Education & Student Activism News

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Since August 26, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to sit and then kneel during the playing of the national anthem to protest racist police violence, at least dozens of more Black people have been murdered by the police. What is also intensifying is that more and more athletes are taking a visible stand against police brutality. Students at the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) have been particularly vocal about their opposition to a lack of police accountability and the unfair treatment of Black and Brown people at the hands of law enforcement.
Nathan Damigo is a Social Studies major at CSU Stanislaus — and he’s been building up a white supremacist group called Identity Evropa (IE) across Northern California. Identity Evropa focuses on recruitment by plastering college campuses with propaganda that promotes the creation of an all-white, fascist, authoritarian political power. On October 4, anti-fascists put up 300 posters at CSU Stanislaus detailing Damigo’s hidden past as a convicted felon in a violent hate crime, as well as his involvement in a string of hate groups before attempting to rebrand himself with Identity Evropa.
University of California Berkeley (Cal) reinstated a student-led course on Palestine on September 19, following an outcry over its arbitrary suspension the previous week. The suspension, taken in apparent response to pressure from Israel advocacy groups, was widely condemned -- by students, professors, and observers -- as a violation of academic freedom, shocking, and unjustifiable. The organization Palestine Legal had sent a letter to Cal Chancellor Dirks on September 16 warning that the suspension infringed on First Amendment rights and principles of academic freedom.
When San Francisco Hillel sponsored the Mayor on a visit to San Francisco State University (SFSU) on April 6, a group of 20 student protesters stood on the sidelines inside the venue and chanted in protest of the Mayor’s controversial policies towards Palestinians. Student protesters were accused of threatening Jewish students with violent and anti-Semitic messages. On September 1, SFSU released a report that concluded that the protest focused on the Mayor for the policies he promotes.
A call went out for Freedom Now protests on July 21 targeting the support infrastructure for police oppression, especially police "unions" for their defense of cops accused of brutality. Lockdowns and demonstrations were held in cities across the country. In Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer's Association were shut down and an entrance to Oakland police headquarters was locked down. A Black Lives Matter educational event for children was held in Oscar Grant plaza, followed by a march down Broadway.
Mon Jun 20 2016 (Updated 06/22/16)
“Welcome to Oaxaca” 2016
The looming federal police attack on the people and striking teachers of Oaxaca, Mexico has begun. There are reports of between six and eight demonstrators killed on the morning of Sunday, June 19 at the highway blockade in Nochixtlán, northwest of the city of Oaxaca. They were shot and killed when police opened fire with live ammunition on the blockade. At least 45 others have been hospitalized with injuries, the majority gunshot wounds, and 22 have been disappeared.
On May 31, students at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA voted overwhelmingly to endorse resolutions expressing support for freedom and equality for Palestinians and labor justice for migrant workers at Sakuma Bros farm in northern Washington. The three resolutions asked students to condemn the presence of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus, to de-shelve Sabra hummus, and prohibit the use of Sakuma Bros berries from campus dining services.
The National Coordinating Body of Education Workers (CNTE) began an indefinite strike on May 15, primarily against plans by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to implement neoliberal reforms to the country’s education system. Peña Nieto has attempted to privatize and standardize the Mexican education system, along with instituting policies to disempower Latin America’s largest union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), and its dissident and more radical faction, the CNTE.
New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
UPDATE: On April 15, UC Davis students ended their sit-in, saying they had accomplished their goal of bringing attention to the need to fire Katehi. On April 27, Katehi was placed on leave while the university investigates her misconduct.

Students at UC Davis have been occupying Chancellor Linda Katehi's office and holding tight since Friday, March 11, demanding that Katehi resign or be fired. Administrators escalated their response with threats of suspension and even expulsion if occupiers do not vacate the building. Demonstrators are also calling for the hiring process to be redesigned "so that UC Davis students and workers are not only a part of this process, but a major deciding body in the selection and confirmation of a new Chancellor."
Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
A letter of support for Indybay's Alex Darocy was approved by unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California Santa Cruz County Chapter. Darocy still faces a misdemeanor charge after being cited in March of 2015 by a CHP officer after photographing the six UCSC students who locked themselves together and blocked Highway 1 as part of the “96 Hours of Action” protests against police violence and tuition hikes.
On November 12 students at UC Santa Cruz joined students at college campuses across the country for a "Million Student March," a day of local actions organized nationally around three principle demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Million Student March actions were organized at over 100 schools.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
10/19/16 Yvette Felarca Defense at Berkeley School Board First Generation American Thursday Oct 20th 5:26 AM
Nathan Damigo Exposed: Identity Evropa Leader Operating Out Of CSU Stanislaus Northern California Anti-Racist Action NoCARA (2 comments) Sunday Oct 9th 6:07 PM
Recent History of Assaults on Universities Regarding Academic Freedom, the Right of Free Speech and Dissent via California Scholars for Academic Freedom Saturday Oct 8th 1:45 AM
Oakland High Schoolers Join Kaepernick in National Anthem Protest Tulio Ospina, Oakland Post Wednesday Oct 5th 8:55 PM
Leveraging Water to Reduce Student Enrollment Just Bad Policy Steve Pleich (1 comment) Tuesday Oct 4th 6:39 PM
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College seeks input form Native American community Corina Roberts Friday Sep 16th 4:58 PM
Seven Ways You Can Support Academics In Turkey report Tuesday Sep 6th 9:57 AM
Justice For CTC Whistleblower Kathleen Carroll-Statement At Sacramento Trial Labor Video Project (1 comment) Tuesday Aug 9th 9:56 PM
Fired CTC Whistleblower Kathleen Carroll's Lawyer Dan Siegel On Retaliation Witnesses Labor Video Project (1 comment) Tuesday Aug 2nd 7:55 AM
TESC Students for Justice in Palestine Respond to Evergreen Administration TESC Students for Justice in Palestine Thursday Jul 14th 1:19 PM
Protests force Mexico to talks with teachers IndyRadio/CNTE Wednesday Jul 13th 6:51 PM
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