Publications & Talks

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:

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.

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.

BADER: Review of The Lost Soul of Higher Education

June 1, 2010
Eleanor J. Bader

Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City's Yeshiva University, starts "The Lost Soul of Higher Education" with a blunt assessment: "In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation's colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good."

Additional Information: 

EDUCATION FOR ALL COALITION: Resources for March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Education

February 21, 2010

Resources provided by Education For All Coalition members and coordinating affiliates. We’ve also included flyers, and with each flyer you’ll find a BLANK TEMPLATE version for you to utilize for your own specific purposes.

Free Speech Organizing Toolkit – A helpful handbook on your Free Speech Rights with an emphasis on educational institutions, provided by The Center for Campus Free Speech.

Guide To Occupying Buildings – A help informational guidebook on how to make occupying a building a success.

PRICE: Milwaukeeans vs. the Privatization Pandemic

December 6, 2009
Todd Alan Price

"In the 21st century countries that out educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.” Thus spake President Obama in announcing that his administration would award a total of $4 billion to states demonstrating seriousness of commitment to education reform. Imagine that that tired mantra, some fifteen years after NAFTA and the outsourcing of the U.S. manufacturing, service, and information economies, is a proclamation still being rolled out as a constructive commentary on the state of education and pretext, in the name of reform, for ending its public character.

Additional Information: 

Todd Alan Price is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations and Inquiry at National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. He teaches in Illinois and in Wisconsin. In 2009 he was the Wisconsin Green Party candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He is a Liberty Tree Associate.

BACON: A constitutional right to an education

November 29, 2009
David Bacon

Is there a “constitutional right to education”?

Legal scholar and civil rights advocate Erwin Chemerinsky says there is. “There has to be a right to education in the Constitution,” he declares, “and equal protection is a Constitutional imperative.”

But according to Chemerinsky, this right has been fundamentally undermined by the Supreme Court. With the retirement of Justice David Souter, and the posible retirement in the next few years of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens, the role of the court in defending the right to education will be thrust into the national spotlight. What role might their replacements play in guaranteeing education to American children, and reversing the conservative momentum of the last three decades?

PRICE: Ohio. Birthplace of Charter Education ... and Opposition to It

June 30, 2009
Todd Alan Price

As Ohio education reformers aim ahead toward the new century and prosperity through remaking of the public school system, the Obama administration reform plan takes us back to the “choice,” “free market,” and “small government” mindset of the 1980s, of the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush:

Executive order 12803 issued by President George H. W. Bush, April 30, 1992: Sec. 3. Privatization initiative: To the extent permitted by law, the head of each executive department and agency shall undertake the following actions:

Additional Information: 

Todd Alan Price is author of The Myth and Reality of NCLB: Public Education and High Stakes Assessment. He is a Liberty Tree Associate.

BERNE: The Showdown at Schottenstein

June 22, 2009
Geoff Berne

On May 1, 2009, Michigan's Board of Education, like boards in most of the other states across the U.S., issued a resolution "recognizing that teachers are vital to the very fabric of our society" and declaring the week of May 4-8 Teacher Appreciation Week.

Additional Information: 

In Part II of this Counterpunch series, Liberty Tree Associate Todd Alan Price reports on his interviews with key players in the battle to which Ted Strickland has dedicated his governorship, to rebuild Ohio public education and stave off the charter phenomenon.

Center for Campus Free Speech: Facts Still Count

April 13, 2009
Megan Fitzgerald

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.

Additional Information: 

You can read the report at http://www.democracysquare.org/files_public/Facts_Still_Count.pdf
Campus Free Speech can be found at http://campusspeech.org
Campus Free Speech page on Protecting academic Freedom: http://www.campusspeech.org/abor

PowerShift 2009 - Democratizing Our Universities to Confront Climate Change

March 1, 2009

PowerShift 2009 - Democratizing Our Universities to Confront Climate Change from Patrick St John on Vimeo.

"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.

Additional Information: 

Conference website: http://www.powershift09.org/

Prospects for Participatory Democracy in the U.S.A

December 1, 2008
Ben Manski

Location: Barcelona, Spain Presented at the International Seminar on Participatory Democracy "Participatory Democracy. Political Actors and Social Movements" Abstract Diagnosing 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.

Additional Information: 

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.

Campus Organizer's Guide to Democratizing Education

December 21, 2006
Eric Prindle

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.

Additional Information: 

Please download this 20-page pdf-format guide by clicking here.

Understanding Student Unionism: A Canadian Perspective

November 1, 2006
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:

Additional Information: 

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.

Corporatization: An Internal Clash of Civilizations

July 1, 2006
Ben Manski and John Peck

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.

MANSKI & PECK: Corporatization: An internal clash of civilizations

January 1, 2006
Ben Manski and John Peck

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.

Additional Information: 

Ben Manski is Executive Director of Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution. John Peck is Director of Family Farm Defenders.

Report on the Ottawa Retreat

January 1, 2005

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.