News

How to Organize a Voter Assembly Manual

November 7, 2012

I want to organize a Voter Assembly in my community, where do I start?

Choose a Good Location and Time

Accessible, public spaces outside (parks, prominent intersections, or in front of civic buildings) are usually a good bet. If you need to use an indoor space then an accessible, public space such as a community center would be ideal.

Fair Elections Legal Network's 2012 student voting guide

October 30, 2012
Fair Elections Legal Network

Check out Fair Election Legal Network's student voting guide for information about voter registration deadlines, how to find your polling location, and other common questions about voting.

BRENNAN CENTER: 2012 voting laws will make it more difficult for 5 million racial minorities, students, renters, seniors, and low income citizens to vote

October 17, 2012
Wendy R. Weiser and Lawrence Norden

In the past two years, states across the country passed a wave of laws that could make it harder to vote. The Brennan Center chronicled these laws in our report, Voting Law Changes in 2012 (originally published on October 3, 2011)

UPDATED 10/16/2012: Voting Laws in effect for the 2012 election

Fourteen states have passed restrictive voting laws and executive actions that have the potential to impact the 2012 election, representing 185 electoral votes, or 68 percent of the total needed to win the presidency.

A breakdown of laws and executive actions in effect in 2012:

Democracy Now discusses how the Obama and Romney campaigns control debate questions and exclude third party candidates; Chilean student movement receives award

October 16, 2012

Democracy Now interviews author George Farah and Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald about how the Commission on Presidential Debates restricts the ability of the presidential debates to be fair and open. The broadcast ends with an interview with two of the leaders in the Chilean student movement, which recieved an award for organizing Chile's largest protests for free higher education. (skip past headlines to get to interviews):

 

AMERICAN PROSPECT: True the Vote trains poll watchers to intimidate voters

October 10, 2012
Abby Rapoport
news photo

Two years ago, the week before Election Day, I drove to Harris County, Texas. More specifically, I drove to the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, a polling location for early voting in one of Houston’s poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. After alleging that Harris County had a widespread problem with voter fraud, a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots had launched a project called True the Vote, which had trained hundreds of volunteer poll watchers. As the early-voting period began, reports had begun to trickle out about white poll watchers arriving at minority precincts and intimidating voters. In Texas, poll watchers, appointed by a political party to watch the proceedings, aren’t allowed to do much; they’re barred from communicating with voters.

LA TIMES: Judges temporarily block state voter ID laws for 2012 elections

October 8, 2012
David G. Savage
news photo

WASHINGTON — Earlier this year, voting rights advocates foresaw a cloud over this year's election because new voting laws in Republican-led states tightened the rules for casting ballots and reduced the time for early voting.

But with the election less than a month away, it's now clear those laws will have little impact. A series of rulings has blocked or weakened the laws as judges — both Republicans and Democrats — stopped measures that threatened to bar legally registered voters from polling places in the November election.

"Courts see their role as the protectors of the core right to vote," said Ned Foley, an election law expert at Ohio State University.

ALTERNET: Quebec students vow to keep fighting after historic victory

September 18, 2012
Zachary A. Bell
news photo

On September 4, Quebec’s student movement, admired for its 300,000-person protests, provided a less sensational model for youth worldwide — of a movement struggling with the contradictory effects of a hotly contested election.

CPS alum release song in support of striking teachers

September 13, 2012
Rebel Diaz

CTU: Poll demonstrates strong public support for teacher's strike

September 13, 2012
CTU
news photo

CHICAGO –As contract talks continue to two steps forward and one step backward, the city’s 29,000 public school educators enter their fourth day of a labor protest that has shut down schools across the city. An independent new poll indicates the majority of the public and parents support the teachers strike and blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked school board for the District’s education woes.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Teachers are winning concessions at the bargaining table

September 13, 2012
Ellen Jean Hirst, Jennifer Delgado, Bridget Doyle, Hal Dardick and Kristen Mack

The two sides in the Chicago teachers strike remained optimistic about a deal as they resumed contract talks today, but it appeared the earliest classes could resume would be Monday.

Democracy Now explores what's at stake locally and nationally in the Chicago teacher's strike

September 10, 2012

Democracy Now spends most of the broadcast exploring the regional and national implications of the Chicago teacher's strike (skip past headlines to view the interviews):

Chicago Teachers Strike for Better Schools

September 10, 2012
David Moberg

Early this morning, Chicago teachers organized picket lines at all entrances to William H. Ray Elementary School in Hyde Park on the city's South Side. They were joined by dozens of students, parents and local community residents. It was the first day in 25 years that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)--the first teachers union in the country--had gone out on strike, and picketers banged drums, gobbled doughnuts, waved at passing motorists (and the driver of a passing waste truck), and chanted with militant cheeriness: "Lies and tricks will not divide/parents and teachers side by side."

'Yo Soy 132' Mexican student movement looks to the future

August 15, 2012
Ela Stapley
news photo

Nacho Martínez shoots a cheeky grin as he tells of the day he decided to protest against Mexican presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto. “We were so nervous,” he states. “We thought that we were really going to get into trouble.”

Student Power Convergence Happening August 10-14!

July 30, 2012
news photo
The Liberty Tree Foundation is very pleased to endorse and urge participation in a very important national student power convergence just two weeks from now in Ohio.
 
Please pass this information on to other students and to supportive faculty and staff who might consider attending.

THE NATION: Chilean Students Demand Education Reform

June 29, 2012
Brittany Peterson
news photo

The first raindrops began to leak from the menacing gray sky over Plaza Italia, in the heart of Santiago, by 9:00 am. Aside from hurried professionals and a few special force police officers patrolling in pairs and politely conversing with small groups of students who should have been in classes, everything appeared calm.

Two hours later, the scene was unrecognizable as a massive crowd swelled. High school and college students had marked this national strike, Thursday, June 28, in their calendars weeks ago. The strike came in the heated aftermath of four consecutive marches last week, which included a march by high school students, private university students, opponents to lithium extraction, and supporters of sexual diversity.

LA TIMES: Students protest tuition hikes at regents meeting

May 16, 2012
Larry Gordon

Student protesters angry about another possible tuition hike disrupted the meeting of the University of California regents Wednesday in Sacramento, with some demonstrators dressed in orange prisoner uniforms and singing about “working on the chain gang.”

The regents were about to discuss a recent report about the treatment of protesters on campuses and then analyze the impact of the governor’s May revision of the state budget on tuition.

Officials have said a 6% percent tuition hike may be in the works for July’s regent meeting if state funding does not increase.

THE GUARDIAN: Quebec student protests mark 'Maple spring' in Canada

May 2, 2012
Martin Lukacs
news photo

The social unrest roiling Quebec is colour-coded red. One cannot miss the hundreds of thousands of people with cloth of the colour pinned to their coats and satchels; the stickers pasted on street poles and storefront mannequins; and the sheets fluttering from balconies and windows. The red squares – punning visually on a French expression to be squarely in the red, or in debt – are a gesture of solidarity with university and college students on a massive general strike against government tuition fee hikes.

ALTER NET: May Day's Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st

April 27, 2012
Jacob Remes
news photo

American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia.

THE CHRONICLE: Protests highlight growing divide on Puerto Rican college campuses

April 13, 2012
Alejandro Bolívar

In the midst of a battered economy, Puerto Rican college campuses have been battlegrounds of differing ideologies, a Puerto Rican scholar said Thursday.

Hostile Takeover: Turning MI Cities Over to "Managers" Who Can Sell Off City Hall, Break Union Contracts, Privatize Services—and Even Fire Elected Officials

February 15, 2012
Paul Abowd

 

When the city of Pontiac, Michigan, shut down its fire department last Christmas Eve, city councilman Kermit Williams learned about it in the morning paper. "Nobody reports to me anymore," Williams says. "It just gets reported in the press." This was just the latest in a series of radical changes in the city, where elected officials such as Williams have been replaced by a single person with unprecedented control over the city's operation and budget.

Republicans Extend Open Enrollment To Unleash Market Forces On School Districts

February 13, 2012
Matt DeFour

 

Wisconsin's public school open enrollment period begins Monday, and for the first time, families will have three months to decide whether and where to enroll their students outside of their home school district.

For the Madison School District, the extra time could mean more families choosing to leave for other districts or virtual schools, though Superintendent Dan Nerad said it's too early to know what the affect will be.

"By the nature that there's an open window, that's likely to happen for us as well as other districts around the state," Nerad said.

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor

February 9, 2012
Sabrina Tavernise

 

WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.

DAILY KOS: Pulaski WI Marching Band Plays "Union Maid" in Rose Bowl Parade

January 3, 2012
AnnieJo

The Pulaski High Marching Band, of Pulaski Wisconsin, made an awesome statement in yesterday's Rose Bowl Parade.

It was quite an honor for the Red Raiders from this small town (pop. approx. 3000) northwest of Green Bay to be marching in 80-degree weather in Pasadena, while their proud community looked on from windy 18-degree Wisconsin.

The TV coverage started as they marched along playing "On Wisconsin," looking properly Badger-like in their red uniforms.

And then they got to the grandstand, at about 1:15 in the YouTube ... listen to what happened.

CAP TIMES: ACLU sues over Wisconsin voter ID law

December 13, 2011
Jessica Vanegeren

A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Milwaukee alleging that Wisconsin's new voter ID law is unconstitutional and will deprive people of the right to vote.

The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, claims top state officials includng Gov. Scott Walker and Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the non-partisan state elections agency, as well as employees tasked with implementing the law at the state Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security offices have created a poll tax and other obstacles that present a "severe and undue burden on the fundamental right to vote."

CAP TIMES: Gov. Walker's cuts to Wisconsin education decimating public education

December 4, 2011
Kathleen Vinehout

State officials recently announced this year’s final state aid sent to local school districts. All but 13 of Wisconsin’s 424 local school districts received cuts. The historic school aid reduction in Wisconsin is the second largest per pupil cut in the nation.

Local education leaders, parents and teachers are concerned about the long-term effects of such deep funding cuts.

At the same time, Gov. Walker’s recent radio address touted his commitment to education. “We kept education a priority,” he said. “We also passed reforms that will help protect taxpayers and improve government.”

AP: Public employees hold general strike in Britain

November 30, 2011
David Stringer

ONDON (AP) — Paramedics, emergency crews, teachers and even some employees from the prime minister's office took to the streets of Britain for the country's largest strike in decades — drawing attention to government cuts but failing to bring the nation to a standstill.

Public sector employees staged the one-day walkout Wednesday over government demands that they work longer before receiving a pension and pay more in monthly contributions, part of austerity measures to tackle Britain's 967 billion-pound ($1.5 trillion) debt.

The strike came a day after the government announced that public sector pay raises will be limited to 1 percent through 2014 — even as inflation now runs about 5 percent.

California’s Campus Movements Dig In Their Heels Over Tuition Fights

November 21, 2011
Jennifer Medina

 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Protesters at the University of California, Davis, have been calling for the chancellor to quit since a pepper spray attack Friday by the police.  LOS ANGELES — It has become something of an annual tradition on California college campuses, in what is perhaps the most prestigious state university system in the country: the state makes large cuts in public universities, they in turn raise tuition, and students respond with angry protests.

Arundhati Roy addresses People's University in Washington Square, NYC

November 18, 2011
Arundhati Roy

This is the text of a speech given by Arundhati Roy at the People's University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011 (video link below).

Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We're not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody.

Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance

October 12, 2011
Liberty Tree

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Liberty Tree Foundation convened a special briefing, the Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance. This global conference featured over 100 participants, and updates from leading organizers of the global wave of student and labor strikes, occupations, and revolutions. Panelists include core organizers from the UK, Germany, Israel, and Chile, as well as Wisconsin, Boston, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Wall Street, among others. This was the second such teleconference on corporatization and austerity org

Additional Information: 

Panelists included Nicolas Valenzuela, Uri Gordon, Mo Gas, James Sevitt, Adam Porton, Sarah Manski, Nadeem Mazen, Elaine Brower, Matt Nelson, plus moderator Ben Manski.

PRESS TV: US in a Revolutionary Period

October 6, 2011
Interview with Edward Spannaus

 

 

Press TV:  Edward Spannaus, why don't you tell us your impression of these movements? I mean, they are obviously gaining momentum. Tell us why? And of course we see Occupy Wall Street as being one of them that has inspired other movements.

 Spannaus: Well, I would actually go back to the spring when you had the mass protests in Madison, Wisconsin, in Indiana, in Ohio and at that time also you had demonstrations in hundreds of cities in support of the trade unionists and when you had governors of those states trying to break the unions.

MANSKI: The Protest Wave: Why the Political Class Can’t Understand Our Demands

October 3, 2011
Ben Manski

The protests that began in Wisconsin this year, and which now also fill the streets of Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and this week, Washington D.C., have gotten the attention of the American political class. And how could they not? 2011 is becoming a remake of the 1999 Battle of Seattle, except this time the protests are ongoing, national and global, and the target is not just the World Trade Organization, but the entire edifice of corporate capitalism.

VIDEO & AUDIO: Extensive coverage of Democracy Convention by WisconsinEye

September 16, 2011

WisconsinEye is the C-Span of Wisconsin's civil society. The folks at WisconsinEye video recorded 18 different sessions at the 2011 Democracy Convention. They may be watched or listened to for free on their website, or purchased for download, here:

http://www.wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/SearchResults.aspx?XMLSearchGUID=1824f2ef-5c71-433e-d5fb-a69500dfc4cc

 

VIDEO: The Uptake & WORT provide video from the Democracy Convention

September 16, 2011
Cristalyne Bell, Patrick Waring, Norm Stockwell, Sarah Manski & more

For video coverage of the 2011 Democracy Convention, recorded by volunteers and convention staff, and posted at The Uptake, click here: 

http://www.theuptake.org/2011/08/24/democracy-convention-live-from-madison-wi/

More Info: 

These videos range in quality, but most are easy to follow. Additional videos are posted, and will continue to be added as they become available, at http://democracyconvention.org/press

HONKALA: No American Should Be Poor

September 15, 2011
Karen Rybold-Chin

It's easy to subscribe to the belief that America doesn't have enough resources for everyone to enjoy a high standard of living. But Cheri Honkala, one of the leading figures in the movement against poverty, said at the Liberty Tree Foundation's Democracy Convention in Madison, Wisconsin that this is a false message.

ALPEROVITZ: The Environmental Movement's Civil Disobedience

September 15, 2011
Karen Rybold-Chin

Civil disobedience is a transformation of consciousness, a sudden revelation that something new must be done. It is the knowledge that there are two options: disrupt and change the system or remain silent in the face of injustice. Right now, civil disobedience is emerging from the anti-war and environmental movements in significant ways, most notably around opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

ALPEROVITZ: America's Massive Wealth Disparity

September 15, 2011
Karen Rybold-Chin

In the United States, the richest 400 people own more collective wealth than the bottom 150 million. As historian and writer Gar Alperovitz puts it, this is quite literally medieval. America's distribution of wealth is controlled by corporations and the extremely wealthy—if there is to be real social change, this gaping inequality needs to be addressed and radically altered. The people need to take the pain of the laborers affected by politicians such as Governor Scott Walker and unite around this as something to replace with progressive reforms.