Thousands of Chilean students took the streets of Santiago on Thursday to say, "we believe that education is a social right, not a commodity," in a call for greater access to affordable university education, reprising the protests which swept the nation in 2011-2012.
A group of Providence high school students, some with zombie-style makeup, gathered in Burnside Park and paraded to the Westminster Street entrance to the Board of Regents to protest strict NECAP testing that would prevent many students from graduating.
Bill 115, the Orwellian-named Putting Students First Act, was passed in the Ontairo legislature last week stripping tens of thousands of teachers and education workers of their right to collective bargaining. You could hear the clucking of Premier Dalton McGuinty and Education Minister Loreal Broten as they patted themselves on the back saying they saved the opening of the school year for over 2 million elementary and high school students across Ontario.
Students in Montreal and across Quebec today continue their protest against tuition increases and austerity measures in education with a 12-hour ¨“marathon of intensive vindication,” according to organizers. Today will see rolling student protests mostly focused against banks. In Montreal, marches leave from Victoria Square every hour and will each take unique routes through downtown.
Approximately 100 students walked out of Sardis secondary at noon Friday in support of their teachers. They weren't dissuaded by an announcement at lunch by school administration advising them not to leave school grounds, or by the possibility of "strict disciplinary action," or by a letter to parents on the school district website encouraging their children not to walk out.
Dubbing themselves The Resistance, a group of Bronx students have decided to “Occupy” public education, releasing a 10 point plan for reforming New York City’s public school system. This is exactly the kind of action we need to see across this country; young people seizing the moment and taking the lead in public discourse regarding the issues that are impacting their lives.
As the student strike in Quebec develops, there have been weekly “manif-actions” (action demos) with the goal of economic disruption. Late yesterday morning, a manif action was called to begin at 11:30 am at Square Victoria. There were several thousand people in the streets, some of them self-identified students, student politicians and union members, many not of any particular status. The march went up to the Loto-Quebec building on Sherbrooke and rue City Councillors and set up hard blockades of all the entrances around the building, effectively shutting it down. The building contains the offices of the organization representing university principals and rectors, which supports tuition hikes, and had also been occupied in March 2011.
We periodically ask our readers and supporters to support us with a financial donation. We are hoping to raise $500 this Spring for our ongoing operations. We've been busy lately fixing technical problems, planning improvements for our tech infrastructure, and talking about how we can bring more original content in the future to our readers.
Checks and cash are accepted, but contact us to make special arrangements.
What we've been up to lately:
Server improvements and optimization: You may have noticed that the website hasn't been down very much in the past month. Dave and Chuck have been busy cleaning up the server, slaying evil spambots and otherwise optimizing the server and websites. This is necessary so we can make further tech improvements and have a stable environment to publish more original content.
Infoshop News: We recently started a project which will upgrade Infoshop News to the latest version of Drupal, a popular content management system. This will allow us to do more interesting things with Infoshop News, from multimedia to subject tagging. This new software will also help us prevent downtime problems. We expect this project to be finished by the end of Summer 2013.
Infoshop Library: This week we will resume adding content to the Infoshop Library (http://www.infoshop.org/Library), which has been relocated to new software on our site. Content from the old library will be re-added to the library in the next couple of months. We will also be planning ways for more volunteers to get involved with this project.
Infoshop OpenWiki: The wiki is currently offline, but the old wiki content will be migrated to the website in the next couple of months.
Infoshop Forums: The Infoshop Forums will be migrated to our Drupal website this summer. We haven't decided yet if old content and user accounts will be migrated.
If you'd like to help with any of this, please get in touch!