Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Join the June 4th Movement

The June 4th movement began at one school in Sunset Park when the teachers, who had been holding lunch-time meetings to discuss some of the crucial issues we are facing in education, decided to do something about the proposed budget cuts by holding an informational picket for parents and community members on Friday June 4th.

At another school in the Midwood section, after the chapter leader received one of those pro-charter/anti union ads she decided she'd had enough. She went to school and called a meeting where the teachers decided to do in information picket every Wednesday. When they heard about the June 4th date they decided to join in.

Other schools around the city began to pick up the refrain. Calls began to come in from schools wanting to join. (See below for list of schools I know about so far - email me if you are joining.)

The idea was that each school can shape their message the way they want. While some focus on budget cuts, others are looking at the teacher evaluation system or kindergarten testing.

NYCORE sponsored a picnic/sign making event in Prospect Park this past Saturday. About 40 people showed up - teachers, parents, students, young kids. We brought laptops. Some worked on a leaflet to hand out on the 4th. Others wrote up a petition and a press release. No matter how much frustration, taking action, even if small seemed to energize people. That schools are joining together instead of doing something in isolation seemed to multiply the energy and excitement.

The June 4th Toolkit
Out of all this has come a toolkit schools can use with a press release, petition, a June 4th leaflet that you can modify for your school conditions, etc. Some will be posted online or email me.

Giving Pink Slips to Tweedies, June 4 at 4:30
One activist came up with the idea of going to Tweed and handing out pink slips to the bloated bureaucratic bureaucrats as they come out. The plan is to gather at Tweed after school on June 4 at around 4:30 and hand out these pink slips. Some are talking about going back every week.

This is pretty ironic since the UFT is supposedly urging people to join the AFT "Pink hearts, not pink slips" campaign on June 4th. Think it a coincidence to try to pacify members to counteract a more militant grassroots movement?

Now don't get me wrong, these are not many schools, but the movement is starting at the school level and there is talk of doing it again on June 11th.
No one shot deals like a certain 800 pound gorilla we all know. That gorilla has targeted June 16th for a mass rally (which we are all supporting) but has not done much organizing around yet. Like we don't know where it is but we expect to be out there in force on that date - hope they are holding it at Yankee Stadium.

So if it is too late to get on board for the 4th, think about the 11th.

The movement will continue. The GEM meeting on June 22 will focus on assisting schools in their organizing efforts to fight the budget cuts and layoffs. Check the GEM blog and back here for details.

A Message From Sam
This was sent out by Sam Coleman from PS 24 where the June 4th movement got started:


More and more schools are taking actions this Friday, June 4th at their schools. Attached you will find a petition, fliers, a form letter (stickers coming soon) that you can use at your school to protest the budget cuts (translations coming soon too). There are fliers in English and Spanish both to mobilize people to come to a protest at your school on the 4th (in word format and that have have spots to fill in your school's info, very easy) and some to give out on the day of. Feel free to change whatever you need to.

This mobilization needs to involve all members of our school communities. Parents, students and staff.

Even if your school is not ready for a picket, get teachers and parents to sign petitions, give out stickers. . . and then join us at Tweed at 4:30 this Friday for a protest where we will be GIVING PINK SLIPS BACK TO TWEED!

These actions will continue next week as well, so if you are not ready for this Friday, but think you can mobilize for the 11th please get started now!

Also, start mobilizing your staff and families for the UFT rally on June 16th. We need to show our union that we can mobilize.
Where the people lead. . . .the leaders will follow.

This is our chance to begin a true grassroots movement for educational justice. We cannot wait for our union or the politicians. We need to make this happen ourselves.

Email: sam@nycore.org for questions or to let us know you are on board for the 4th.

These actions are being supported by: NYCoRE (www.nycore.org), GEM (http://grassrootsed ucationmovement. blogspot. com/) and CPE-CEP (http://forpubliced.blogspot.com/)

LIST OF SCHOOLS SO FAR -Email Normsco@gmail.com to have your school added

PS 24K, PS 15K, PS 30M, Prospect Heights International High School, PS 123M, PS 193K, PS 41M, PS 84K, The Brooklyn New School, Banana Kelly, PS 3K, PS 202K, Fredrick Douglass Academy 5, Benjamin Banneker High School, East Flatbush Community Research School, PS 307K

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.