Friday, April 14, 2017

Bill De Blasio Friday on WNYC Radio: No Criticism for Cuomo's Tuition Plan

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio, today on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, is uncritical of NY governor Andrew Cuomo's very limited free tuition proposal. But he's supporting the standing off girl statue, and recognizing that the charging bull represents unrestrained Wall Street. 
Cuomo's "free" tuition policy is so limiting that even moderate columnist David Brooks recognizes in today's New York Times that it is regressive.
We need him to do substantive things for the underprivileged, not just good government class neutral policies like this overblown statue struggle.
Example of the latter: De Blasio proudly announced that the NYPD is cracking down on TLC licensed taxicab drivers (or any drivers) are not allowed to have cellphones mounted on car windshields. Yes, we need safe driving, safe streets, but this is something a politician of any ideology could support.
De Blasio needs to address pressing economic concerns of economically hard-pressed New Yorkers, not devoting himself to attention-grabbing symbolic issues.

Friday, April 7, 2017

DOE's Reign of Principal Terror Breaking Point & What We Must Remember

Seven parents occupied the school auditorium at East Harlem's Central Park East 1 school ("CPE1") last night in solidarity with the teachers that are chafing under working for an oppressive principal. See Dartunorro Clark's "Parents Stage Sit-In at Harlem School in Latest Attempt to Oust Principal" in DNAinfo today.
Parents protesting principal Garg last night at CPE1 in East Harlem

Just a very few months ago students were sitting in, in the hallways of Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, Queens. There they were protesting also against a draconian principal, Rosemarie Jahoda. See here on the sit-in and here on the state of the struggle in more recent weeks.

What these schools have in common is that they have histories of being progressive in climate and as serving the more advantaged half of the city's students. While it is quite laudatory that students and parents are mobilized at both campuses we must remember that there are dozens of other schools across the school with equally oppressive principals. However, these schools serve more black and Latino populations that come from lower income families. They do not have as much clout as parents at progressive Manhattan schools as in CPE1 or students at elite examination entrance schools as in Townsend Harris.

Perhaps these profiles are why NBC New York has given attention to the CPE1 struggle and the New York Times gave a few articles to the struggle at Townsend Harris.

Second, it must be noted that what allowed for draconian principals and a completely aloof process allowing the principals to have free reign and the city to give them a blank ticket for being rude to students and dictatorial to teachers has been the complete removal of any semblance of democratic input, with previous mayor Michael Bloomberg's replacing the Board of Education with the Department of Education.

The former system had greater opportunities for parental input, public forums for engaging parents, and a process for elected leadership of the school system. The current system is a top-down corporate model with no room for authentic popular input. All power stems from the mayor. As we saw a week ago the rubber stamp Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), all decisions in the NYC Department of Education are done deals. There is no place for popular expression to be heard around how to run schools, whether public schools are to be supported or whether charter schools are going to be given privileged status in the school system.

So, we applaud the parents, students and teachers mobilized at these schools. But we must remember the unrecognized oppression at other schools in the different boroughs. We must end the undemocratic regime in the city so that principals can no longer rule without any checks against their power.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Did DeBlasio Took UFT For Suckers?: NYC is Floating Automation Over Substitute Teachers

No, you cannot make this up. About a month ago New York City mayor Bill De Blasio made a surprise appearance at the UFT's Delegate Assembly for an endorsement.

Yet, just weeks later the New York City Independent Budget Office  is showing how much the city hates teachers. The agency is floating an idea of using "e-learning" in the place of paid, live, substitute teachers at the high school level.
So thinks the mayor-controlled DOE?

As the New York Post reported Thursday,

“Under this option, high schools with a teacher who is absent fewer than three consecutive days would no longer use per diem substitutes but rather assign students an e-learning period for the affected class session,” the report states.
E-learning, as laid out by the IBO, would entail that high school students work on “online assignments” that would “ideally be related to the current class syllabus, credit recovery, or extra credit.”

The annual report, released Thursday, included more than 90 other belt-tightening prescriptions the city might try to cut costs and raise revenues.

 All to save $9 million dollars yearly. Let's see if De Blasio shows himself to have progressive cred and rejects the budget office's anti-human staffing plan. His decision will be a test of his true colors.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

100 Thousand NYC Students Homeless & PA OKs $3.5B for New Bus Terminal

*New interactive map on homelessness levels in specific NYC schools -Thursday; same day: $Bs for new bus terminal
The spitfight between New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio and New York governor Andrew Cuomo is a distraction from the reality that they have the power to influence spending and construction priorities in New York City, yet they do little to use that power to address a mounting homelessness problem in the city.

The Port Authority on Thursday authorized a capital spending plan that would includes replacing the 40th to 42nd Street bus terminal with a new structure. However, the amNew York reports that this will not come near addressing the full tab for this: $10 billion.

This giant expenditure is questionable on a number of grounds.
Why are the supposedly progressive city and state executives not interceding against this and instead addressing the need for more affordable housing in New York City? The fact that the New York City Department of Education teaches a number of homeless children that equals a small city --100,000, according to numbers this past fall, as published in "The Homeless Crisis in New York City's Schools" -- is indicative of an absolutely outrageous condition. See this more recent report this week in DNAinfo, citing a new interactive map on the distribution of homeless students in New York City schools. The Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness reported that if Chancellor Carmen Farina's New York City Schools' homeless students had their own district, the district would exceed the size of the Boston and Seattle school districts, combined.

Yet, there is no attention by mayor DeBlasio or governor Cuomo on this true emergency. (And do you think that charter schools are zealously seeking to pick up homeless children for seats in their schools, schools that Cuomo accommodates with regular increases in the charter school caps?)

And if the Port Authority wants to channel billions into a giant project, it should acknowledge that the bus terminal is adequate, as evidenced by the ample headtimes between buses in the terminal. It, and DeBlasio and Cuomo ought to support more urgent project needs such as building a new pair of train tunnels to replace the aging pre-World War I North River Tunnels of Amtrak that Amtrak and New Jersey Transit use to travel between Manhattan and Hudson County, New Jersey. (The walls and cables for the tunnels have been damaged by sea water, especially during the Hurricane Sandy storm.) Port Authority and the two politicians ought to lend their cooperation with politicians in New Jersey for extending the Metropolitan Transit Authority's 7 train to Union City, New Jersey. That city and the Hudson County cities adjacent to it are density packed cities, yet they lack speedy access to the Manhattan. The present options of bus or light rail travel to Hoboken are inadequate because their trips to the Hoboken terminal are too slow. Likewise, bus travel through the Lincoln Tunnel is unacceptably slow during rush hour. A 21st century metropolis should not have such slow transit options for the major population area that Hudson County is.

But this is all not a shock. DeBlasio has ignored the housing emergency, as he has favored new housing developments that absurdly bill themselves as mixed income when what they consider is modest income is truly at the upper 25 percent of incomes. And meanwhile the city is 550,000 units short of housing for families making under $45,000 per year.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

NY Taxi Alliance Goes On Strike for One Hour In Protest Over Refugee Ban -- Protests Spread at Airports Across the US

*BREAKING: Fed Court Grants Stay on Ban *Mass protests at airports nationwide *NY taxi workers go on strike

*Update: Federal court in Brooklyn has granted a stay, to allow refugee to enter from Iraq / No one may be sent back to their original country

The taxi driver union, NY Taxi Drivers Alliance went on strike for an hour tonight in protest over the refugee detention following President Donald Trump's executive order ban, signed Friday, noon, on travelers entering from several Muslim countries. See the official union statement on Twitter re-produced below.

Will New York City's United Federation of Teachers make a statement of support for the refugees? This is the union whose leadership refused to name Trump in a protest statement following on Donald Trump's election in November. Union leaders, traveling to schools have said to teachers that "we" have to remember that many members support Trump. To the UFT: when will you lead by moral example? 

From The Hill:

NY taxis refuse to pick up from JFK over refugee detention

The New York Taxi Drivers Alliance on Saturday said it would not make any pickups from John F. Kennedy International Airport after two Iraqi travelers were detained trying to enter the U.S. following President Trump's immigration ban.
The official Twitter for the alliance tweeted: "NO PICKUPS at JFK Airport 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. Drivers stand in solidarity with thousands protesting inhumane and unconstitutional Muslim Ban."

JFK Airport was the first site to have protests. The New York City protest has grown to the thousands. Protests have spread to Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, Atlanta, Georgia, and Dulles, Virginia.
See these links:
Protest crowd at JFK airport Terminal 4

From the Verge: Mass protests against Trump's immigration order are being organized at airports across the US 

#MuslimBan protests will take place across the country

Monday, January 16, 2017

NYC Area Protests -Anti-Trump and Other Issues As Well

Don't Mourn. Agitate, Educate, Organize! --Not just on January 20 and 21, but before and after. Anti-Trump issues and other issues:

(Click each listing for an event description.  Find newer event announcements at NYPROTEST listserv archive:

Monday, Jan. 16
*de Blasio Step Down! rally:  1/16
Met Council outreach:  1/16
Art As A Weapon Conf.: 1/16

Monday, Jan. 16
Printed Legacy of 70s Radical Left: from 1/16
*People`s Monday for Renisha McBride: 1/16

, Jan. 17
Protest Trump-Goldman Sachs gov`t: from 1/17 NYC
*Camp out at Goldman Sachs from Tues 1/17 NYC
Preserving Diversity and Inclusiveness:  1/17
Write to U.S.-held political prisoners: 1/17
CODEPINK NYC Gathering:  1/17

, Jan. 18
Protest, concert, campsite vs. inauguration: from 1/18 ?
Rick Wolff:  1/18, Brooklyn
Save CHARAS Community Ctr.: mtg 1/18
Fossil Fuel Divestment mtg.:  1/18
War Resisters League Mtg.: 1/18  WRL
Action Corps Happy Hour:  1/18
Re-purpose electronic waste:  1/18

, Jan. 19
National Women's Liberation Mtg.: Thurs 1/19
Community Garden Coal. mtg. 1/19
Food & Water Watch mtg.: 1/19
Food & Water Watch mtg. 1/19
History Making, Peoplehood & Right to the City: 1/19
Films, `Point of Attack` + `Profiled`: Thurs 1/19
Police Reform Organizing Project:  1/19
*Protests vs. FERC petro shill scam:  1/19 IN DC
Peace Ball: Thurs 1/19 in DC
Event for tolerance 1/19 BAYSHORE, NY

, Jan. 20
Pro Trump event:   1/20 7:00 PM W.59th
Protest Trump-Goldman Sachs gov`t: thru 1/20 WEST ST.
Staten Is. anti-inauguration rally or event: 1/20 PLS. CONFIRM
Black, Brown & Indig. Mobilize vs. White Nationalism: 1/20 NYC
Inauguration Night w/ Randy Credico & Karaoke: 1/20
Black, Brown & Indig. action vs. White Nationalism: 1/20
*Socialist Feminist Contingent 1/20 inauguration protest
*March vs. White Supremacy: 1/20  (d12 Mvmt.) BROOKLYN
Anti-Inaugural Ball at Silent Barn:  1/20 BROOKLYN
Dr. Strangelove: from  1/20 at IFC
March vs. Trump:  1/20 NEWARK
DC ACTIONS 1/20 incl. some duplicate listings…
Women`s Rights and Politics: 1/20 NR. DC

*Democratic Socialists of America inauguration plans:  1/20 DC
*PPA bus to DC, 1/20
The Anti-Inauguration: 1/20 talk DC
Not My President:  , 1/20 NOON, DC
#DisruptJ20 protests at inauguration:  1/20  DC
NYC bus to inauguration protests 1/20 IN DC
J20Resist March:  1/20 IN DC
Inauguration Day Protest: Friday 1/20 IN DC
*Human Freedom, Animal Rights:  1/20 IN DC
Occupy Inauguration: 1/20 IN DC

Saturday, Jan. 21
Justice for Kyam Livingston  1/21, Brooklyn
*Women's March on NYC: 1/21  Women`s NYC: 1/21
Actions vs. Trump? 1/21
*Socialist Feminist Contingents 1/21 women’s march
North Manhattan Marches Against Trump:  1/21 (a.m.)
*Make Fascists Scared Again! Rally:  1/21, Queens
*NYC bus to Women`s March on DC: 1/21
*Democratic Socialists of America inauguration plans: 1/21 DC
*Women`s March on Washington: 1/21 W. 10:00am? DC

Sunday, Jan. 22
¡Pa`lante, Siempre Pa`lante! :  1/22 film
Recycle electronics:  1/22 on Lex. Av.
Challenging Trumpism, Wars & Militarism: AFSC Conf. 1/22 DC
Democratic Socialists of America inauguration plans:  1/22 DC

, Jan. 23
CryptoParty  1/23 w/ Soc. of Environmental Journalists
The German Revolution: Mondays from 1/23
WeiMar. Germany: False Hope or Missed Chance?  1/23
Thanks for Fighting Racism! Dinner: 1/23
Nigeria LGBT equality struggle: 1/23 film, panel  N.

, Jan. 24
Actions vs. Trump? 1/24

Wednesday, Jan. 25
Re-purpose electronic waste: 1/25
350NYC mtg.  1/25
SECRET PATH: Native film, talk,  1/25
Brooklyn Human Rights Film Fest: 1/25

, Jan. 26
*March 4 Affordable Housing 4 All Rally: 1/26 BROOKLYN
Finally Got the News: 1/26 Opening
Film, RIKERS:  1/26
New York Paid Leave Coalition dinner:  1/26
Printed Legacy of the U.S. Radical Left: from 1/26
Heather Ann Thompson on Attica:  1/26
Navigating the New Normal: 1/26 at NYSEC
Brooklyn Human Rights Film Fest: 1/26
RIKERS:  1/26 film & panel

, Jan. 27
Demand No-Kill Shelters: sleepout  1/27
FUREE mtg.:  1/27

, Jan. 28
CryptoParty  1/28 at NYC Resistor
Art fundraiser for Standing Rock:  1/28
FUREE Leadership Training:  1/28
Urban Permaculture: All-Day Introduction 1/28

, Jan. 29
ACLU hockey fundraiser:  1/29
Theater of the Oppressed:  1/29 workshop

, Jan. 30
Intro to Marxism:  1/30
Intro to Marxism: Mondays from 1/30

Tuesday, Jan. 31
Engels on forces of nature: from Tues 1/31
Health Care for All:  1/31 film, panel

, Feb. 2
African Lit - Colonialism, Liberation, Disillusionment: 2/2

Saturday, Feb. 4
African Amer. Cooperative Economics:  2/4 NEWARK

Saturday, February 4
*Protest & dabkeh vs. Batsheva Dance Co. 2/4 at BAM
Pamahikan:  2/4 film at CUNY (CLAGS)
FIDEL: The Legacy Continues -  2/4
Trans Identity and Body Horror: 2/4

, Feb. 8
Divided in a Diverse City:  2/8
Eco Imperialism, Settler Colonialism, Indig. Resistance: from 2/8

Wednesday, February 8
Eco Imperialism, Settler Colonialism & Indig Resistance 2/8

Saturday, Feb. 11
*MARCH AGAINST FUR:  2/11, Columbus Cir.
Permaculture Business Ideas: 2/11 at The Commons
After Marriage Equality in Ireland:  2/11

, February 16
2/16 Hortense Spillers: Women in the Time of Revolution W.

Saturday, Feb. 18
Conf. vs. NYC Fascism & Police Terror:  2/18
Audre Lorde B-Day: Thurs 2/18 (CLAGS)

, Feb. 19
Film, ``Hustlers Convention``:  2/19

, Feb. 25
Queer People of Color and NYC Gentrification: 2/25

, Mar. 3
Beyond the Bars Conf. from 3/3

Tuesday, Mar. 7
*Quarterly ``No Separate Justice`` Vigil:  3/7

Saturday, Mar. 11
9-day intercity walk to Indian Pt. f/ Fukushima Day events: 3/11
Fukushima, Indian Point , Pipeline: 3/11

Sunday, Mar. 18
BAYAN USA Assembly:  3/18

Friday, Mar. 24
*Remember Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire:  3/24

Saturday Mar. 25
Conf. to normalize U.S. - Cuba relations: from 3/25

Sunday, Mar. 26
Conf. to normalize U.S. - Cuba relations: through 3/26
National Rally to Support Palestine 3/26 DC

, Apr. 6
Becoming an Organizer: Narrative, Identity & Social Action, 4/6
Narrative, Identity and Social Action:  4/6  N.

, Apr. 14
LGBTQ Scholars of Color Conf.: from 4/14

Thursday, Apr. 20
I N V I S I B I L I T Y conf.: Apr. 20

Friday, Apr. 21
I N V I S I B I L I T Y conf.: Apr. 21

Thursday, Apr. 27
White Privilege Conf.: from  4/27

, Apr. 29

, May 3
Labor Film Activist Conf. from May 3
Radical Film Network Global Gathering: from 5/3

, May 5
W. Workers Unite Film Fest from  5/5 NYC
MOVE Conf opens 5/5/2017  M. M. PHILA

, Jun. 2
Left Forum opens Jun. 2

Saturday, Jun. 10
Philadelphia Dyke March:  6/10

Saturday, Jun. 24
March for Reparations:  6/24