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Education & Student Activism News

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In February, the OUSD board voted to close ten schools. On May 25, families decided to do something about it. After graduation ceremonies, they occupied Parker Elementary. They created the Parker Community School on the premises, offering a variety of classes for local students throughout the summer. On August 4, OUSD sent a team of private security guards into the school. Several community members were assaulted. Despite the attack, the occupation has continued.
On July 29, UC Berkeley's plan to tear down People's Park and construct a 12-story building in its place was approved by the courts. After midnight on August 3, police moved in to push folks out of the park, making way for bulldozers and other equipment. As a growing crowd of protesters fought to save the park, police withdrew and new fencing was torn down. Protesters then began to rebuild, using logs and barriers left behind as baracades to prevent further construction.
Tue May 31 2022 (Updated 06/02/22)
America: Civilian Gun Massacre Capital of the World
Outrage swelled after two of the latest mass casualty shootings, one at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, and another at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Ten were killed in Buffalo, mostly African American elders, and twenty-one in Uvalde, nineteen small children and two teachers. Both shooters were only 18 years old when they bought the assault-style weapons used in the attacks. On June 11, Bay Area cities will protest on a national day of action against gun violence.
Protesters disrupted mass at St. Mary's on February 27 in costumes recreating those worn in the dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. A tiny group of anti-abortion activists challenged the disrupters, but were overwhelmed by pro-choice demonstrators. The St. Mary's protest was part of a buildup of activity in advance of mass protests to be held on March 8 International Women’s Day nationwide. In the Bay Area, an abortion rights demo will be held at UC Berkeley.
Before dawn on March 5, the houses of six University of California, Berkeley, officials were struck with graffiti and vandalism. On April 16, another action "repainted" houses believed to be owned by members of the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board. On May 2, nine Sullivan Management Company properties were similarly targeted, following a May Day direct action that reclaimed a long-vacant SMC property. On May 7, Oakland police vehicles were damaged.
Wed Jan 27 2021 (Updated 01/31/21)
People's Park in Berkeley Faces Greatest Danger Yet
For 50 years, UC administrators have schemed to take People's Park from those who turned a dirt lot into a public sanctuary. Now, UC Berkeley is on the verge of permanently destroying the park. It installed fencing around the park on January 19. On January 27, police and public works crews evicted several unhoused residents. But people are resisting the coming construction of a 16-story housing complex. At a rally to save the park on January 29, protesters tore down fencing and carried it to Sproul Hall on UCB campus.
On September 3, several hundred students gathered in front of the entrance to Mission High School for a "Defund the San Francisco Police" action. They showed up to demand that resources currently allocated to police be distributed back to the community for better schools and better mental health care services. Speakers honored survivors of police violence by calling for a recitation of names and said that that the Board of Supervisors needs to make more drastic cuts to the police budget than the relatively small measures currently proposed.
Wed Aug 12 2020 (Updated 08/14/20)
Get Police Off Campus
In an interview originally broadcast August 6, John Malkin spoke with three professors at UC Santa Cruz who co-signed or supported a letter to the Chancellor calling for an end to police and ICE presence on campus. "Our country is witnessing the brutal effects of the entrenched racist history of policing, a history that goes back to 'slave patrols' and 'Indian patrols' and that continues to disproportionately target African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx Americans, and Asian Americans."
Fri Jul 31 2020 (Updated 08/03/20)
Oakland Creates "Reimagining Public Safety Task Force"
APTP writes: The people of Oakland moved one step closer to realizing the goal of refunding resources to the community. After weeks of sustained protest and direct action, City Council unanimously approved a resolution to create an official task force to determine how to cut the Oakland Police Department’s budget by 50% next year. In recent weeks, thousands of Oakland residents have joined what has become an international call to invest in services that truly keep people safe by divesting from police.
Mon Jun 15 2020 (Updated 08/17/22)
Oakland Youths Protest to Rid Schools of Police
On June 10, a large contingent of Oakland's young people marched on Mayor Libby Schaaf's house to demand that police be removed from the city's schools. Shouting marchers, followed by a car caravan, worked their way up Fruitvale Avenue towards the home demonstration. Speakers at the vigil in front of the mayor's house denounced the millions of dollars spent on police, the school to prison pipeline, and demanded that the money go instead to real human needs.
Holding a live model art session, students and senior artists converged on the huge Balboa Reservoir parking lot, across from the Community College of San Francisco, to protest the possible closure of the Fort Mason Arts Campus. This session was one of many protests and actions activists have held to protest CCSF's plans, which include austerity cuts and privatization at the expense of San Francisco seniors and working people.
Sat Mar 21 2020 (Updated 03/26/20)
California on Coronavirus Lockdown
California residents have been ordered to "stay at home" to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Stringent mitigation measures mean millions are without an income. Students face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities and incarcerated persons are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and isolation of the pandemic take a toll on mental health. Not waiting for government action, people are stepping up with mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need.
Fri Mar 6 2020 (Updated 08/14/20)
Massive Turnout at UC Berkeley Day of Action
On March 5, UC Berkeley graduate student workers, undergraduates and faculty joined together for a work stoppage. The strike was organized by CAL COLA, an autonomous group of workers and students that began to organize in December 2019 in solidarity with the striking graduate workers at UC Santa Cruz. CAL COLA states, "If teaching is truly at the core of the UC's mission, it is high time that they start paying graduate students — who do the vast majority of teaching within the UC system — a living wage."
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