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The Rouge Forum – Update 20th May 2009

Rouge Forum Update: War, Decay and Sane Resistance!

A Message from Rich Gibson 

Dear Friends,

We will circulate a full report from the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University over the weekend. This is a very brief preliminary report from the student newspaper:
http://www.easternecho.com/content/rouge-forum-discusses-youth-education-emu-0

On the Education Front:

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/19/ca-special-election-051909/?california&zIndex=101745&dsq=9568515#comment-9568515

The California Teachers Association and NEA bosses wasted more than $12.2 million on their outrageous tax the poor scam that failed completely and, worse, managed to convince even more poor and working people that organized education workers are actually enemies. Nice work, CTA.

Meanwhile, UTLA managed to cower their way out of what was to be last Friday’s mass walkout, fearful of a judge’s order against it.

Everyone should be clear on this. The only illegal job action is one that fails. If thousands of teachers walked out, the judge would do nearly nothing, indeed nothing except try to fine CTA. So? CTA is not a bank and CTA members can picket judges’ homes.

The Green Dot Takeover: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-greendot11-2009may11,0,3289443.story

Since UTLA and NEA have done so little to build a base among poor and working class parents and kids, and since AFT loves Green Dot, this plan to seize the school system is conceivable.

And it is another move from the LATimes to attack the rising militancy of the education workers who have a walkout scheduled this week. There are thoughtful and active alternatives to all this … http://www.rougeforumconference.org/
        
Obama placed Bob Bobb, paid jointly by the Broad Foundation and the Detroit Public Schools, in charge of DPS. Then The One declared Detroit “Ground Zero,” in the education wars. Bobb announced a plan to federalize DPS. Would that be a first? http://www.susanohanian.org/show_nclb_outrages.html?id=3621

On the Perpetual War Front (the education agenda is a war agenda):

Obamagogue To Cover up Torture Photos: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/white-house-wants-a-delay-in-the-release-of-detainee-photos/?hp

Escobar: Pipelineistan Part 2: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175071/pepe_escobar_pipelineistan_goes_af_pak

On the Fake Radicals Front:

Once the Weathermen were liberals (and police agents) with bombs. Terrorists who opposed the hard work that it takes to build a mass class conscious movement to transcend the system of capital. Now, they are just liberals without bombs. But, unlike Billy Ayers and the rest of the Weathermen, at least Mark Rudd admits he and his ganglet destroyed the Students for a Democratic Society on the eve of the biggest outpouring of mass action from 1950 on. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/books/review/Barrett-t.html

On the Organized Decay is an Element of Fascism Front:

Detroit Photo Essay: Who is next? http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/detroit-troubled-city

Neighbors Prevent Firefighters from Saving Detroit Drug Den: http://www.detnews.com/article/20090518/METRO01/905180378/Neighbors-harass-Detroit-fire-crews-fighting-blaze-at-drug-house

Foreclosures hit high in April http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/13/us-foreclosure-rates-051309/?california&zIndex=98434

The troubling reality that fascism in the past has sometimes been a popular mass movement: The Third Reich at War:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/books/review/Reich-t.html?pagewanted=2&ref=books

On the “This is not, not, for sure, not a depression, it’s ah, well, ahem,” Front:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/books/review/Rauch-t.html?ref=books

Tickled by the NYTimes reassurance that this is not, surely not, absolutely not, could not be, a GREAT depression, it’s just a depression. And good time are right around the corner.

On the Unions Became What They Claimed to Set Out to Oppose Front:

UAW Won’t Strike Chrysler Until 2015: http://www.freep.com/article/20090513/BUSINESS01/90513086/UAW+won+t+strike+Chrysler+through+2015

You don’t need to pay a union to surrender. You can throw up your hands and do that alone. Concessions do not save jobs. They just make bosses want more. The UAW is a prime example. When they say cut back, we should say, Fight Back!

The Torment and Demise of the United Auto Workers Union: http://clogic.eserver.org/2006/gibson.html

Unions are unfit to meet the crisis at hand. While it may be important to have one toe in a union in order to meet people and build a base for real change, it is equally important to have ten toes out of the union—in an organization that can connect reason, passion, and power. Like the Rouge Forum. Please spread the word. There is no single “Line” of the RF. We have many voices and many varying talents.

Here are the last two stanzas to the great workers’ song Solidarity Forever:

They have taken untold millions
that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle
not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power;
gain our freedom when we learn
That the Union makes us strong.

In our hands is placed a power
greater than their hoarded gold;
Greater than the might of armies,
magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world
from the ashes of the old
For the Union makes us strong.

Well, the union didn’t make us strong, but the rest is on the mark and the struggle continues.

Thanks to Joe Bishop and the Eastern Michigan volunteers, Adam and Gina, WayneO,  Nancye, Patricia,  Faith and Craig, Greg (whose speech will be up by the weekend), Pat B, Bill-Scott–the youths-and Marty, Paul, Cory, Connie,  Travis, Roger, Doug S and Doug Y, Gil G (that book is terrific) Billy X, Donna, Sherry, Zena, Em, Candace, Rebecca, Sonia, Maria, Chris (what a long drive), Susan O and H, O and Ido and the baby, Steve and Perry for getting things going and you too Kevin and Marc, Michael who is a smart guy and good friend, the heroic Sergei and the secretaries, Jeremiah, The Uprising and Tainted Machine, Staughton Lynd who is a beacon of good sense, Marty G who should have been there, Big M, Bob and Tommie, and all who made the conference a delight.

Good luck to us, every one.
Rich Gibson

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

The Rouge Forum – Update May 10th 2009

A message from Rich Gibson

Dear Friends

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies “academic freedom award,” and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist. http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Education News

Students at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts:
http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/local/west-edition/44620717.html

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers10-2009may10,0,1000273.story
Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the LATimes is running a series of articles on “bad teachers” and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.

The LATimes does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital’s relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited.

But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn’t speak in those terms either.

Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root.
http://www.utla.net/

There are alternatives:
http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Here is the New Yorker’s abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_mcgray and a response from Susan Ohanian
http://www.susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=545

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/20965

Industry, Finance, War, and Pedagogy

Chrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?
http://www.freep.com/article/20090504/BUSINESS01/90504013/Judge+lets+Chrysler+borrow+$4.5+billion

Don’t forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters: http://www.geocities.com/elethinker/posters.html

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2CCs-x9q9U

The banks behind the Meltdown (Center For Public Integrity): http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/economic_meltdown/

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/half-a-million-flee-swat-valley-as-pakistan-faces-months-of-fighting-1681831.html

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world’s most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDk6Qal2DCI

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US–Victory in Europe day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/What_Is_Fascism_Gibson.html

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam and Gina Renner for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US.
http://richgibson.com/rouge_forum/newspaper/spring2009/index.html

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.
Rich Gibson

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

The Rouge Forum – Update 3rd February 2009

 

 

A Message from Rich Gibson

 

 

Dear Friends

February 12th is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. Sounds like a good day to remind people about evolution, dialectics, and leaps of change! Have a party! Happy Happy Merry Merry–Charles!

A reminder: set aside May 14th to 17th for the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, just minutes from the Detroit Airport. Here is the conference information and call for proposals: http://web.mac.com/wayne.ross/Rouge_Forum_Conference_2009/Welcome.html

United Teachers of LA called for a test boycott, perhaps the first large school worker union to do so: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/01/teachers-plan-t.html

Though the boycott is limited to what many RF activists feel is second-tier testing, the idea could well spread. Messages of support can go to the UTLA leadership at: http://www.utla.net/node/863

In France, a general strike was kicked off by teachers and students, proving once again our long held thesis that school workers and students are well positioned to initiate, if not fully carry through, action for social justice: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/29/strike-france-teachers

From the EdNotes blog, a video the United Federation of Teachers (NYC) would prefer that we not see (scroll down a bit):
http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/

Colleague Chalmers Johnson, author of the Nemisis trilogy, weighs in with “The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon,”
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175029

We all noticed that Exxon recorded the highest profits ever http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/01/news/companies/exxon_earnings/
and military contractors expect no layoffs whatsoever. War, in many instances, means work.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327750721631485.html

Bill Zucker sets up a shout, “I want some Tarp!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGfQk9XXm24

Those who wonder what their NEA union leaders and staff are paid can check EIA, a right-libertarian site, here (there are instructions on how to check on the LMR 2) http://www.eiaonline.com/archives/20090126.htm Note that NEA past president Reg Weaver took home $554,524 and he probably was able to live on his expense account.

The Rouge Forum blogspot is up and running at: http://therougeforum.blogspot.com/ You are welcome to chime in!

Thanks to Eric, Kev, Wayne, Bob, Amber, Tom, Perry, Angie, Stella, O, Donnie A, Jim B, Peter M, Hannah, Beau, Dave, Tommie, Sandy, and Sherry.

All the best

Rich Gibson

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk