Saturday, August 4, 2012

@SOS - Shanta Driver on Building New Civil Rights Movement

Wasn't I just in Detroit @AFT? Well now I'm in DC @SOS. 
But I can't get away from Detroit.

Speaker Shanta Driver from Detroit doing early keynote (Saturday, August 3 9AM):
Building the New Civil Rights Movement: Why We Need Direct Action to Defend Public Education." Shanta is a civil rights lawyer based in Detroit and with the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN).

A few notes:
Last 10 years the worst in history -- our own trail of tears. 1/3 of schools left from 7 years ago. Entire neighborhoods with no public education. A master plan for Detroit to turn city from 1 million to half a million and closing public schools is an integral part of the plan. Anyone who could get out has gotten out.
One of first acts of Arne Duncan was to come to Detroit and declare war on the public ed system under the guise of "improvement."
I'm taping so the video will be available at some point so I won't go into more detail.

Best point -- Detroit Federation of Teachers had a secret rep (they didn't tell the members) on the board that was looking undermine the public schools. (see the video I put up a few days ago where DFT leader Keith Johnson makes a rousing speech about what was done to them --- these guys really need to be hit over the head over and over again with an ed deform plank before they even begin to think of putting up a sign of resistance.

4 years of RTTT has done nothing to put a dent in the popularity of pubed --  key is to organize students. One of problems with resisters it the idea of "we just have to convince the politicians as if they don't know what is going on."

She went to last 2 AFT conventions and it is clear that teachers hate Arne Duncan but leadership of those unions believe in working with Obama and Dems - has made the one force capable of leading the fight for public Ed has handicapped the movement.
Joe Biden at AFT convention. Same speech an NEA -- but had problem getting it out. Biden knows the crimes that have been committed but knew a lot of teachers would not walk out. That sense is palpable to the politicians. Standing up to them is what it would take.

Next workshop sessions will include a labor one with Fred and Mike Klonsky (I met Fred for the first time yesterday and Mike last year at SOS). I'll blog during that one too.

Yesterday was also a busy day and I'll catch up on that later.

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