their people. When it came to Egypt in particular, there was initially much polite (and hypocritical) discussion in the media about how our "interests" and our "values" were in conflict, about how far the U.S. should back off its support for the Mubarak regime... While negotiating madly behind the scenes to retain power and influence in Egypt, it is not likely to call the troops out of the barracks. American military intervention remains essentially inconceivable. Don’t wait for Washington to send paratroopers to the Suez Canal as those fading imperial powers France and England tried to do in 1956. It won’t happen. Washington is too drained by years of war and economic bad times for that."

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity the movements across the world for self-determination!



thanks to:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/Egypt-military-dismantles-Mubarak-regime.html

http://betsyinjordan.blogspot.com/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/Bahrain-MPs-quit-to-protest-crackdown.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/Bahrain-warns-protesters-of-harsh-steps.html

http://www.fpif.org/articles/pox_americana_driving_through_the_gates_of_hell_and_other_american_pastimes_in_the_greater_middle_east

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Midterms

Sorry no Posts tonight, owing to midterms. We will be back tomorrow with stellar content.

After getting shafted, some are taking their homes back!

With the bailout, the Obama administration made one clear statement- we are on the side of the rich. In the classic struggle between rich and poor with systems reinforcing gender and racial oppression, the whole system seems corrupt. Corrupt, because the advisors are in bureaucracies that are so large they can hardly be understood, much less managed. The bailout marked the single largest transfer of wealth from public hands to private hands. "The rich get richer..."- Marx.

"Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What's more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even "one dollar" just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick "The Gorilla" Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars."-Rolling Stone

The schemes and financial rigging of 'lenders', authorized by banks, have cost families their homes. With skyrocketing bills on non-fixed mortgages. This crippling financial gamble caused knowing harm to those being lent to. Yet after major banks took federal funding, still thousands are being evicted from homes every day for inability to pay- to pay for the mistakes of the lenders.

Some people are taking action to place families in homes. Take back the land opens vacant homes to the families who have been evicted:
"The overarching objective of the Take Back the Land Movement correlate significantly with our principles:
-Fundamentally transform land relationships;
-Elevate housing to the level of a human right;
-Community control over land and housing;
-Empower impacted communities, particularly low income communities of color.

In order to achieve these movement objectives, we must design and implement a series of campaigns, whose objectives support those of the broader movement. Therefore, campaign action areas include:
-Foreclosure related evictions. In the context of the worse housing crisis in memory, evicting families and creating more vacant homes in communities is counterproductive.
-Foreclosed homes. These homes must be filled with families in need of housing.
-Vacant foreclosed and government owned buildings. At a time of such great need, these vacant structures shock the moral conscience. They must be used to housing people.
-Vacant foreclosed and government owned land. Now that “boom” times are over, vacant land must now be returned to the common good.
-Public housing. Public housing must be protected because we cannot afford to lose low-income housing.
-The right to return. Whether through gentrification, public housing demolition or the combination of natural disasters and government actions, those forced to leave their long-time communities must have the right to return."-an excerpt from the mission of Take Back the Land.

The Student Insurgent stands with the dislocated families in their right to shelter and a right of return after bank mortgages exploited them.

thanks to:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216?print=true

http://www.takebacktheland.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=mission

Eugene IWW: Soapbox Speaking

A group of local citizens and the Lane Branch of the IWW are sponsoring a local commemoration of the 1910-1911 free speech movement because of the Lane County connection. In 1911 over 250 Northwest workers concerned about the curtailment of free speech rights in Fresno, California and other cities assembled in Portland to travel by box car to Fresno in Jan. and Feb. of 1911 with stops in Eugene and other Oregon cities. In Ashland, Oregon they were forced off the train and proceeded to walk over the snow covered Siskiyous. The event would center on Prof. Mullen's presentation will include period labor songs performed by local musicians and actual “soapboxing.”


100 Years Ago,On February 16, 1911, over a hundred members of the IWW left Portland on freight trains bound for Fresno, The group consisted of young working men willing to die for free speech. They risked being beaten by strike breakers. Nearly a hundred Wobblies made the hazardous trek south by foot through the snow-covered Siskiyous after being kicked out of the box cars in Ashland. By the end ot their trek the they had walked roughly 150 miles across the frozen Siskiyous.
Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice has a campaign to create a Wobbly Free Speech Monument be placed in the mountains along their historic route to commemorate and immortalize these workers virtuous trek.
“...men of conviction who voluntarily, for the cause of free speech, hit-the-grits and disappeared into the snowfall to confront possible death, not in the face of hostile gunfire, but in the face of an indifferent nature’s blizzard.”
~ Jay Mullen

Jay Mullen will be giving a presentation on this history. The event will take place on Thurs. March 3rd/7 pm Willamette 100/U of O campus

UO Native American Student Union fundraisers for Annual Pow Wow

AN event update from the Native American Student Union (NASU):

We have a bake sale outside of the UofO bookstore this friday from 12-4pm.

We also have a basketball tournament on April 15-17 at the Morse Event Center at Northwest Christian University. It is free admission and open to the public.

Both of these events are fundraisers for our annual Mother's Day Pow Wow in May.

The Pow Wow is a major event, celebrating the heritage of indigenous peoples. This is a positive celebration which acknowledges the history and empowers the marginalized community.

The Student Insurgent encourages everyone to help support these events and and volunteer at the Pow Wow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines flowers? Sometimes roses have thorns.

The flower industry is by and large exploitative, chemically hazardous and full of toxic waste. This is a system of exploitation, but not a hopeless situation, fair-trade and organic options are making room in the market for more ethical products.

"Low pay and exposure to toxins for wokers in South America flower export market - changing for the better? Talking with a customer and management of Robertson's Flowers in Chestnut Hill...

In the 2004 movie, “Maria Full of Grace,” a pregnant young woman trades the harsh conditions of a flower packing operation in Colombia to come to the United States with a friend as a “drug mule.” It doesn't turn out well.

The flower export business is big business. Large, drab greenhouses, like those in Ecuador where “Maria” was filmed, can stretch for miles. From my bus window, I knew the eerily transformed landscape would not be on any picture postcard I would be sending home to the U.S.

Beauty has its cost to both the environment and people, however, according to “The Secrets Behind Your Flowers,” a February 2011 Smithsonian Magazine report. Because it may take three gallons of water to grow just one rose bloom, groundwater supplies become depleted. The low-paying work is tedious and straining. In traditional growing operations, workers are exposed to the dangerous pesticides and fungicides that keep insects from taking the slightest nibble from an otherwise picture-perfect flower.

Public outcry in recent years has led to the introduction of fair trade practices. Nicole Serfass, flower buyer at Robertson’s Flowers greenhouses in Wyndmoor, showed off the Veriflora label on the roses they import from South America. Veriflora is one of a handful of certifying organizations that try to ensure that their growers are using sustainable agricultural methods and providing equitable, healthy conditions for their workers.

At Robertson’s showcase Chestnut Hill store, Sandy Robertson says they source their flowers locally from New Jersey, domestically from Florida when they can and even sees growing customer interest in organically or sustainably grown flowers. Serfass has been asking their growers about organic but believes it’s not yet economically worth it for them to invest the years required for organic certification.

“Aren’t they gorgeous?” Donna Beardell of Chestnut Hill asks, exiting Robertson’s with a brilliant bunch of pink tinged roses, destined for her nieces competing in a gymnastics meet. On Valentines Day, she’s hoping she’ll be the recipient."- Brian Rudnick, Philly IMC

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the workers of the world, the growers of food and makers of the luxuries- a people who are often denied the very luxuries they produce en-mass for the Global North. May we all have the necessities of a healthy and fulfilled life.

thanks to:
http://phillyimc.org/en/valentines-day-roses-does-love-hurt

Longest Walk 3 Northern Route 2011

"'Reversing Diabetes in Native America'

Portland, OR to Washington DC
February 14 - July 8, 2011
This is a 5,000+ mile Walk Across America to bring awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes and how it can be reversed by changing our entire diet and lifestyle! This disease is at epidemic levels across America, and throughout Indian Country.

We will hold community talks along the way about reversing diabetes, and heart disease. We will be advocating for major changes in our eating habits, while promoting beneficial exercise programs. Our goal will be to REVERSE DIABETES AND RAISE THE CONSCIOUS OF AMERICA THAT WE MUST HALT THE WORST DIET IN THE WORLD!

We will be leaving Portland, OR on February 14, 2011 following a ceremony, and other events, and entering Washington DC on July 8th, 2011.
PLEASE SEE NOTES [on website] FOR ROUTE MAP AND LIST OF CITIES AND TOWNS THE WALKERS WILL WALK THROUGH!

You, too, can be a part of this! Please consider donating to our cause. We are accepting gas cards and unencumbered funds to be used for support and emergencies.

We need contacts for food and and lodging in communities along the route, and runners to help with the walk.

To see a video of Day 1 on the Walk, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJiobo_RT-Y

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the indigenous people's movements for a a more just and egalitarian world. We are on occupied indigenous territory.

thanks to:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/02/406163.shtml

http://earthbornproductions.com/LWNR3_P9IO.html

Longest Jailed Nuclear Resister Helen Woodson Needs Support

"Over the years we have spent time in prison and/or supported other activists who have been in prison for acts of conscience. We write to you now with a special request on behalf of Helen Woodson.

Back in November of 1984, Helen was part of the Silo Pruning Hooks action. She went to a Missouri nuclear missile silo along with Larry Cloud-Morgan, Fr. Carl Kabat OMI and Fr. Paul Kabat OMI. With sledgehammer and jackhammer, the group followed the biblical mandate of Isaiah to turn swords into plowshares. They were convicted and received a varied number of years of prison time for their action.

With the exception of a few days, Helen has been in prison ever since. (A couple of times in past years when released, she immediately engaged in an action that resulted in arrest and being returned directly to prison for violating parole.)

She is scheduled to be released in September of 2011 after 27 years behind bars.

Helen is looking forward to getting out, and at the age of 67 and with health issues, has decided to now retire from activities that might return her to prison.

It's been a long time since she's lived on the outside. She'll leave prison with a sweatsuit, plus books that she's accumulated. That's it.

Since she will leave prison with no source of income or health coverage, she plans to apply for government assistance, but it can take six or so months for someone to find out if they are eligible to receive benefits. In the meantime, in addition to things like food and clothes, she'll need to purchase medications for multiple health problems, at quite a significant cost. So she has asked friends to raise funds on her behalf (not money to be used while she is in prison, but for the things she'll need once she's released).

Her living situation once she's released is still uncertain. It has been challenging for her to develop a plan that the Bureau of Prisons and Department of Justice find suitable since Helen will be subjected to many conditions and restrictions after her release. The couple who have invited her to live with them are still waiting to be contacted to answer the questions and receive the home visit needed to determine if Helen will be allowed to live there. Helen is very much hoping that they and their home will be approved. If not, she is not sure where she will be able to live, and it's possible additional money will need to be raised to enable her to rent a small place to live.

In the meantime, until this becomes more clear, it will ease her mind significantly if she can at least know that she'll be able to pay for the medicines she needs, and things like a winter coat. Can you help?"- Portland IndyMedia

Secure online donations can be made via paypal at the Nuclear Resister website at: http://www.nukeresister.org/donate

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with Helen Woodson, all military resisters and efforts to abolish militarism.

thanks to:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/02/406165.shtml

Fashion Resistance to Militarism Fashion Show

A fashion show to challenge to status quo. This is the second annual critical analysis of the fashion industry and how the industries of oppression weave their way into daily live. By deconstructing the myths violent imagery, the show challenges the social dictates and influence of social injustice in our lives.

Agate Hall
When: Friday, February 25, at 7pm
This fashion show is all about how the military is influencing the fashion industry. The show will uncover the high costs of militarism in terms of people’s lives, emotional wellbeing, environmental contamination, carbon footprint, war profiteering, and all the ways war is made to seem normal. Each design will be paired with an informative script; together they will tell a wider story about militarism and “counter couture” for peace and justice.

The Insurgent stands in Solidarity with the resistance to the dominant oppressive culture of militarism.

Proxy From Mexico

Life makes sense on the farm. There are no deadlines; only what must
get done now and what must get done later. It is as fast or as slow as
you would like, though faster is generally better. Most of you who
earn a college degree will work in fields unrelated to that degree. It
is the mark of jumping through hoops for our societal structure, but
those hoops mostly lead to unsustainable institutions which cannot
last much longer. However, the farm will always be there, and your
college degree will help, because the farm requires all forms of
knowledge. The biologist, the psychologist, the artist, the doctor,
the geologist, the writer, the mechanic, and more; they are all vital
parts of the farm. I am not sure if it is worth spending tens of
thousands of dollars to earn a degree from an institution you likely
disagree with, but in the end, many of you will end up here in the
soil, sun, and seeds. Why not do it now? You will feel more fulfilled
and happier I am quite sure. If not for the sunshine, then for the
soil bacteria which help produce serotonin and prevent illnesses. Then
for not hurting the things you love through your work. Then by eating
delicious food which you worked and worked to grow. Then by solving
every odd problem in the book. Then by being a good person.

PS: Keep the USA in line!

Sage Liskey,
Contributor, Student Insurgent

UO News Release: Intersections of Immigration

9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on February 25, 2011. The symposium will be based around the intersections between immigration and other areas of law. There will be five discussion panels as well as lunch, a keynote speaker, and post-event hors d'oeuvres. Four Oregon State Bar CLE credits are pending for the event.

Registration may be completed via our website at http://oregonsymposium.weebly.com. Students must register on our website by February 20 to attend free of charge with their valid student IDs.

The panels will cover topics of family law and immigration; criminal law and immigration; business law and immigration; human rights law and crisis immigration, including asylum and domestic violence law; and nonprofit law and immigration.

There will be three to four panelists per panel. Each group of panelists will be composed primarily of immigration practitioners who specialize in the panel’s corresponding area of law. Law professors will moderate the panels and ask the panelists questions regarding practical considerations for those in immigration practice, such as daily work, types of clients served, and types of projects completed. Each panelist will have the opportunity to respond to policy questions, including questions regarding the effects of immigration on corresponding areas of law as traditionally practiced, possible areas of improvement within the immigration system, and opportunities for improved client situations and efficiency levels if immigration policies were changed.

The Student Insurgent supports efforts to engage in multiculturalism and entertain rational discussion about immigration. This event in particular will likely be a powerful and necessary discussion.

The Light of Alexandria

The struggle of Tahrir square ended and while the military retains control, the dictator voluntarily left. While a world deeply embroiled in violence finds this stunning some Egyptian scholars believed it inevitable.

"For three decades, I came here to see Heikal and he predicted the implosion of Egypt with absolute conviction, outlining in devastating detail the corruption and violence of the Mubarak regime, and its inevitable collapse"- of Mohamed Heikal, the Independent

Conditions of collapse which are now dissimilar only in places of the American Landscape. While the US is considerably larger and less culturally unified, one cannot help but wonder, of the fate of the United States. But Egypt is in a region, now illuminated with the possibility of a better world.

Reports from Yemen tell the tale of struggle, that has now reigned for four days with thousands in the streets.

"Scattered clashes between Bahraini security forces and protesters were reported Sunday night and Monday amid a nationwide "day of rage" against corruption and political oppression inspired by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt."-LA Times

Now the governments have pressure not to respond with violence, the precedence has been set and governments are increasingly willing to hear and accommodate the protesters. Under pressure of the International world and even many regional neighbors.

"In a statement Monday, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa did not refer specifically to the protests, but said Bahrain has made "many political reforms and democratic achievements" already. "These reforms, widely acknowledged and appreciated, have upgraded Bahrain's political status at international forums worldwide," he said."- LA Times.

In Beirut "Saad Hariri, whose coalition government was toppled last month, used the occasion to formally announce his opposition to the new administration now being formed. Led by his successor, Najib Mikati, the dominant partner is the militant Shiite Hezbollah movement."- C.S.Monitor

Finally as the 'Arab' world is in upheaval, 'Western' nations are not behaving so well in regards to human rights "Islamophobia in the United Kingdom, the rise of the far right, and the Prevent Terrorism initiative of the British government. we recognized that 80 percent of the oppressed around the world were Muslim, but the perception in the international community is that Muslims are perpetrators not victims. Of course, many of the oppressors of Muslims are also Muslims, but 80 percent of the victims are Muslims. We felt that this was an irregularity in facts and perceptions that had to be addressed or it would lead to greater Islamophobia.

When 9/11 happened, we saw a huge number of attacks in Britain even though 9/11 didn’t happen in Britain. When 7/7 happened, there was a huge number of attacks against Muslims in Britain, and the demonization and attacks were as far afield as New Zealand, where six mosques burned down, Compare that to Bosnia, where Muslims were attacked in name of Christianity, where some of the rape camps were in churches and were run by clergy and even some parts of the Orthodox Church announced that it was a religious duty to help Serbs implement those policies. And yet not a single church burned down in the Muslim world. Why could people in the Muslim world differentiate between those who misused a concept and the rest of the faith while well-educated Westernized societies were not able to do that? That opened up our eyes about how what happened in the 1920s and 1930s happened. That culture is still rife in the West. -Massoud Shadjareh"-FPIF

It is too easy to tell narratives of acension and declension, but the reality is more complex, with multiple layers within society, along ethnic, racial, gender, class and political lines. All of these narratives play on one another influencing each other, in no static manner. While relative self-determination and human rights are a current trend in the middle east. Not six months ago, the middle east was in hushed voices considered backwards- owing to cultural discrepancies. But we do not stand six months ago and women have lead and continue to lead protests and this is juxtaposed to the 'west's' treatment of islamic citizens.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with ongoing protests across the Middle East and across the globe for regional sovereignty and self-determination. Every human deserves their rights and as CrimethInc. would say 'the kids will have their day', but these struggles are not just 'kids' or youth, or elderly, or religious, or gendered and that is what makes this time so hopeful- the people are united, as people.


thanks to:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/mohamed-heikal-i-was-sure-my-country-would-explode-but-the-young-are-wiser-than-us-2215070.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/02/bahrain-egypt-iran-tahrir-protest-revolution-manama.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BabylonBeyond+%28Babylon+%26+Beyond+Blog%29

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0214/Hariri-rallies-supporters-against-Hezbollah-backed-government

http://www.fpif.org/articles/interview_with_the_islamic_human_rights_commission

Fundamentals of a Great Bike Trip

By picking up the Insurgent, we've already established that you are pretty rad. So you just might be interested in this 'radical' activity; riding a bike. But I'm not talking about going for a ride on a nice day or commuting to school or work, I'm talking about multi-day long distance riding; touring.

So you find out that you will be having some free time coming up, it could be just a couple of days or a couple of years, doesn't matter, and you decide that you need to get out of town and do something different. Funds are limited, but you still want to have a great trip. When a car is not an option and the cost of a train or airplane ticket is out of reach, it can seem like there are not that many opportunities to pursue. Your bicycle, that trusty friend of yours that is with you on your errands and that takes you along the river path on one of those first days of spring, can be your ticket out of this little corner of the Willamette Valley and give you an experience unlike any other.

For some bike touring is all about being free from the use of fossil fuels while taking in the landscape, for others it is represents a challenging and rewarding physical activity, and for numerous people, it is about an inexpensive vacation. A bicycle trip is all three of those and more. There is a feeling of accomplishment when realizing that distance between you and your starting point was made entirely by bicycle. Biking through the landscape allows for time to observe all of your surroundings, as well as reflect upon your personal thoughts. Living off of a bicycle is also a minimal impact activity that allows for a great degree of mobilization without the direct consumption of precious oil. The great freedom of long distance bike riding allows for unlimited avenues to explore. Be it a trip to the coast and back or a six month venture through Central America, any multi-day bike trip can prove to be a great adventure.

So you've now decided you need to go on a bike trip (perhaps for spring break?), but have questions about what all it takes for a successful adventure. Here are the major important elements of bike touring that you may want to consider.

Bike

Almost any bike will do, really. A big thing to keep in mind is that what ever the subject, someone has done more with less, you don't need to worry about having a nice brand new touring bike for your trip. Riding a bike all day with a backpack is no fun, and can cause discomfort and damage to your back and shoulders. It is important to choose a bike that has the necessary holes in the frame to support a rack. For longer trips, a rack with three supports on either side is optimal but not necessary.

The bike should fit you. That is to say that you should be comfortable riding the bike for a long duration of time. A general rule of thumb is that the top tube of the bike (bar between seat and handlebars) should be about an inch below your groin when standing over the bike. From there, adjust seat, handle bars, brake hoods, ect to positions that are comfortable for long rides.

Ensuring that the bike is in good mechanical shape (brakes and gears function properly, seat and other adjustable components are tightened securely, ect) will leave less of a chance for trouble in the future. It's up to the individual bikers discretion as to how much mechanical work or new parts someone wants to put into their bike. Just keep thinking, someone has done more with less.

Route

While spontaneous routes that take you weaving through the country side can provide more of a sense of adventure, it is always essential to have a map of the areas you are planning on going through. Departments of Transportation and many tourism bureaus will provide you with free maps upon inquiring on their websites. Many states even employ a bicycle coordinator position that can provide you with traffic data and grade of highways throughout the entire state on a map.

A good average day of riding for many bicycle tourists starting out is 50 miles in a day, but once on the road, you will know what your preferences or capabilities are.

When there are no camping sites or motels abound it’s time to consider asking a home or business for permission to stay on their property for the night, or find a good place to ‘stealth camp’. Many locals are accepting that you are a decent-hearted traveler just needing a place to pitch a tent.

Gear

Once you establish that you have a rack, bags are necessary. This can mean bungeeing plastic bags to the rack finding used bags, or buying bags new. For DIY enthusiasts, panniers can be made from plastic buckets, crates, or sewn from cloth, but that will have to be a different article. Beyond sufficient storage capacity on your bicycle and the recommended tools, the rest of the gear reflects the personality of your trip. To bring a stove or not to bring a stove? Stay in motels or camp every night? These questions are left to the individual and gear lists should reflect personal comforts.

Clothing

Of course there will always be variability with location, season, and climate, but there are two things important things to consider when packing clothing for a bike trip: layers and synthetic fibers. You may have experienced this riding through town; you wake up and have to ride your bike to school but it's a cold January morning in Eugene and raining; you put on a heavy sweater, then a rain jacket, and start riding. Two minutes into the ride your sweating, but disrobing now would be a hassle due to traffic or being late to class. The result: you get to class sweaty with your cotton t-shirt just as wet as it would have been if you were riding with it in the rain. Solution? proper layering and never including cotton in your bike touring wardrobe.

Maintenance

Having a spare tube and patch kit are a must, as well as a few tools, however you don't need to worry about packing a whole repair shop on your rack. In addition to the tube and patch kit, it is smart to have the tools necessary to make adjustments to the different components of your bike. Usually you can get by with just one Allen wrench set, but be sure that you can adjust your seat, handlebars, and stem to get a comfortable fit. After riding for the first long day you can begin to feel where minor adjustments might be helpful. Spare spokes and a chain tool can be useful to have with you, but importance can vary depending on the type of trip you plan to embark on. Be aware of your proximity to bike shops on your route and plan accordingly.

Food

Food is another topic in which there is great variability between personal preferences. Be prepared to eat more than you usually do if you are not accustomed to all day physical activity. Be aware of the services offered on your map, and stock up to ensure that there will be no hungry stretches of your trip.


So there you have it. The basic elements of a bike trip to think about before setting off on a trip of your own. Once on the road you may think of more things would work a little better for you, or you may be too enthralled with your surroundings to be picky about what you brought with you or the maintenance of your bike. Bicycle touring can be a weekend getaway, summer vacation, or a post-graduation life plan. By combining the adventurous self propelled spirit of backpacking and the vast infrastructure of all kinds of roads across the globe, touring can prove to be an activity of limitless opportunities. Bearing these elements in mind will help facilitate a positive experience that can add more richness to you life.
Safe Travels.

By contributor: Jonathan Fryer, Bike Enthusiast


Resources

www.crazyguyonabike.com personal journals from people touring all over the world.

www.bikeforums.net go to the touring section to reach a community of people eager to discuss anything related to bicycle touring.

www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/maps.shtml Oregon Department of Transportation bicycle maps.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Military seizes control in Egypt

All eyes are on Egypt. The victory of Mubarak's resignation has swept the world in a powerful discussion about standing for one's rights, tactics to achieve those rights and make the world we all secretly want. The reality for the people in Egypt is already becoming frightening, the military with the police, are taking command and driving protesters from Tahrir square. The military is perilously close to becoming just another dictatorship.

"Egyptian military disbands parliament, suspends constitution
Military officials also set a timeline, vowing to rule Egypt for six months or until elections are held. Meanwhile, the army makes a sweep of Tahrir Square, ousting remaining protesters.

As the campers watched the army clear the square, a parade of police and ordinary Egyptians materialized like a flash flood. The cops in blue sweaters and berets were raised on people's shoulders and waved Egyptian flags.

"The police and army are one," they chanted. The policemen pumped their fists and converged with the protesters' stage. "God is great, God is great," the two groups roared, while cars beeped and inched forward, as if nothing unusual had happened.

Some responded in anger at the police. One young man tried to charge them. "The police killed us! Don't believe them," he shouted, before a group pulled him back.

Others looked on, bemused. Tahrir Square was slowly returning to normal. They believed the people had won.

"We are taking our freedom," said Wael Mustafa, 40. He smiled at the scene of soldiers, protesters, police and cars bumper to bumper. He predicted that if the army didn't keep its word, "the people will come back."

But he was sure better days were coming."-LA Times

What those days hold before those better days hold is unclear, but the choice for a better world is in the hands of the military. The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the people of Egypt, condemning the military opposition of protests and holds that all power should be in the hands of the people.

Seattle: anti-police action.

"On February 12th, 150 people met at Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. Hundreds of fliers were distributed during the initial rally which had the title "Police Are The Absolute Enemy." The rally was predominately reformist and had been called by the October 22nd coalition, a front group of the Revolutionary Communist Party. However, the anarchist block, composed of 40 people dressed entirely in black, pushed the crowd into the streets and began to march.

As the march went on, thousands of the flier mentioned above were distributed. On the way to the East Precinct Police Station, barricades were thrown into the road. Several people from the street joined in as the march proceeded. When the march reached the police station, the windows of a police cruiser were smashed out. At this point, the police moved in. Several of them were hit with the thick flag poles that carried black flags. Two people were arrested. At the time of this writing, they have been charged with misdemeanors.

Solidarity to everyone fighting the police!"- Portland IndyMedia

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with efforts to repel the violent police elements from communities, but does not advocate destruction of property as the necessary means to do so (however, we do support a diversity of tactics).

thanks to:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2011/02/406106.shtml

Secure Communities Program (S-COMM) Endangers Civil Rights and Security

Boston stands up for its immigrant community!

On Saturday, February 12th, 2011 at 1PM, people from across Massachusetts will come together at the State House to protest the State's intention to join the anti-immigrant and racist “Secure Communities” program (S-COM).

Under the guise of public safety, “S-Comm” endangers the civil rights and security of all and is particularly an attack on immigrants and people of color. The federal program mandates local law enforcement to cross check the fingerprints of those arrested against the Homeland Security's database in search of immigration status. While supposedly targeting “violent offenders,” the vast majority of those detained and deported are considered “non-criminals”. This would include those who have been unlawfully arrested, those arrested for minor offenses like traffic violations and those who ultimately have their charges dropped. In Suffolk County, the only jurisdiction in the state currently enrolled, 68% of those detained and deported have been “non-criminals”, the sixth highest percentage in the country.

The "S-Comm" program is part of an overall effort to target immigrants and maintain a permanent second-class status for millions of workers. The time is now for communities across the state to stand together against “S-Comm” and all anti-immigrant programs. We strongly believe that undocumented immigrants are not criminals!

Our demands are simple and clear:

* No to “Secure Communities” and all anti-immigrant programs!
* No human being is illegal—Full rights for all immigrants!
* Stop the raids and deportations now!

Partial list of endorsers (as of 2/10/11): American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, Boston-Cambridge Alliance for Democracy, Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Centro Presente, Chelsea Uniting Against the War, Circulo Bolivariano Martin Luther King, Code Pink, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Community Church of Boston, Dominican Development Center, FMLN Boston, Harvard No Layoffs Campaign, Immigration Pastoral Center, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), International Action Center (IAC), MassCOSH/Centro de Trabajadores, Mass. Jobs with Justice (MJWJ) , MataHari: Eye of the Day, MIRA, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) - Massachusetts Chapter, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Project Voice AFSC, Proyecto Hondureno, Resist the Raids Network, Stop the Wars Coalition, Student Immigrant Movement, Student (SIM), Labor Action Movement (SLAM), Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN), United for Justice with Peace, Veterans for Peace, Worcester Immigrant Coalition (WIC), Worcester PeaceWorks

See also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EPTdLYD-3I
http://www.flickr.com/photos/protestphotos1/sets/72157625909534661/detail/

info (at) bostonmayday.org
www.bostonmayday.org