Rally for Affirmative Action in Education
“We’ve got to rebuild a movement for affirmative action,” said George Washington, an attorney for United for Equality and Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund. “The established civil rights movement has just let the ball drop. A new form of separate and unequal is being erected right before our eyes,” as universities become whiter and, in some cases, more Asian. Atty. Washington and his team appear in federal court on March 7, to argue against allowing voter referendums to ban affirmative action.
Charter School Profiteers
School privatizers “are looking at a $500 billion education industry” and looking to make “fantastic profits,” said lawyer and education writer Danny Weil. Charter schools are the “perfect Trojan Horse” for the Right.
High Stakes Testing Causes Cheating
The administration thinks it can improve the quality of education for all “simply by raising the bar and yelling, ‘Jump higher’ and promising punishment for those who don’t get over the high bar,” said Bob Schaeffer, of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. Educators are “pressured to cheat, in order to get the test scores that are all that matter in the educational system, today.”
Workers Saved the Auto Industry
It’s wrong to claim, as Republicans do, that union autoworkers were “bailed out” by the federal government, said Al Benchich, a former United Auto Workers Union local president. “The auto industry got loans, the banks received the bailout,” while new employees now make only $14 an hour, said Benchich. “GM just posted their largest profit in history, which is indicative of what has been given up” by workers.
Robin Hood Tax Needed
The National Nurses United (NNU) union is “challenging austerity, worldwide,” with demands for a small tax on every financial distraction.” NNU president Deborah Burger said the so-called “Robin Hood tax” cold raise $350 billion per year, to be spent on “creating jobs, investing in education, health care and housing.” Great Britain already has such a tax, said Burger, Germany and France are considering one.
Human Rights D-Graded in DC
The local Washington, DC government earned only Ds in the subjects of public education, criminal law enforcement, and racial and gender discrimination, according to a report card compiled by the DC Human Rights People’s Movement. Report card co-editor David Schwartzman said the federal government rated an “F” for failing to give statehood to DC.
White House Wants More Money for Cops and Prisons
Despite historical declines in crime, the Obama administration’s budget calls for more than $27 billion for more prisons and police. “Let’s back off the prisons, let’s back off the police, and put the money into long term jobs that actually benefit people,” said Amanda Petteruti, of the Justice Policy Institute.
Lynn Stewart’s Appeal
Attorneys for movement lawyer Lynn Stewart asked a federal panel of judges to roll back her 10-year prison sentence on charges of assisting terrorists. Said her husband and comrade, Ralph Poynter: “When Lynn tries to ‘defeat the law’ on behalf of her clients – the poor or people the government doesn’t like – then she becomes the bad girl.” Stewart supporters hope for “time served, or bail pending appeal.”