Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday Night Fights! from CAPE

Our pals at CAPE have been monitoring communications between Joel Klein, PEP member extraordinaire Patrick Sullivan, and parent activists - CEC 1 president Lisa Donlan and CEC 15's Jim Devor. Both were at the fantastic parent conference sponsored by Leonie Haimson's Class Size Matters yesterday (Sat.) I have 3 hours of delicious tape. Norman Siegel wowed them all, as did all the others.

I also want to say a few words about the amazing people at CAPE, who are holding a rally in Red Hook on Tuesday at 4:30 on the corner of Richards and Sullivan followed by the Public Hearing (same day 1/19) which begins at 6, sign ups to speak begins at 5:30. If you can make it show them your love for they are standing up for all. I will be there to tape it.

CAPEers have been willing to put themselves on the line. Amazing when we hear about the fear teachers have. Julie, a CAPEer, was one of the signers of the document that led to the court ruling that gave us the right to walk a picket line this Thursday at Bloomberg's residence. It was wonderful to hear Norman Siegel tell her at a meeting Thursday night, "You have me for life for doing this. If there is one hint of retaliation I will be there for you."

I can't tell you how many people contact me with complaints about the union and the DOE but are paralyzed by fear. What does it mean for a 10 year teacher with a long career ahead to take such action? It means the kind of guts and moxie that has been missing from all too many of our colleagues and certainly from our union.

Also, kudos to GEM and ICE member and 11 year teacher Seung Ok for signing on as a contact person for the rally. It was Seung who followed a parent at Maxwell's lead and proposed the demo at Bloomberg's in the first place. Ironic since the Unity Caucus slugs at Maxwell are urging administrators there to "go after" Seung. (Mark my words. Mulgrew will turn out to be as big a thug as any leader in the past.) Whenever I offer to keep Seung's name out of it, he says, "I'm not afraid." There are times his passion causes him to "lose it" at the DA, but there are few people I've met in the last few years who I have more respect for. He is running on the ICE/TJC slate for VP of Vocational Schools (Mulgrew's old position).

The emergence of Julie and the other CAPEers and people like Seung has provided strongly needed rank and file leadership to THE RESISTANCE. Give us even a hundred people like them and we have a game changer.

CAPE says:

What were you doing on Friday night? PEP member Patrick Sullivan, Joel Klein, CAPE members from PS 15, Lisa Donlan from CEC 1 and Jim Devor from CEC 15 were having a lively discussion regarding the forced co-locations and extensions of charter schools in our public schools beyond the agreements made to their respective communities while knowingly, over crowding, shrinking, and undermining, successful community schools. Please take note as to how Mr. Klein completely ignores the parent letters and voice in this discussion. His narrow view of the issue, and lack of attention to any real substance, only highlights the Orwellian nature of the destructive school policies he and his boss propagate across our great city. The public, Borough Presidents and PEP members should take note of the Chancellor's disregard of stakeholder voices. We should all question BloomKlein and their policies, particularly the school closures-charter invasions-drive to privatize movement that they blindly seek to implement. The time is now! Enough is Enough! We must fight to protect public education, the pillar of our democracy. WE are in this for ALL children.
The full transcript is below.
Friday Night Fights!


Anonymous said...

When will be video be available for viewing?

I wanted to attend, but I've been very sick, bad cold!

I'm on the mends because I don't want to miss the 1/21st Protest at the Mayor4Life's block.

Great Blog.

Unknown said...

Awww... thanks Norm and to EVERYONE has done such inspiring and amazing work this month. Let's us continue to build the momentum and the coalition and send a clear message to Bloomberg, Klein, and all in the DOE that we have had ENOUGH! They cannot intimidate us any longer! We are here to stand up for our children, and we have every right to do so.
See everyone on the 21st and hopefully, as many as possible in Red Hook on 1/19.