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Education & Student Activism News

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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.
Sat Nov 14 2015 (Updated 11/16/15)
Battle to Save CCSF Continues
Students, teachers, supporters, plus many others marched from CCSF’s Mission campus to the Civic Center campus over the pending downsizing of City College on November 12. Faculty union AFT 2121, which represents 1500 faculty at CCSF announced they authorized a one-day strike in response to unfair labor practices at City College. A picket to support CCSF faculty in contract negotiations has been called for November 18.
On March 3, six UCSC students blocked California Highway 1 using lockboxes and garbage cans filled with concrete. Independent journalist Alex Darocy, long-time Indybay contributor and editorial collective member, shot several photographs of the student demonstrators from his car as he passed the blockade, and for that he is currently being prosecuted, facing the possibility of jail time. A Motion to Dismiss, which argued that the prosecution is attempting to criminalize and chill conduct that is protected under the First Amendment, was heard on November 13. Judge Paul Burdick denied the motion and set a trial date for February 22, 2016.
On September 17, the first move-in day for Fall quarter at UC Santa Cruz, students and community members at the main entrance of campus displayed signs opposing Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 (SCR 35), which was introduced this year in the California Senate. On its surface SCR 35 is legislation that addresses anti-Semitism on the University of California campuses, but critics caution the measure has the potential to limit the free speech activities of those seeking justice for Palestine.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
3PM Saturday Sep 17 East-to-West Scavenger Race
Environmental racism in the “leftmost city” Santa Cruz Ecological Justice Sunday Jul 24th 10:21 AM
Farming Community Rallies in Sacramento to Demand Protections from Agricultural Pesticides via Californians for Pesticide Reform Tuesday Jul 12th 3:36 PM
Over-Policing in Stockton Unified Remains Rampant ACLU of Northern California Thursday Jun 30th 5:41 PM
Juneteenth 2016 ~ Discovering the legacy of Negro Hills, CA Khubaka, Michael Harris (1 comment) Friday Jun 24th 7:58 AM
Mexico Teachers' Murders Protested In SF "Massacre Made In USA" Labor Video Project (1 comment) Wednesday Jun 22nd 9:01 PM
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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
Teamsters Mourn the Loss of Local 320 Member Philando Castile via the Teamsters (1 comment) Tuesday Jul 12th 4:10 PM
Oaxaca 2016: «Esta lucha no es del magisterio, es del pueblo de México» El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Monday Jul 11th 2:04 PM
Pronunciamiento del Bloque Libertario Oaxaca El Enemigo Común Wednesday Jun 29th 12:07 PM
Statement from the Oaxaca Libertarian Bloc El Enemigo Común Wednesday Jun 29th 12:04 PM
Marcha de la sección 22 en repudio a la brutal represión en el Estado de Oaxaca by El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Friday Jun 24th 4:50 PM
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