Nova Scotia Students Seeking Federal Leadership on Education

Canadian Federation of Students

Students from Nova Scotia are in Ottawa this week meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to call for a high-quality and accessible system of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia and across the country.

Students from CFS Nova Scotia protest the NDP government’s tuition increases in Winter 2011

“In Nova Scotia, we’ve seen our government make consecutive cuts to funding for higher education, which have been passed on to students and their families through increased tuition fee and student debt,” said Zac Quinlan, Executive Vice-President of the Mount Saint Vincent University Students’ Union. “We have come to Ottawa to call on our federal government to take meaningful steps to ensure students have access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education.” Continue reading

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CFS Report: “Public Education for the Public Good”

Last year, the Canadian Federation of Students completed and issued a cross-Canada vision for education.

Students protesting against high tuition fees, a long-running campaign of the CFS

Entitled “Public Education for the Public Good,” it is a coherent summation of the current state of post-secondary education and how easy it would be, but for a lack of political will among the powerful, to establish free post-secondary education in Canada.

Red Hammer is proud to provide a link for our readers: Continue reading

Striking Shifts in Education and Community Activism

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Fall 2012 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves is about the links between education and activism, but it focuses extensively on issues raised before, during and since the Québec student strike.

Student Strike – Popular Struggle

The strike provides us with a superb case study of how the Charest government labeled student resistance as evidence of an outmoded, entitled ideology, and then used the negative public sentiment towards students that it had itself helped fuel to distract public attention from the wider debate the students were trying to have on the effects of an austerity agenda and, more immediately, a construction/corruption scandal. In this case, it backfired. Spectacularly. And resulted in a pretty remarkable victory for progressives. Continue reading

Despite Hard Economic Times, Tuition Fees Rising Far Faster Than Inflation

Canadian Federation of Students

University and college tuition fees rose almost four-times greater than the rate of inflation this year. According to data released today by Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada increased by 5% between 2011 and 2012, compared to inflation of 1.3% during the same period.

“Governments are continuing to shift the cost of public education onto the backs of students and their families,” said Adam Awad, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “By increasing tuition fees in a time of economic uncertainty, provincial governments are further reducing access to education and skills training.”

Continue reading

Chicago Teachers Educate a Nation

People’s World

It was nine days that shook Chicago – and the nation. Twenty-five thousand public school teachers, guidance counselors, speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses and other professionals, members of Chicago Teachers Union Local 1, stood up and said with one voice, “Enough!”

Rahm fix mess520x300

Left with no other choice by an intransigent Board of Education and a politically ambitious mayor, teachers took to the picket line, declaring that the strike was for the kids, the profession and public education everywhere. This was a strike that changed the city.

This red sea would not be parted

For those nine days, the city went red, symbolizing solidarity with the union. Mass protests felt like festivals with clever, and often funny signs (Rahm likes Nickelback), musicians – teachers and high school marching bands -playing drums, brass and woodwinds through the streets of downtown Chicago, chants and singing, passionate speeches describing the corporate-created problems in detail – and offering realistic alternatives, generations marching together from kids in strollers to elders with canes or in wheelchairs, banners from other unions, community organizations, parent and student groups waving to show solidarity. This was a red sea would not be parted. Continue reading

The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro Question in the United States

by Harry Haywood

This article by Harry Haywood, originally printed in the September 1933 issue of the The Communist, is from A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, edited by Herbert Aptheker. According to the editor, the original article “is published below, in part, with the essential argumentation intact.” I am making this article available on the Internet for the first time. For more on this history of the African American National Question, see Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s Unity Statement on National Oppression, National Liberation and Socialist Revolution and The Third International and the struggle for a correct line on the African American National Question.

The present program of our Party on the Negro question was first formulated at the Sixth Congress of the Communist International, in 1928. On the basis of the most exhaustive consideration of all the peculiarities, historical development, economic, living and cultural conditions of the Negro people in the United States as well as the experience of the Party in its work among Negroes, that Congress definitely established the problem of the Negroes as that of an oppressed nation among whom there existed all the requisites for a national revolutionary movement against American imperialism.

Harry Haywood, legendary African American communist leader

This estimation was a concrete application of the Marxist-Leninist conception of the national question to the conditions of the Negroes and was predicated upon the following premises: first, the concentration of large masses of Negroes in the agricultural regions of the Black Belt, where they constitute a majority of the population; secondly, the existence of powerful relics of the former chattel slave system in the exploitation of the Negro toilers – the plantation system based on sharecropping, landlord supervision of crops, debt slavery, etc.; thirdly, the development, on the basis of these slave remnants, of a political superstructure of inequality expressed in all forms of social proscription and segregation; denial of civil rights, right to franchise, to hold public offices, to sit on juries, as well as in the laws and customs of the South. This vicious system is supported by all forms of arbitrary violence, the most vicious being the peculiar American institution of lynching. All of this finds its theoretical justification in the imperialist ruling class theory of the “natural” inferiority of the Negro people. Continue reading

Quebec’s Bill 78 Shifts the Struggle to a Battle for Democracy and the Right to Dissent

Rebel Youth Montreal Bureau

Last night the Charest Liberal government tabled its repressive Duplessis-style legislation while thousands of protesters marched well past mid-night in the streets of Quebec City and Montreal, waving flags, chanting and even burning a draft of the repressive law.

Bill 78 passed this afternoon with the right-wing CAQ party voting in favour, propping-up the precarous posistion of the Charest Liberals who are currently holding onto a majority of only one vote (following the resignation of the Minister of Education last week).  Links to the law in English are below.

The vote passed 68-48 at about 5:30 p.m. Continue reading