The Free Speech Organizing Toolkit is designed to provide campus leaders and free speech supporters with the tools to work with higher education leaders to remove impediments to a marketplace of ideas on their campus.
This valuable toolkit was produced by the Center for Campus Free Speech. The Center acts as a clearinghouse of information, provides specialized support to campuses, and connects concerned educators, administrators, lawyers and students into a national network. The Center draws advice and guidance from a group of leaders in the higher education and legal communities.
Campus Free Speech proves with its new report, Facts Still Count, that David Horowitz's recent books are not honest in their criticisms of campuses and faculty. The Center for Campus Free Speech is affiliated with the Democratizing Education Network, and a great source of information regarding important academic freedom and campus free speech issues.
As part of the Free Exchange on Campus Coalition, Campus Free Speech has just released a new report: Facts Still Count.
The Center for Campus Free Speech releases there Guide to Student Activity Fees - a primer on the legal issues involved in creating and managing a student activity fee system.
Student fee systems are used by students across the country to provide the resources for a wide variety of out-of-classroom activities.
Students fund everything from service organizations to advocacy to educational forums and guest speakers. They debate and learn about critical issues like multiculturalism, the environment, education policy, conflicts in the Middle East and religion. They learn new skills and create change on major problems the world faces.
Student activity fees give involved students the resources to create a vibrant marketplace of ideas on campus.
This report, by John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, updates an earlier report from January of 2007, which found a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It updates the index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign, using published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It also takes into consideration the increase in card-check organizing campaigns that began in the mid-1990s and adjusts the index for this factor.
"Democratizing Our Universities to Confront Climate Change" was a workshop held at PowerShift 2009, in Washington, DC. The speakers are Ben Manski of Liberty Tree and Meaghan Linick-Loughley and Atlee McFellin of New School University.
Location: Barcelona, Spain Presented at the International Seminar on Participatory Democracy "Participatory Democracy. Political Actors and Social Movements" AbstractDiagnosing Democratic Collapse The U.S. political system suffers from a potentially fatal condition, a malady that can be diagnosed as "Democratic Collapse." The causes of this collapse are known: First, the consolidation of corporate control of the establishment political parties. Second, the sacrilegious enshrinement of corporations as persons under law, entitled to constitutional protections against citizens and governments.
Ben Manski is a Fellow with the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution in its Local Democracy and Democratizing Education program areas. He served as Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States from 2001 through 2004, and was active in the U.S. student, labor, peace, and environmental movements throughout the 1990s. Ben has a degree in law from the University of Wisconsin, and has written on the corporatization of higher education in the United States.
An organizing guide for students, faculty, staff, and community members interested in promoting democracy in higher education, and a higher education system in service to a democratic, inclusive, society.
Evan Thornton at the Democratizing Education Convention, Madison, Wisconsin
To place the Canadian student movement in context, I want to start with a brief overview of the national affiliations on a typical Canadian campus, which I hope will help give an idea of the significant difference in the nature of the challenge faced by Canadian student organizers compared to their U.S. counterparts.
Faculty and Academic Staff:
Starting with teaching staff, the campus will typically have unionized Faculty Association that are affiliated nationally with the Canadian Association of University Teachers CAUT which represents 48,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and other academic professionals. In its own words CAUT is:
Evan Thornton is an associate of the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and director of University Watch. Thornton has three decades of experience in campus organizing, first as a student union organizer, then with labour, and most recently as director and editor of University Watch.
Uwatch.ca is an independently incorporated, non-profit donor-financed organisation largely run by volunteers committed to the vision that universities ought to be transparent institutions serving in the public interest. It is also intended as an umbrella organisation linking various stakeholders, including interested private citizens, community groups, students, student governments, agencies, think tanks, and so on.
Published in TNI's "Beyond the Market: The Future of Public Services" In January, 2006, Liberty Tree's Ben Manski and Patrick Barrett travelled to the Social Forum of the Americas in Caracas, Venezuela, where they made presentations on the state of the democracy movement in the United States. Ben Manski also participated in the international release of a new yearbook on public services, to which he and John Peck were contributors. Read their survey of corporatization in the United States, together with their analysis of what can be done about it, below.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed as yet uncounted lives, communities, and ecosystems. The hurricane also destroyed popular visions of the US state, sweeping away the last vestiges of federal paternalism, revealing the costs of corporatization in its wake. Years of budget cuts, cronyism, and corporatization rendered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) incompetent to manage this greatest of national emergencies.
This report was drafted by Mishy Leiblum and Jed Murr, retreat participants from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Photos by Ben Manski. The retreat was a project of the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution's Democratizing Education Program.
Organizers of March 4 actions to defend public educationc
An all-day conference on April 24 at Santee Education Complex: 1921 South Maple Avenue, Los Angeles, bringing together schools, student organizations, labor unions, committees, coalitions, and parent and community organizations across the state with a call for involvement from all education sectors – Pre-K-12, Community College, CSU, UC, and Adult Education. The conference is intended to follow on the massive March 4 actions in California and natiowide to defend public education.
The organizers write:
The future of public education in this state - particularly for the working class and communities of color, who are being hit especially hard by the cuts - depends on our ability to unify and push forward the struggle in defense of public education.
The purpose of this Statewide Mobilizing Conference is therefore both simple and extremely urgent: to democratically discuss and decide on a unifying political platform and plan of action capable of bringing together schools, student organizations, labor unions, committees, coalitions, and parent and community organizations across the state to deepen and push forward this powerful and broad movement that shook the state and the country on March 4th.
We ask activists, organizations, and mobilized schools across the state to put their full organizational capacity into helping us collectively to build and promote this conference. We ask for maximum participation from all education sectors – Pre-K-12, Community College, CSU, UC, and Adult Education - and regions, and from all organizations of workers, teachers, and students, and we extend the invitation to all mobilized schools and organizations across the country. Get your union, student government or parent-teacher organization to endorse, attend, and participate in the conference.
The decision to call for this conference was made at the Statewide Mobilizing Conference of October 24th, 2009, where over 800 people from all of the sectors of public education decided together to call for the March 4th Strike and Day of Action in defense of public education.
Despite weeks of students, labor, and community protests, Middle State Tennessee University (MTSU) President Sidney McPhee continues to move ahead with plans for major program cuts, outsourcing and layoffs, and other cuts that will have drastic effects on the campus community.
The current cuts being considered include the dismantling of Physics, Philosophy, Geosciences, Criminal Justice, all of which constitutes an attack on the academic core of the University; the closing of a beloved community resource in WMOT Jazz 89 as well as the closing of the June Anderson Woman's Center; and the further outsourcing of more of our campus's hardest working employees.
These cuts have been hastily proposed with minimal justification and despite Governor Bredesen's acceptance of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid meant to offset deep and lasting cuts to the state's education systems, and are being considered prior to a state budget being introduced, let alone passed. Read more.
A talk by Tom Hayden, one of the founders of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). He served as president of SDS from 1962 to 1963 and drafted its most famous work, the Port Huron Statement. He is currently a peace & justice activist based in Los Angeles and founder and director of The Peace and Justice Resource Center.
Tom Hayden’s talk will be introduced by John Nichols, political correspondent for The Nation magazine and associate editor of The Capital Times.
October 23-27, 2006: Hundreds participate, take on corporate lobbyists
Every community college, tech school, and university in the USA is experiencing the same things. Major cuts in public funding. Massive tuition increases. Ballooning student debt. Collapsing educational quality and staff support. The word for this situation is crisis. Right now, college administrators, state legislatures, governors, and federal officials are preparing for the next round of cuts in funding, quality, and access.
During this fall's Democratizing Education Week of Action, hundreds of students, faculty, campus workers, and community members did something about this crisis.
A weeklong nationwide protest against attacks on higher education culminated Friday, October 27 in a coordinated Phone-In to corporate lobbyists. Protesters phoned the national and state offices of the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers and told them to reverse course and start lobbying for more public funding for higher education. Political leaders in Congress and in state office received phone calls as well.
The Phone-In came on the heels of a nationwide web-based Virtual March, in which participants wrote letters expressing similar demands. More than 100 campuses in 36 states participated in the Virtual March. The protesters weren't merely against further cuts in higher education funding. They are promoting an alternative. In 2001, it cost 32 billion US to pay for the full cost of tuition and fees for all students enrolled in 2- and 4-year degree-granting institutions of public higher education. The Democratizing Education Network (DEN) supports, among other things, eliminating tuition at public institutions by fully supporting them with public financing. Funding for quality free higher education is available, DEN activists say, pointing to the 2 billion US poured weekly into the occupation of Iraq, as well as to the declining share of taxes shouldered by corporations and the wealthy.
Oregon Area Progressives is sponsoring All About ALEC, a forum on the American Legislative Exchange Council with an outstanding lineup of speakers, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D - IL) Sen. Mark Miller Rep. Mark Pocan Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts Lisa Graves - Center for Media and Democracy Mike McCabe - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Jack Norman -Institute for Wisconsin's Future Jim Cavanaugh - South Central Federation of Labor Dan Holub - WEAC Julie Underwood - UW Madison School of Education Joanne Ricca - Wisconsin AFL-CIO Robert Kraig - Citizen's Action of Wisconsin and Jay Heck - Common Cause Moderated by John Nichols Advance Registration $10 - includes lunch register now at www.allaboutalec.org
We are excited to provide the following list of confirmed speakers, session leaders, and artists at the 2011 Democracy Convention. This listing will be expanded and otherwise updated in advance of the convention:
Last fall, California sparked a movement that has grown drastically over the past year. Much energy went toward building March 4th 2010, National Day of Action to Defend Education, which as a resounding success in the struggle to defend public education. Thousands organized and participated in the events of that day which took place in 32 states. Major actions took place throughout California, but also in Milwaukee, New York City, Illinois, and Baltimore with hundreds of actions planned nationwide. University of Puerto Rico students capped off a two-month strike with a victory receiving many concessions from administration.
What is clear is that this fight is not over. The lines are drawn. As working families struggle to recover from the crisis, access to education is diminishing as cuts continue to come. California activists have proposed October 7th as the next Day of Action. Internationally, activists are focusing on October and November as crucial moments in the struggle to fight back against neoliberalism and defend education rights. We, the below signed organizations and individuals, call on students, teachers, faculty, staff, workers, and parents to unite together and Defend Public Education this fall.
In Texas, the Board of Education has drastically changed the content of Texas textbooks, to include praise of Joseph McCarthy, and many other clauses. In Arizona, The state has passed the racist SB1070 that mandates police detain anyone looks like an undocumented worker. Following this, Arizona is also shutting down ethnic studies programs. In New York City, Chicago, and Detroit, districts are facing massive school closings. Public universities throughout the country are raising tuition costs and looking for more private investors. Budget cuts, tuition hikes, school closings, and right-wing reforms are hitting working families the hardest, especially in communities of color.
As these cuts continue to come, we see the costs of neoliberalism hit home harder than they have before. Public education has been losing funding for years, much of which disappeared because of neoliberal changes to the economy. The current budget crisis in many states will result in further drastic cuts to public education, including further cuts to underfunded schools, increases in unpaid days off for staff, a incentive program promoting “reforms” that are outright attacks on teachers, a restructuring of the public university around the needs of private business – largely supported by massive private grants, and tuition hikes that threaten accessibility to higher education for working families and people of color.
As the education disparities between poor and affluent grow ever wider, public schools serving communities of color are swiftly being re-segregated, provided fewer resources, and less-experienced teachers. These students are being tracked into non-academic, dead-end programs while ethnic and multi-cultural classes and opportunities are being cut.
This crisis and this solution are a direct result of neoliberal-era ideology, reducing or dissolving taxes on the rich and corporations while working people struggle to provide for their families out of their ever-shrinking pockets. As private interests gain more power, as the private dollar begins to strengthen its influence in education, our democratic rights are being stripped away.