Monday, November 19, 2007

The Candlelight Vigil

photo by Norm Scott

There's a long story about the candlelight vigil for Monday, Nov. 26 proposed by rubber room denizen David Pakter. His amazing statement (Flickering Flames, Burning Words), that I hope he gets to make at the PEP or on the steps of Tweed on Nov. 26, is posted at Norms Notes.

How Randi
Weingarten came to support it, and her motivations for doing so, are for a later time. Suffice to say: just another attempt to derail and deflect any militancy and most important, keep any organizing that might end up turning against the leadership from occurring. But if you are a regular reader of this blog, you have been reading chapter and verse on the prime directive of the UFT/Unity Caucus leadership – hold onto power by any means and pay strict attention to every single threat no matter how minor. People who have spoken out tell me all the time just how much attention the top leadership pays to "little ole me." While flattered, they eventually come to see there is method in all this - kill 'em with kindness until they go away. The old four F mantra of teenage boys: Find 'em, Feel 'em, Fuck 'em, Forget 'em.

By the way, I took the photo at Gracie Mansion, a vigil that went nowhere, against Giuliani (remember him?) who was the most horrible mayor and the reason the UFT leaders were having such difficulty and just wait 'till he's out of office, yada, yada, yada.

Here is the email sent out by TAGNYC, who seem resistant to the Unity bull:

Teachers- CONTACT OTHER TEACHERS AND DEMAND THAT RANDI DO SOMETHING!

The UFT got us into this witch-hunting of teachers mess by accepting Bloomberg-Klein's description of the Union as weak- unable to fight back. Randi went along with the "Big Boys" and now the chickens are coming home to roost on her back- claws sharply extended. We gave away the store and now have to fight back without the contractual rights the Union had fought so hard to get- like protection of our job rights! The Union has accepted the myth that the TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF THE INNER CITY EDUCATION SYSTEM. Randi's acceptance of this 50 year old lie is the cruelest cut of all. It is the teachers who have kept this system from imploding entirely- going back day after day to try to teach while society has closed its eyes to the problems that has made teaching so difficult. Randi- the "Big Boys" are finally owning up to the truth- they are bribing kids to learn. Now will you show the fighting spirit that you and 200 other UFTers had the nerve to travel to New Orleans to "teach" to that City's teachers' union.

ENOUGH and again ENOUGH!

RANDI, CALL OUT YOUR TEACHERS. NOT DURING THE SCHOOL DAY BUT AFTER SCHOOL. TAKE US TO THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE OR DOWN FIFTH AVENUE AT 5P.M. ON A BUSINESS DAY. DO SOMETHING RANDI. PICK YOUR 80,000 PLUS TEACHERS UP OFF THE FLOOR. GET THE BOOT OFF OF OUR NECKS. AND SHOW TEACHERS IN NEW ORLEANS THAT THE UFT DID NOT SELL THEM A CROCK OF _______.

Randi- You have to follow your own advice "Spit in the face of fear." Bloomberg and Klein do not have to be feared.

TAGNYC

6 comments:

  1. TAG leader for UFT President! Yeah!

    Hell. TAG leader for USA President!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. so then how do we do an action that Unity CANNOT co-opt?? go underground? create a resistence movement?? I'm in.
    signed
    anarchist

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  3. just to paraphrase myself from a previous posting:
    " am not sure what we can do since every time something is attempted the union co-opts it - and deflates the momentum. it's a trick.

    3:30 AM, November 17, 2007"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Demand that the Union do more.

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  5. Anarchist:
    How to do an action Unity can't coopt? That can only happen when there's an effective enough alternative to Unity with enough support to pull out rank and file from the schools.

    There are ebbs and flows. Look how quickly the UTP went away.

    With all the fervent of the 2005 contract in the fall of '05, we were able to pull off a demo at the DA and one at UFT HQ where even though it was no more than 200 people, a number of non-activists came from all over the city to join in. After the demo about 35 people went to a local place to hold a meeting. Some of these people ended up being absorbed by the union machinery over the next year. In other cases, the local district reps targeted those schools where people were most active and Randi even visited to deflect the activism. And it worked.

    But there is a point where these tactics become less effective as they run from place to place trying to put out the fires. They have no ability, or will, to stop the assault. More of the newer people will get active because they will see no choice -- sort of how the union got started in the first place. There needs to be some organized forces to work with these people. Will that be ICE or TJC? Who knows? There has been mixed results. I wish there were more active groups out there each working with its own constituency. I do not think after the ease with which New Action was bought off that one big opposition makes sense. Rather groups working in their own interests but staying in touch with each other. Thus TAGNYC may have some TJC, ICE and non-affiliated. Same with some ICE, TJC and NA working on educational forums. Some are talking about starting an underground chapter leader support group that will stay under Unity's radar - something that they will see as a major threat. Such a group may even be functioning already for all we know.

    Stay tuned to ednotesonline to get any breaking news on this front.

    ReplyDelete

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