Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fightback Friday is Coming as Schools Across the City Stage Local Protests Against Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts

Friday, May 20th is Fight Back Friday! School communities across the city are uniting to fight budget cuts and lay-offs locally. If you are interested in sponsoring a Fight Back Friday, to sign on and receive a tool-kit, or if you want more information please email peter.lamphere@gmail.com.

At the risk of repeating myself, I know many of you participated in the rally on May 12 but may be ignoring the opportunity to join in Fight Back Friday events where schools citywide take independent action around their schools. Frankly, I feel these actions over time will have a bigger impact than rallies like the May 12 event (how much coverage did it get? What do you think the impact was?) One of the reasons FBFs are worth doing is that over time they pressure the UFT from below. But it also builds links (that have been missing) with the local community. Imagine all 1600 schools building these links to fight the budget cuts and layoffs?

A FBF toolkit has been produced and the organizers will send you one. This FBF too soon for you? Start organizing for June 10. Too soon? Come to the GEM meeting May 23 to think about expanding next year.

You can follow Fight Back Friday events on the FBF blog maintained by our pal at John Dewey HS.
http://fightbackfridays.blogspot.com/. You know, this factoid reminds me of why, despite how bleak things look, I am optimistic. The level of cooperation between the various groups and individuals has been unprecedented.

Here is the latest FBF flier that can be cut down the middle to double your fun.

 A message from Sam Coleman (GEM/NYCORE).

Hi all,

Just a reminder. This Friday is a city wide Fight Back Friday. Staff, students and parents all over the city will be dressing in black, wearing stickers, getting post-cards signed and having pickets at their schools.
Wear black, take our schools back!! from the corporate takeover and purposeful underfunding of our cities schools.

-If we add a small tax surcharge for those households with over $175,000 in income we would completely eliminate the need for any lay-offs.
-Hundred of millions is spent on testing!!
-Half a billion will be spent next year on technology infrastructure, much of that given in contracts to private companies with ties back to Tweed and the State Ed. department.

Get your colleagues and school community to wear black, send in pictures, or let us know your school is participating. The more participating schools, the more press we get, the more we can pressure our council members to vote down the mayor's insane budget!!!

Email sam@nycore.org for an email copy of the tool-kit with stickers, fliers to advertise your action, post-cards to the city council you can have people sign.

Its easy and fun!!!!

Sam, for the fight back friday committee

Here is one school's call - Lyons Community School based at the old IS 49 building in Williamsburg, a short distance from where I taught (our school used to feed into it).
Schools Across the City Stage Local Protests Against Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts

This Friday the 20th is being called “Fight Back Friday,” a day in which schools across the city will express their opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed layoffs.

Activist teacher groups such as New York Coalition of Radical Educators (NYCoRE, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), and Teacher’s Unite have helped organize the event (the UFT unfortunately has not helped organize the event). Every participating school (30-50 are expected to participate) will stage demonstrations of their own determination, with the baseline factor that all teachers will be wearing black.

At Lyons Community School, a low-income public school in Williamsburg, teachers will take to the streets, reaching out to community members in an effort to halt the proposed budget cuts.

Teachers at Lyons Community School have mobilized significantly around the proposed cuts. Teachers have created t-shirts, posters, fliers, and postcards that urge action against the cuts and provide information to the community about how to fight back.

This Friday, Lyons Community School teachers will take to the streets right outside of the school with creative artwork and posters, talking to community members, distributing information packets, and getting postcards signed.

Joshua Sol Lewis, ESL Teacher
347 406 1156

All fliers are available, including stickers to hand out in both English and Spanish.
Email me if interested: normsco@gmail.com

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