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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Jhirad’

By Susan Jhirad

I just wrote how inspired I was by the mass movement in Egypt. In addition to bouquets of roses, I might add that we need to start organizing our own mass movement against the budget cuts being proposed both by Republicans (the harshest) and the Obama Adminstration- including such items as aid for home heating oil in one of the worst winters we have known, all in the phony name of “cutting the deficit.” Can we organize a giant, broad-based rally in D.C. under the simple rubric: “End the War in Afghanistan: Support Human Needs at Home” or something at that ilk? We could mobilize students, labor, poor people, parents of children with disabilities etc. to join us. We could use Facebook, Tweet, Twitter, whatever to make it really huge. I am no longer connected with any organized peace groups, and have found most of them too narrow in their outreach and focus. But maybe some of you younger folks out there know how to do it! I will certainly be happy to put my marching shoes on these arthritic feet and join you!

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OK, I know I am preaching to the converted, but… There is only one thing that can be said about the mass firing of Central Falls, R.I. teachers on February 26: it was anti-teacher, anti-union, and anti-education. We all know the basics of the story: the test scores of the students, mainly low income, immigrant, learners who moved around school districts, were abysmally low. Despite this, the students described the majority of their teachers as committed and hard working, in the words of some, “like family.” The students recently held a lively demonstration in support of their teachers. Would they do that for non-caring teachers? (more…)

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Leonard Vogt’s article about the possibilities and limits of the classroom as “bully pulpit” made me reflect on the disturbing election results in Massachusetts. Most of us, I think, already know what polls showed: Massachusetts voters did not vote for Scott Brown because 1. they are turning “Republican” or 2. they are against health care reform. They voted for Scott Brown because Martha Coakley ran a horrible campaign  and Scott Brown ran a great one. The “lessons” are, unfortunately, not about policies, but about effective organizing. (more…)

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