Idle No More Toronto -Over 1000 people! Idle No More FlashMob Round Dance Took Over Yonge-Dundas Square today in downtown Toronto as part of the Idle No More rallies happening in solidarity with First Nations across Canada and the world.
There's a google map of all the worldwide #IdleNoMore events and rallies scheduled, find your local rally/Flashmob! View the Google Map here: http://bit.ly/ZWzvNA
RALLIES ARE HAPPENING IN EGYPT, OTTAWA, TORONTO, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, LOS ANGELES, -BRITISH COLUMBIA, SASKATCHEWAN, EDMONTON, WINNIPEG, SUDBURY, SIOUX LOOKOUT, YUKON, OWEN SOUND, SAN FRANCISCO, HAMILTON, VANCOUVER AND MORE!
The 10 hours and 35 minutes of video footage shot by the NYPD during the raid of Zuccotti Park that was released by Anonymous on Monday gives a more expansive view of what happened on the morning of November 15, 2011, albeit in a more sanitized form. Much of the footage, which also includes clips from the Duarte Square action and the re-opening of the park the following evening, is heavily edited, especially scenes that include arrests. Still, some of it is informative and contradicts the statements or positions made by city officials defending the raid, most notably, that Occupy's Library was dismantled and destroyed by Brookfield employees, and that reports of press harassment and arrests were part of a "myth."
The first four minutes of this footage shows protester Ted Hall giving a monologue as police in riot gear watch, but the remaining time shows police notifying Occupy's medical tent that they must leave. An officer tells the doctor on duty that he must leave, but that EMS will take care of his patients. The doctor declines, and refuses to leave his two patients. A long standoff ensues, as several officers believe that one of the protesters stole a scalpel. A nurse ensures them that they haven't. That nurse, "Nurse Jane," wrote about the experience here. She describes the medical tent as "the most amazing clinic I've ever worked in!"
Eventually, the tent is ripped by police knives, and everyone is forced out. Nurse Jane is seen speaking with another officer, explaining to him her concerns (11:40 mark), and notes that it doesn't help that there is a man filming her. "That would be me," the TARU officer from behind the camera replies.
The Gothamist has downloaded the footage into seven videos (including the one above) and breaks down each into note worthy events, you can view them all here.
Non-violent students at UC Davis protesting tuition hikes in November 2011 were sprayed with pepper-spray by campus police.
One person was killed and another seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire during the victory speech of Pauline Marois, Quebec's newly elected separatist premiere, who was unharmed. Police said early on Wednesday that a 50-year-old man entered the hall and fired at least one shot, wounding two people, one of them critically.
Everybody is now talking about the student debt crisis, but nothing is being done about it. Thanks in large part to the great public amplifier of the Occupy movement, this year’s presidential contenders have been forced to embrace student loan reform as a talking point in their respective campaigns. But the debt relief being pushed by the Obama administration is a token gesture, aimed at getting some traction on the youth vote–especially the more disillusioned or alienated student constituencies. Recent bills introduced in Congress–Student Loan Forgiveness Act (H.R. 4170) and the Private Student Bankruptcy Fairness Act (H.R. 2028)–have zero chance of passing in anything like their current form. Practically speaking, no reform program of any substance is on the legislative horizon, least of all one that would regulate the predatory lending practices of Wall Street banks.
The truth is that student debt relief is too important to be left to elected officials. They are chronically dependent on the financial backing of the lending industry, and are structurally incapable of addressing this crisis, let alone resolving it. As a result, reform initiatives such as Student Loan Justice and Forgive Student Debt (to Stimulate the Economy) that have been aimed at petitioning lawmakers have very little to show for all their hard effort. The recent federal modifications in payment schedules are micro-cosmetic compared to the sea-change that is required to free debtors of their intolerable burdens and rescue higher education from its increasing use as a profit engine for financiers, asset speculators, and real estate developers. The pathway to this outcome does not lie in futile pleas for economic reform, but through a political movement, driven by self-empowerment and direct action on the part of debtors.
The Occupy Student Debt Campaign was launched at Zuccotti Park in November 2011 with the goal of building a student debt abolition movement. Our campaign is based on principles for which we believe there is widespread support:
1) Free public education, through federal coverage of tuition fees.
2) Zero-interest student loans, so that no one can profit from them.
3) Fiscal transparency at all universities, public as well as private.
4) The elimination of current student debt, through a single act of relief.
These are interlocking principles, and should not stand on their own. Imagine a world in which lawmakers were to respond positively to the current calls for debt “forgiveness” (an unfortunate term that implies the debtor has sinned). Such a measure would offer much-needed relief, but it would still disadvantage future debtors if it were not complemented by remedies that brought to an end the practice of compelling students to privately fund higher education by going into debt bondage. So, too, a singular focus on reducing interest rates (even to zero) is more likely to encourage colleges to increase their fees than to open up equitable access to education.
Action meant to raise awareness of out-of-control student debt and prompt nationwide protest
NEW YORK - Relentless tuition hikes, even at public institutions, have contributed to an astonishing student debt burden of more than $1 trillion. Inspired by student movements over the last month in Canada, Mexico, Chile, and across the world, education activists in cities around the U.S. have been organizing rallies and marches to raise awareness about the education crisis in this country. All in the Red, a New York-based activist collective, is declaring this Friday, June 22 to be the “Night of the Living Debt.” At 7 p.m. in Washington Square Park, performance artists/activists Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping will exorcise the demons of student debt, after which costumed zombies will march with pots and pans in hand through the streets of Manhattan, kicking off a summer of nationwide actions.
All in the Red emerged as a series of marches expressing our solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of students striking in Quebec against tuition hikes. Lack of affordable education and suffocating debt are even more glaring in the United States, and similar displays of protest and outrage are becoming increasingly common. All in the Red calls for a nationwide network to spread awareness and organize around the issue of student debt through direct action, political theatre, and spreading the visual imagery of the red square, which has come to symbolize this struggle worldwide.
Along with our colleagues in Occupy Wall Street, student activist organizations, and other public interest groups, we are concerned in particular with the pernicious relationship between education and debt. The predicament is compounded, both by seeming disregard from the government for the welfare of student debtors, despite overwhelming public support for student debt relief -- a petition to forgive student loans recently reached one million signatures -- and also by the predatory practices of financial services firms. We can no longer allow the shackles of debt bondage to be a source of shame. The student debt crisis must be placed at the center of our conversation about the public good.
On the “Night of the Living Debt,” Friday evening, June 22, we will rise from the grave of debt and join the struggle to end the ties that bind our education to a decadent financial system. We will call for a nationwide conversation about how we can transcend an obsolete system that enriches a few by mortgaging the futures of the many.
This short by Bis Films, a boutique production company based in Montreal, shines a light on the student movement that started in Quebec last winter and has since won support and solidarity throughout Canada and the world. The prevalence of red patches on backpacks and lapels across several continents illustrates how a battle over access to education morphed into a full-fledged social movement once the government tried to suppress it with anti-protest legislation.
"It started with a debate about education," a young demonstrator says in the film, "then it quickly became a debate about society, about what kind of government we want, what kind of future we want for coming generations."
On May 22, 2012, an ongoing student strike, involving hundreds of thousands of university students in Quebec, reached its 100th day. In New York, hundreds of students, teachers, and Occupy Wall Street participants marched in solidarity with the students of Quebec.
Occupy Wall Street continues to march every night at 8pm EST, in Montreal, in New York, and in dozens of other cities. Everyone welcome. Bang your pots at 8pm every night! "Show your indignation for corruption, undemocratic practices, and debt slavery!"
Nightly clanging symphonies in protest against tuition hikes and the insane Bill 78 are spreading from Montreal to Sorel, Longueuil, Chambly, Repentigny, Trois-Rivieres and Abitibi in solidarity with students in Quebec.
The pots-and-pans protest has its roots in Chile, where people have used it for years as an effective, peaceful tool to express civil disobedience. The noisy cacerolazo tradition actually predates the Pinochet regime in Chile, but has endured there and spread to other countries as a method of showing popular defiance.
Thursday's protest in Montreal was immediately declared illegal by police, who said it violated a municipal bylaw because they hadn't been informed of the route. They allowed it to continue as long as it remained peaceful.
Although there was a massive police presence throughout the evening with the roar of a provincial police helicopter competing with the banging of the pots, there was little if any tension reported between demonstrators and police.
The Quebec government invited student groups Thursday for talks to end a three-month conflict over a planned hike in tuition fees after nearly 700 people were arrested overnight in the Canadian province.
No date was set for the meeting to which the four main student groups were invited, but it could talk place early next week, said the president of the FECQ student union, Leo Bureau-Blouin.
"We want to put the odds on our side to reach a definitive agreement that will bring peace back to our streets and return students to school benches," said Education Minister Michelle Courchesne.
Protests, some of which turned violent, have raged for over three months against a plan by provincial Premier Jean Charest's government to raise tuition fees at Quebec universities by 82 percent, or $1,700, over five years.
The largest student protest in the history of Canada is taking place. The premier of the Canadian province says that the police violence used against the uprising is keeping the public safe. The images you are about to see say otherwise.