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Tag Archives: William Ayers

No Future




May 17, 2011

11:00 EDT in Toronto, New York
16:00 BST in London
17:00 CEST in Berlin, Barcelona

Join Cities of Migration online for a 60-minute webinar to learn about media diversity and the strategies behind the success of local radio broadcasters in Barcelona and Toronto. Find out how to improve your audience ratings by responding to changing demographics and sharing your city’s immigrant experience.

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April 27, 2011
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Friend’s House
60 Lowther Ave, Toronto (St. George Subway Station)

Please join the Rights of Non-status Women Network for an Open Forum on the topic of Immigration “Fraud”: Facts, Myths and Challenges. This open forum is a place for VAW workers, shelter workers, community health workers, students, activists, academics, and community members to discuss the issue of Immigration “Fraud” and strategies to serve clients with precarious status effectively.

Space is fully wheelchair accessible. Please let us know of any accessibility needs and we will do our best to accommodate them. Light snacks will be served.

For more details visit:



The Prime Minister won’t answer your questions – but we will!

Live online – Watch and participate in the discussion
Thursday, April 28 2011
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PT

To watch the forum, or learn more about the campaign, go to

Want to submit your question in advance?  Email us at

On Facebook?  To start the discussion now click here:

Follow us on Twitter – @ATNcampaign. To tweet your questions use #all2gether

Want more information or a reminder just before the event? Go to



May 7-15
Various locations in Toronto

Some festival highlights:

– Sunday May 8, Mapping Our Work: Labour History Walking Tour
– Wednesday May 11, opening night, The Faces of Son Jarocho and FBI Family (multimedia exhibitions)
– Friday May 13, Stop Wage Theft! Campaign Launch

For more information:



Saturday, May 7, 2011
9:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto
(one block south of College between Spadina and Beverley)

“Social action devoid of a well-developed inner life can easily result in frustrated activism, just as a well-developed inner-life that is not concerned for or involved in social action can degenerate into futile pious worship.”- Gita Badiyan, Heidi Last

Building a movement of allies and not just coming together over issues requires the personal work of decolonizing one’s own heart. Colonization writ large and small requires decolonization solutions large and small. We must start by decolonizing ourselves in order to build decolonized communities, and from there, begin to decolonize the state.

This workshop will use “The Walk of Life”, developed by Murray Kelly, a proven structure and process which guides people towards personal healing through understanding the “baggage” they came into the world with. After all, whether we like them or not, from our infant and child perspective, we came into the world as members of families, not members of the state. “The Walk of Life” is a tremendously effective multi-generational healing instrument and a useful structure to be passed on and used by participants to encourage and support further healing work.

Event is wheel-chair accessible and close to TTC . Light refreshments provided.

Price: suggested sliding scale donation $5-$20 or PWYC. For more info: 416 538 0224 or




Frustrated with your job being referred to as ‘gravy’? Angry to see that workers’ hard-won gains are being eroded? Want to defend public services and good jobs for all? Recorded in Toronto, 8 April 2011. Part of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly forum.

Moderated by Stephanie Ross
Panelists: Andrew Sernatinger, Adam Breihan, Carolyn Egan, Euan Gibb

Watch the video:



“We now have four years of consistent jurisprudence that recognizes the constituional obligation of governments to respect the collective bargaining process and refrain from enacting legislation that strips away the Charter rights of their employees.” James Clancy, NUPGE

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In Working-Class Perspectives this week, CWCS co-director, Sherry Linkon, explores the current controversial debate over the value and purpose of higher education and asks what that means for working-class students?

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William Ayers’s radical past has made life difficult from him over the past few years. First it hurt his speaking schedule, then it was cited as a reason to deny him professor emeritus status, and now it is keeping him from speaking at an academic conference in Canada.

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By Armine Yalnizyan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Every political party wraps itself up in the middle class flag during elections. Few talk about what is happening: for anyone who doesn’t already have one, middle class jobs with decent wages, benefits and pensions are becoming harder to find.

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Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit:


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (recording) and  (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)   

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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The Ockress:

Rikowski Point:


Peter McLaren


Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex

Peter McLaren (Editor), Steven Best (Editor), and Anthony J. Nocella II (Editor)

The extreme repressive attacks on Churchill, Finklstein, Fontan, Best, Massad, the “Dirty Thirty,” and many others represented in this book demonstrate the repressive logic of “US democracy,” whereby political elites, the mass media, and the education system establish and police the parameters of acceptable discourse. Churchill became America’s own Salman Rushdie terrorized by the fatwa of the right. Unprecedented for the media coverage given to a professor (in a mass media culture that virtually ignores substantive ideas in favor of spectacle and sensationalism) the Churchill affair was, however, just one of many cases of attacks on academic freedom that eerily evoke the tyranny of the McCarthy era where actors were blacklisted and professors were fired for having even liberal views or showing dissent against state repression. While there has been much research on political repression carried out by the Bush administration, FBI, and various law enforcement agencies, there has been little discussion on political 
repression in academia and how the shockwaves of 9/11 have reverberated throughout academia. This anthology brings together prominent academics who contribute original essays commissioned for this volume. The writers are known and respected figures in their respective fields, and many have experienced academic repression first-hand.

This volume aims to be a cogent intervention in debates over free speech, culture wars, and academic freedom. Given that the importance of free speech to academic life, and the crucial role universities play in the intellectual life of cultures as a whole, a volume addressing the political environment of universities in the current period promises to make a significant contribution.

Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex (AK Press), is a much needed book on a topic that has seen little attention. Since 9/11 the Bush Administration has ventured to every campus influencing and forcing change by administration to handover faculty, staff, and student work to be flagged as possible signs of threatening behavior. While there have been numerous books on academic freedom, that topic is outdated and something that arguably does not exist on U.S. campus soil anymore. This volume addresses not only overt attacks on critical or radical thinking, it also – following socioeconomic trends unfolding for decades – engages the broad structural determinants of academic culture. Slowly but surely, the university is being transformed from a space for free thinking, experimentation, and philosophical education in the broadest sense into a narrow, restrictive, utilitarian institution that serves the technical needs of corporations, government, science and technology, and the military. Thus, as emphasized by numerous contributors, the ultimate cause of repression is not the academy itself, but contemporary capitalist society as a whole, which strongly shapes the structure, function, and priorities of higher education. This volume shows that while universities are crucial sites of socialization in capitalist ideologies and utilitarian performance, they are not monolithic citadels or homogeneous systems of thought that grind out in assembly-line fashion each and every student into the service of capitalism. For just as universities can train tomorrow’s FBI and CIA agents, so they can breed the next generation of radicals, resisters, saboteurs, and revolutionaries.

The university is a contested political space for three reasons. First, it is home to a diversity of viewpoints, ranging from far-right to far-left, from Christian to Muslim, from white to black, Indian, or Chicano/a, from speciesist to animal liberationist, and from heterosexual to gay/lesbian. Second, despite broad and growing trends of repression, there are varying degrees of tolerance for the discussion of non-mainstream or radical ideas in classrooms and campus life. Third, however uncritical, conditioned, and conformist some students might be, they have the potential (often actualized) to discuss, debate, and think critically about issues such as US colonialism, slavery, sexism, and speciesism, and professors, staff, and students – consciously or unconsciously – cannot socialize all of them into their own worldviews and politics.

— Nocella, Best, and McLaren

About the Editors:
Anthony J. Nocella, II is completing his doctoral work at Syracuse University. He is a Visiting Scholar of SUNY Cortland’s Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice (CEPS) and is teaching classes in Sociology and Criminology at Le Moyne College.

Steven Best is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Peter McLaren is Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.


This courageous and chilling book reminds us that the Academy is always a context for intellectual exchange and political struggle. Don’t miss it! — Cornel West, Princeton University

This book takes us into the Corporate University, and it’s not a pretty sight. From firing critical thinkers to putting students in debt, the system is failing America. Time to take it back by fighting for free higher education. — Jim Hightower, populist speaker and editor of the “Hightower Lowdown”

The university should be a place of freedom not a battlefield where the military industrial complex is launching its most violent attack yet on the future of education. Nocella, Best, and McLaren shows us that education must be protected if we want peace and social justice for the world. Read now! — Cindy Sheehan, Peace Activist and Founder of “Gold Star Families for Peace”

To the litany of claims by academics that the university is a safe haven for intellectual and political dissent, this book offers a convincing counter-argument. Academic Repression is a long overdue collective study of the long and sorry history of violations of academic freedom, iconoclastic thought and political dissent in US institutions of higher education. The editors have assembled an impressive group of scholars who, often through personal experience as much as analytic acuity, have supplied us with commentary as much as documentation of the central thesis of the book. This book should be required reading in all of the social sciences, humanities and education courses. —
Stanley Aronowitz, author of “The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning”

Absolutely and utterly indispensible as we chart a way forward and attempt to finally turn the page on an era best left in the dustbin of history. It’s a first round knock out. — Dave Zirin, author APHOS

For over half a century, matters of knowledge and education have been central to the political struggles shaping our world, and the university has been a primary battleground. This collection is a chilling and powerful survey of contemporary battles, their stakes and possibilities. We should all be scared, and we should all concerned enough to take a stand. — Dr. Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Using the tired canards of anti-semitism, terrorism and radicalism, rightwing zealots are carrying out a merciless campaign of ideological cleansing on American campuses, often with the shameful complicity of university administrators. Academic Repression takes you to the frontlines of this fierce battle for the mind, telling stories of
purges, institutional cowardice and resistance. Here at last is a strategic plan for how to fight back against the New McCarthyites. Read it twice and then throw the book at them. — Jeffrey St. Clair, author Born Under a Bad Sky, co-editor of CounterPunch

Freedom of speech in the academy is a cornerstone of democracy — fascism always creeps closely behind intellectual repression, and we are not immune from the virus. If you want to understand how rocky our freedoms are today, pick up this book, read it, and join the fight to end censorship in all of its imperialist forms. — Joshua Frank, co-author with Jeffrey St. Clair of the forthcoming Green Scare: The Government’s New War on Environmentalism

The powers-that-be are uncomfortable with academic freedom because when one investigates any political, social, economic or even scientific issue thoroughly, a leftwing analysis will tend to emerge. Thinking is dangerous for them. This book is full of the stories and observations of some of the greatest thinkers alive today. — David Rovics, Singer-Songwriter

The editors have drawn together a diverse and competent group of scholars to assess critically the climate of academic repression. This is an essential book for anyone with a deep concern for the future of the academy. It will help raise awareness of crucial issues that face the universities. We ignore this challenge at our peril. — Dr. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice, SUNY Cortland

As the editors and contributors of this valuable collection make clear, American academia has long been a combat zone, and never more than today. Eternal vigilance, and constant struggle, remain the watchwords if the free expression of thought upon which a good society depends is to be realized. — Joel Kovel, author of “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine”



William Armaline

John Asimakopoulos

Bill Ayers

Liat Ben-Moshe

Michael Bérubé

Carl Boggs

Marc Bousquet

A. Peter Castro

Ward Churchill

Dana Cloud

Sumi E. Colligan

Maria E. Cotera

Christian Davenport

Victoria Fontan

Takis Fotopoulos

Henry Giroux

Adam Habib

Joy James

Robert Jensen

Richard Kahn

Caroline Kaltefleiter

Doug Kellner

Mark LeVine

Bill Martin

Peter McLaren

Micere M. Githae Mugo

Mechthild Nagel

Cary Nelson

Michael Parenti

Emma Perez

Mark Rupert

Rik Scarce

Deric Shannon

Stephen Sheehi

Amory Starr

Gregory Tropea

Ali Zaidi

Howard Zinn

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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:

On the Education Front:

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:,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 …
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?

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

Obamagogue To Cover up Torture Photos:

Escobar: Pipelineistan Part 2:

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.

On the Organized Decay is an Element of Fascism Front:

Detroit Photo Essay: Who is next?

Neighbors Prevent Firefighters from Saving Detroit Drug Den:

Foreclosures hit high in April

The troubling reality that fascism in the past has sometimes been a popular mass movement: The Third Reich at War:

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

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:

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:

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:

The Ockress:

On the ‘Defense of Bill Ayers’


Rich Gibson


The “Defense of Bill Ayers” is hardly a call to give comfort to someone under a ferocious attack. It is true that Republicans seek to use Ayers’ ties to Obama to smear Obama as an Other, a de-demagogic move – while Obama kisses the flip side of the coin: The One. But Ayers’ tenure, job, and family are under nothing but criticism. Given that Ayers has always been willing to bow to applause, I see no reason to defend him or respond favorably to what is really a call to support his past and present work. Instead, I want to correct the record. 
In brief: stop calling Bill Ayers a radical. He demeans the term. I am former member of the Students for a Democratic Society, the largest student movement in US history (which Ayers helped to destroy) and a radical yet today. There was never anything radical about born-to-wealth Bill Ayers. He always opposed the radical, ‘going to the root’ of social problems. In 1969, Ayers’ ‘Weathermen’ sought to replace a movement of people organizing for freedom, equality, and peace with authoritarian mis-leadership and bombs. Then, he was a liberal with explosives.
Today, he is a foundation-funded liberal as Mayor Richard Dailey’s endorsement demonstrates. His tiny Weathermen sect was the Mussolini-like ‘reaction-faction’: celebrating irrationalism, drugs, and exploitative sex, and pandering to the various nationalisms of the day. They held most people in the world in utter contempt. Before the biggest outpouring of student activism in the last century, the Weathermen destroyed the SDS mailing list, leaving the movement with no center. Then, cops rained down on the movement, demonstrating that terrorists typically bring repression, not on themselves, but on the people they falsely claim to represent. I note nothing of any significance happened to Ayers and the cops never made much of an effort to find him when he was on the run, but living very well.
There is no “new” Bill Ayers. He dishonestly opposed a mass based class-conscious movement for equality and freedom then, and opposes it now. Today he claims nobody knew any better than to follow his hysterics in the Weathermen. Well, about two thirds of the people voting against the Weathermen in the famous Chicago split meeting knew better then, and we know better than to trust him now. His ‘Small Schools’ movement is sheer hucksterism, based on the same hubris that moved the Weathermen –- though it is considerably more lucrative. Those of us who fought the Weathermen in SDS, and who did not abandon the grassroots struggle for worldwide justice, know Ayers for what he is. That Ayers clearly backed the liberal Obama, who promises wider wars, and bailouts to the rich, is no surprise.

Dr Rich Gibson
Emeritus Professor
San Diego State University
6256 Camino Corto
San Diego, CA
619 287 2322


Posted here (with permission) by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

UNL Cancels Speech by Ayers 


UNL Cancels Speech by Ayers

By Henry J. Cordes and Khristopher J. Brooks 
Published: Saturday, October 18, 2008 4:28 AM CDT 
Midlands News Service 


LINCOLN – The University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Friday evening rescinded its speaking invitation for 1960s radical-turned-educator William Ayers. University officials cited “safety reasons” for canceling Ayers’ Nov. 15 appearance. 


Spokeswoman Kelly Bartling declined to elaborate on what safety concerns would keep Ayers from addressing a College of Education and Human Sciences event. 

Earlier Friday, Gov. Dave Heineman strongly condemned the invitation and called on the NU Board of Regents and President J.B. Milliken to block it. 


An Omaha charitable foundation announced it was pulling all of its contributions to the university. Several other donors also have indicated to university fundraisers that there could be a financial cost if Ayers speaks. 


And Nebraskans by the hundreds continued to register their opposition with university administrators and others, lighting up phone lines and filling e-mail boxes. 

Heineman said Ayers’ invitation was “an embarrassment” to the state and that it goes beyond the bounds of the university’s mission. 

“Our citizens are clearly outraged and want action,” Heineman said in an interview. “This is their university. This isn’t even a close call. The university should immediately rescind the invitation.” 


Dean Marjorie Kostelnik said she spoke Thursday night with UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman about “the climate around this issue.” 

She said she also has spoken with representatives of Milliken’s office. Other public officials weighed in about Ayers on Friday, a day after the UNL speech was announced. 


Both Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, and Rep. Lee Terry, a Republican, called for cancellation of the speech. 


“The invitation made to William Ayers to speak at my alma mater in the midst of a heated national election when he is such a highly controversial figure is an outrage,” Terry said. 


Nelson said the visit would not promote the unity now needed in the nation. Said Attorney General Jon Bruning: “Academic freedom doesn’t require us to lose our good judgment and common sense.” 


State Auditor Mike Foley sent the university a long request for information on Ayers’ trip, its planning and how it is being funded. UNL officials have said Ayers’ appearance would be privately funded. 


Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical group that staged domestic bombings to protest the Vietnam War. Ayers was charged with conspiracy to incite riots, but the charges were dropped  because of misconduct by prosecutors. 


Ayers went on to gain respect in the education field and become a scholar known for his ideas on school reform. At UNL, the plan was for him to limit his speech to graduate education students to that topic. 

The invitation to Ayers was extended in February, long before he became a household name in this year’s presidential election because of his ties to candidate Sen. Barack Obama through their shared work a few years ago with a school reform effort. 

The Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation in Omaha told the university Friday that it would halt all contributions to the university unless the UNL education faculty rescinded Ayers’ invitation. The foundation has given millions to the university in the past. 


While other donors haven’t been as explicit, Clarence Castner, who leads the University of Nebraska Foundation, said it became clear that other contributions were “in jeopardy.” 


Scholars said a decision to pull an invitation to Ayers could be seen by educators nationally as a school-sponsored curb on academic freedom. 


It would make UNL a less attractive school to the faculty members it seeks to recruit, said David Moshman, a UNL education professor writing a book on academic freedom. 


Heineman said Friday that “there is no way” the university should lose contributions over Ayers. There are plenty of other respected  educators the university could invite to speak, he said. 





Posted here by Glenn Rikowski



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