We continue to share reflections and analysis on the recent student protests in the Bay Area.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement and the movement against police violence has taken on new forms, and has now spread to schools as sites of potential power. Students have held large protests and shutdowns at Mizzou and Berkeley High that have garnered national media attention, but there have also been smaller struggles that have gained less notoriety but are equally as important for militants to study.
These small movements show us new forms of organization that emerge in response to police murders, how students are coordinating these protests, how local histories influence the forms of struggle that take place, the role of Black leadership, how multi-racial solidarities emerge, how students are pushing the boundaries of what the #BlackLivesMatter movement means, and what the limitations may be.
Communist militants must grasp these events on their own terms in order to better understand how the student’s rebellious energy can deepen and spread to other sectors of the economy and to broader layers of the class.
One such event occurred last month, when students at Castlemont High School, in deep East Oakland, held protests and walkouts in response to the police murder of Richard Perkins, Jr. at a sideshow. In order to document the emergent student movement in the Bay Area, we have interviewed a number of students at Castlemont High and we provide our reflections below. Please read, critique and share!
The recent wave of student revolt around the world has brought to light the power that students have to challenge oppressive racial and economic regimes.
In South Africa, university students held national mobilizations against tuition increases and for university workers’ rights. They were able to shut down the entire university system, and ultimately force the government to negotiate with them.
In the US, Black students at the University of Missouri have mobilized against violent, anti-Black threats on campus. These students organized with professors and football players to shutdown key parts of the university, and ultimately forced out the school chancellor and president.
Similarly, Black students at Berkeley High School organized a 2000 person walkout in protest of violent, anti-Black threats. This event made national headlines as another moment in the broader #BlackLivesMatter movement
These experiences raise vital lessons for militants to study and learn from. In this vein, we provide below a flier that we produced shortly after the walkout on it’s lessons and possibilities. Please check it out and let us know what you think!
Posted in Bay Area Class Struggle, Flyers, Resistance News
Tagged austerity, Berkeley High School, Berkeley Protests, blacklivesmatter, BLM, Mizzou Protests, Police Brutality, race, racism, south africa, Students, walkouts
We would like to introduce you to the Advance the Struggle Free Education newsletter, an agitational tool we use at various campuses across the Bay to connect with school workers and students interested in engaging around the conditions and struggles of the education sector.
We welcome any feedback and encourage our friends and supporters to spread these widely!
Here is our first edition:
Even leftists and revolutionary minded people who are critical of Bernie Sanders have put forward the idea that, despite his limitations and the problems with his politics, he’s still defending the public sector more so than other presidential candidates. However, this position fails to take into account Sanders’s position on standardized testing, punitive measures against public school teachers, and the fact that he has in various ways supported both Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race To The Top education policies. We present the Class Struggle Education Workers leaflet critiquing Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s positions on public education because it concisely presents the problems with their positions. Click image for newsletter.
We’ve been a little dormant lately, but we have a number of events and writings on the way. Please come reconnect with us at our upcoming event on farmworkers struggle in Mexico. Below is a description of the event and the event flyer. Please spread the word!
Do you know who picks your strawberries, cucumbers and pumpkins? Have you heard of the Driscoll’s produce company? Did you know that workers just hours south of the Bay Area are getting paid starvation wages? Did you hear that these workers waged a historic strike demanding dignity earlier this year?
Join us at a forum to hear a reportback on the struggle of agricultural workers in the San Quintin Valley of Baja CA, Mexico. A delegation of bay area activists along with a local San Quintin organizer (via Skype or in person, depending on their travel schedule) will present information on the historic strike that happened earlier this spring and how you can connect with and learn from the ongoing organizing of farm workers just across the border.
Wednesday Aug. 12th 6:30-8:30 PM
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA
Sponsored by Advance the Struggle
Facebook event page: https://goo.gl/sy2OVi
Click for high res flier
There are rallies and protests currently raging across the Bay Area in solidarity with all those killed by police murder, but it is important to take a little time out of the week to attend this very important fundraiser to support great class struggle organizing occurring here in the Bay. We have a number of pieces lined up that will clarify some of our ideas on the current wave of protests so please check back soon. See you at the fundraiser and in the streets!
Friday December 12th, 6pm-9pm
@1243 Potrero Ave. @ 24th Street in San Francisco
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/303501446512608/304512473078172
Last month, a group of courageous workers at Whole Foods in San Francisco announced their union to management and demanded a much-needed wage increase for all Whole Foods workers. Taking on a corporate chain with 400 stores in three countries ain’t easy, but these workers have already won a wage increase for workers in San Francisco and have put the spotlight on Whole Foods’ doublespeak about social responsibility and the “happiness of their employees.
But the fight is far from over. The Whole Foods workers have vowed to pursue the full $5 an hour raise they demanded and will be forging ahead for better scheduling policies, paid time off and more. They have come far in a short period of time BUT NEED YOUR HELP!
The fight at Whole Foods is the fight for a better life for all workers. The industrial Workers of the World has a tested record of organizing workers iwth an eye toward organizing all workers as a class.
There will be speeches from workers involved and we’ll be providing food and entertainment. We are asking for a $20 donation, and the event is free for Whole Foods workers. None will be turned away for a lack of funds, but please donate what you can. All money raised will go to the workers’ organizing fund. Let’s build a working class movement that can win, together!
For more information about IWW Whole Foods campaign see: wfmunite.com
Event sponsored by: IWW Whole Foods, Advance the Struggle, Just Wages Network (JWN), NLG L&EC