Posts tagged "ows"

Pearson is using Virtual Schools to gouge Public Education funding

K12, Connections Education (Pearson), and University of Phoenix (Apollo) were industry partners. Together, the three companies created a huge bubble in public education, and now there is overwhelming evidence of the negative effects of their business practices, which undermined the very thing they reported to be saving.

From http://unitedoptout.com/boycott-pearson-now/

"Pearson acquired the Connections Academy, whose co-founder and executive VP is Mickey Revenaugh, is also the co-chair of the ALEC Education Task Force [really bad people]."

Article about the link between Pearson and University of Phoenix: http://www.pearson.com/news/2001/may/pearson-education-and-the-university-of-phoenix-collaborate.html?article=true

Frontline documentary on University of Phoenix Fraud: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/view/

Pearson acquires Connections Education in September of 2011.

http://www.pearson.com/news/2011/september/pearson-acquires-connections-education.html

in Pearson’s own words they were taking the “leading position in [a] fast-growing market for virtual schools.”

At the time, Pearson said:

Connections Education has produced revenue growth of more than 30% in each of the past three years and expects to generate revenues of approximately $190m in 2011 … Connections Academy Schools perform favourably compared with other full-time online programmes and have consistently received high performance ratings … For Pearson, the acquisition provides a leading position in the fast-growing virtual school segment and the opportunity to apply Connections Education’s skills and technologies in new segments and geographic markets. … Joining forces with Pearson gives Connections Education the opportunity to share our proven virtual education solutions with a much wider global audience.

December 12, 2011, The NY Times “spent several months” on an investigative report into “virtual schools”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?_r=3&seid=auto&smid=tw-nytimes&pagewanted=all&

Connections Education, with revenues estimated at $190 million, was bought this year by the education and publishing giant Pearson for $400 million. [In the article,] a portrait emerges of a company that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload and lowering standards.

Mr. Bennett, who left [Pearson] in 2005, originally said a home-schooling package would cost about $1,000 per student per year. Parents who wanted teacher support would pay more. Today, K12 receives an average of $5,500 to $6,000 per student from state and local governments. The schools also receive money for federal programs.

Police beat peaceful protester on July 12th 2013 in the State Capitol after Hb2 passed.

At about 3:30 in the video, JP is the first to be pulled out of the crowd. He is slammed into the Marble floor, bloodying his face and eventually taken to the hospital.

The video shows criminal abuse by state law enforcement against peaceful objectors who are inhabiting the public lobby of the state capitol building. There is no warrant for their actions, and despite the clear video evidence, the officers will face no repercussions for what they did to JP or the others.

The most interesting part of the video, for me, is watching how much the police try to intimidate the crowd before using violence.

(via Justice For The Rest Of Us)
Dear liberals, progressives and lefts,
    We can’t afford to sit on the couch in 2013. At the risk of angering some people, I was deeply relieved when President Obama won re-election in November, as his victory will help ensure health care for millions and will at least prevent the nomination of extreme right wing judges to the Supreme Court.
   But as a progressive activist, I can’t help but feel irritated and impatient as I listen to the routine commentary on MSNBC and CNN. This morning as I watched and listened to the discussion of the “fiscal cliff,” I was struck by the sad truth of how little politics as usual can do for the real wounds suffered by millions in this country.
     Despite the tepid recovery from 2008 depression, we still have half of this country working for low income and poverty wages. No legislation is being considered or proposed to correct that problem — and with so many earning so little, prosperity and even basic needs including housing are quite simply, out of reach for half the population of the United States.
     To rectify this problem, we need serious victories for labor in sectors that have not historically been unionized: fast food restaurants, Walmart, Target etc. Capital was counting on low waged labor when it began advocating a calculated movement towards a “service economy” during the Reagan Administration. Throughout my adult life, I have watched the U.S. economy moving inexorably to extremes in wealth for the few and a lower standard of living for the rest of us.
     Prosperity for the many will mean a protracted struggle to secure a living wage for all — as a basic human right.

(via Justice For The Rest Of Us)

Dear liberals, progressives and lefts,

    We can’t afford to sit on the couch in 2013. At the risk of angering some people, I was deeply relieved when President Obama won re-election in November, as his victory will help ensure health care for millions and will at least prevent the nomination of extreme right wing judges to the Supreme Court.

   But as a progressive activist, I can’t help but feel irritated and impatient as I listen to the routine commentary on MSNBC and CNN. This morning as I watched and listened to the discussion of the “fiscal cliff,” I was struck by the sad truth of how little politics as usual can do for the real wounds suffered by millions in this country.

     Despite the tepid recovery from 2008 depression, we still have half of this country working for low income and poverty wages. No legislation is being considered or proposed to correct that problem — and with so many earning so little, prosperity and even basic needs including housing are quite simply, out of reach for half the population of the United States.

     To rectify this problem, we need serious victories for labor in sectors that have not historically been unionized: fast food restaurants, Walmart, Target etc. Capital was counting on low waged labor when it began advocating a calculated movement towards a “service economy” during the Reagan Administration. Throughout my adult life, I have watched the U.S. economy moving inexorably to extremes in wealth for the few and a lower standard of living for the rest of us.

     Prosperity for the many will mean a protracted struggle to secure a living wage for all — as a basic human right.

Thousands march through Los Angeles’s Chinatown to stop Wal-mart’s invasion of Los Angeles. Photo: Neil Jacobs, IATSE Local 600
This week in Occupy, the Occupy National Gathering is under way in Philadelphia, Los Angeles rejects Wal-mart, hundreds marched on California’s capitol to demand a foreclosure moratorium and two Brazilian activists pay with their lives for speaking at the People’s Summit in Rio.
(via #Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines - Occupy Together | Journal)
Thousands march through Los Angeles’s Chinatown to stop Wal-mart’s invasion of Los Angeles. Photo: Neil Jacobs, IATSE Local 600

This week in Occupy, the Occupy National Gathering is under way in Philadelphia, Los Angeles rejects Wal-mart, hundreds marched on California’s capitol to demand a foreclosure moratorium and two Brazilian activists pay with their lives for speaking at the People’s Summit in Rio.

(via #Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines - Occupy Together | Journal)

Occupy morphs into a new model!

Flash Encampments

Hey all you wild cats, do-gooders and steadfast rebels out there,

Our movement is living through a painful rebirth… “There has been a unfortunate consolidation of power in #OWS,” writes one founding Zuccotti. “This translates into ideological dominance and recurring lines of thought. We are facing a nauseating poverty of ideas.” Burned out, out of money, out of ideas… seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments. Bit by bit, Occupy’s first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now. Putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy.

The new tone was set on Earth Day, April 22, in a suburb bordering Berkeley, California when a dozen occupiers quietly marched a small crowd to a tract of endangered urban agricultural land, cut through the locked fence and set up tents, kitchens and a people’s assembly. Acting autonomously under the banner of Occupy, without waiting for approval from any preexisting General Assembly, Occupy The Farm was notable for its sophisticated preplanning and careful execution — they even brought chickens — that offered a positive vision for the future and engendered broad community support. While encampments across the world were unable to re-establish themselves on May Day, this small cadre of farm occupiers boldly maintained their inspiring occupation for nearly four weeks.

In Minneapolis, a core of occupiers have launched an Occupy Homes campaign that is unique for its edgy tenacity. “What is unusual, in fact utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of the law by these activists,” a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, a U.S. corporation that trades in mortgages, told a local paper. “Over the past week … the city has tossed out protesters and boarded up the house, only to see the demonstrators peel back the boards and use chains, concrete-filled barrels and other obstacles to make it more difficult to carry them away,” the article reports. Last Friday, police were so desperate to prevent a re-occupation of the foreclosed home that they surrounded the house with “30 Minneapolis police officers with batons” and “over two dozen marked and undercover squad cars and a paddy wagon.” Occupiers respondedby laughing and signing songs… joyous in their struggle to elevate the home into an symbol of democratic resistance to the banks.

In its own sweet way, our movement is now moving beyond the Zuccotti model and developing a tactical imperative of its own: Small groups of fired up second generation occupiers acting independently, swiftly and tenaciously pulling off myriad visceral local actions, disrupting capitalist business-as-usual across the globe.

The next big bang to capture the world’s imagination could come not from a thousand encampments but from a hundred thousand ephemeral jams… a global cascade of flash encampments may well be what this hot Summer will look like.

Meanwhile, tents are up once again in Tahrir Square and youth from Quebec to Auckland to Moscow to Oakland are rising up against a future that does not compute.

Stay loose, play jazz, keep the faith … Capitalism is crashing and our movement has just begun.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

OccupyWallStreet.org / Tactical Briefing #34

very nice.

very nice.

Thousands of Indians oppose Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Here dozens of women lie on the railroad tracks to oppose movement of any materials in and out of the dangerous plant.

Thousands of Indians oppose Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Here dozens of women lie on the railroad tracks to oppose movement of any materials in and out of the dangerous plant.

Report: Occupy Tucson Eviction on March 1, 2012

On Thursday, March 1, 2012, Occupy Tucson was evicted from its third home, located next to De Anza Park, by the Tucson Police Department. The eviction resulted in twenty-one arrests. News reports in local media suggested that the arrests occurred as a result of violence on the part of Occupy Tucson. These reports are inaccurate and Occupy Tucson wishes to correct the record. 

First, we wish to make clear the position Occupy Tucson takes in opposition to Chief Villasenor’s illegal enforcement action. The arrests were an act of peaceful civil disobedience. TPD gave notice early Wednesday that they intended to evict Occupy Tucson on Thursday. It is the position of Occupy Tucson that the occupation of the easement between De Anza Park and the sidewalk along Stone Avenue that we began with General Assembly consensus on February 2 is in full compliance with all applicable laws. Further, Occupy Tucson’s position is that the United States and Arizona Constitutions protect political speech like the De Anza occupation. Finally, to the extent that TPD asserts Tucson ordinances have been violated, that position on the part of TPD is an unauthorized exercise of unconstitutional discretion by the police. Protesters who refused to comply with the TPD order to clear the easement were peacefully acting in civil disobedience with an illegal police action. And yet, despite TPD’s unprofessional and illegal actions, none of the occupiers resisted arrest. TPD completed this series of illegal arrests with no violent resistance from Tucson Occupiers.

We respectfully ask local television news outlets and any other journalist who reported incorrectly that the arrest was predicated on violence by Occupy Tucson to issue an immediate correction.

Finally, members of the Occupy Tucson Legal Working Group have put together the following statement noting unreported facts about TPD’s illegal March 1st action against Occupy Tucson. In sum, TPD and the City of Tucson should be held accountable for their abuse of power, and Occupy Tucson is committed to seeing that they are.

1. TPD removed camper’s personal possessions under the pretense of “confiscating evidence.” Many of these personal items were the entire worldly possessions of homeless OTers. If evidence collection were TPD’s actual concern, the police could have chosen to photograph the site and a couple of sample items, and allowed homeless occupiers to keep their belongings. That they chose instead to confiscate all the personal property of every occupier demonstrates that their actual goal was to prevent occupiers from legally presenting their message to the city of Tucson. This is a disgraceful abuse of power and a violation of the due process rights of all occupiers. 

2. TPD denied the legal team access to their clients during questioning and arrest. Legal team members were barred from observing police procedure, from identifying who was being arrested, and from identifying what laws arrested occupiers were suspected of breaking. TPD claims this was a necessary measure for “officer safety.” It is unclear what threat a few legally trained individuals who regularly work in the Tucson justice system could ever pose to dozens of armed police officers. To suggest that there was any threat is patently absurd and gives the lie of this explanation. In fact TPD barred the legal team from observing their actions because TPD knew what it was doing was illegal. All they accomplished by barring the legal team from assisting its clients was limiting the evidence of TPDs own illegal activity as it violated the rights to counsel of arrested occupiers. 

3. TPD charged arrestees with obstructing the sidewalks. The occupation was (and always had been) established on an unpaved easement between the park boundary and the regular sidewalk. This strip of public land was specifically selected to avoid blocking sidewalks and violating park hour regulations. Arresting law abiding occupiers for blocking the sidewalks is therefore absurd. Sidewalks are paved and specifically abut city streets. The occupation was located on the unpaved easement with a full expanse of unobstructed sidewalk between it and the street. In addition, City Code allows an exemption for any citizen who is in the process of exercising their First Amendment rights to remain on the sidewalks. Even if occupiers were on the sidewalks, they were acting in accordance with city law in doing so.

4. When the police descended at 9:45 a.m., they ordered all occupiers away from their tents and personal property. They immediately began arresting occupiers without giving occupiers an opportunity to comply with the order. The law on which TPD built the pretense of this mass arrest requires adequate notice and an opportunity to comply with police orders. By failing to give occupiers this notice, TPD again violated the law that they claimed to be enforcing. In addition, the City Code itself is far too vague and gives too much discretion to police – which was obviously used in this situation. This is a violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and is a disturbing abuse of power on the part of TPD and Chief Villasenor. 

5. Police Chief Villasenor claims he ordered the encampment removed because of complaints from nearby businesses and ambiguous claims of a crime rate increase. If this were true, arresting people for obstructing a sidewalk is a blatant pretense. Crime rates are a function of arrests and reports of crimes. TPD’s vague assertion that “crime went up” is not born out by any evidence TPD has presented. Further, even if local businesses complained, this is a democracy and influential business interests in the City of Tucson are not entitled to dictate law enforcement to trump up charges to suit their whims. 

Under Chief Villasenor’s direction, the Tucson Police Department abused both power and force March 1. They feebly attempted to cloak their actions under color of law with a vague, rarely-used City ordinance to do so. Occupy Tucson has established that it is a community of people exercising their First Amendment rights and have been compliant and cooperative in all past dealings with the Tucson Police Department, despite their disreputable and unconscionable actions.

Occupy Tucson has tried very hard to work with the City in expressing its message. It is clear at this late date that the City has chosen to side with the plutocrats over the democrats. 

Fires burning in Athens, Greece this morning. 02/12/2012

Fires burning in Athens, Greece this morning. 02/12/2012

OCCUPY MONSANTO!

Secret Video Shows CEO Hugh Grant’s Response to GMO Labeling On January 24, Monsanto shareholders gathering for their annual meeting were greeted by 50 protesters calling for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) to be labeled in the marketplace. While “Occupy-Monsanto” events are becoming more common worldwide, one activist working on behalf of socially responsible shareholders took the anti-GMO message deep inside the inner circle of Monsanto’s highly paid executives and recorded the encounter. A newly released hidden video is available for unrestricted use by the members of media at a new website. Occupy Monsanto is calling for protests on September 17, 2012, at Monsanto facilities across the globe to demand GMO labeling and the elimination of cancer causing toxic chemicals in our food supply. Learn More & Watch > http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_24846.cfm

News from the Occupation

Occupy Protesters Interrupt State Budget Hearing - NYTimes.com
Lawmakers did not try to stop the protesters, and one legislator, Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther, a Democrat of Sullivan County, even took out her smartphone to capture the moment.

How the Occupy Movement Changed Urban Government - Politics 
In an increasingly globalized world, Occupy Wall Street reinforced the primacy of place.

Occupy Vermont Mic Checks Board of Trustees

Occupy Burlington/UVM Mic Checks UVM’s Board of Trustees over Bill Ruprecht being on the board. After hearing about there being a protest, Ruprecht cancelled plans to be at the Board of Trustees Meeting.

 

Homeless Camp Shut Down, Occupy KC Camp Remains | fox4kc 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Homeless men and women who were forced out of a Kansas City homeless camp are on their own again. Some people are asking how come Occupy KC supporters are able to stay in their camp, but the homeless camp 

Occupy, Economic Inequality and Business Initiatives: Insights from 
Occupy movements highlighting economic inequality have quickly spread around the world. But they have also excluded several countries.

 

Video from Occupy Boston and Berlin “No War on Iran” Rally | Take 
On Saturday, February 4th Occupy Boston’s Action for Peace Work Group joined communities across the nation, with over 60 endorsing organizations, to alert people to the ominous drumbeat, that unimpeded, will lead to war on Iran.

Occupy Wall Street to Visit Occupy Syracuse | NCC News
Around 20-30 members of Occupy Wall Street will meet at Perseverance Park at 2:30 p.m. to visit with members of Occupy Syraucse. At 3:15 p.m. the combined group is schedule to march to Columbus 

Out in the Cold- Occupy Montreal and the Homelessness Question 
Part of the worldwide infamy Occupy Wall Street gained was because of its quasi-primitivist communal organization. Occupy Montreal followed suit. Soon, the kitchen got up and running, along with the first aid station and the media centre.

Planet Occupy: Imagining an Occupied world

original to: http://harpers.org/archive/2012/01/hbc-90008434

By Nathan Schneider

I recently learned about a revolutionist pamphlet published last year in
Spain called La Carta de los Comunes. It begins with an intriguing
conceit. Set in 2033 in a magical-realist Madrid, it tells of a population
whose bodies became physically hunched over in submission to a wealthy
few. At last, with their livelihoods nearly eviscerated, the people rise
up and take over their city. They resurrect the medieval notion of the
commons, creating a domain of shared resources apart from the market and
bureaucratic oversight. They learn to stand upright again. The pamphlet
then presents a Magna Carta for their new society.

I can’t resist applying a similar futurism to Occupy Wall Street, the
phenomenon whose origins I describe in the February 2012 issue of
Harper’s. Even the most hopeful young occupiers are starting to realize
that their revolutionary dreams might take longer to achieve than a
semester’s leave from school — and justly so. As I noticed during the
planning process, and have continued to see in the movement thus far, even
those most centrally involved are constantly discovering for themselves
where it is leading.

The question of what Occupy Wall Street is really about has been
notoriously thorny from the outset. The movement’s attempts to craft
agreed-upon “demands” have generally fallen flat. Nevertheless, a set of
quite interesting but rarely discussed texts have withstood the
consensus-building process at local general assemblies. Reading them
closely, and with an eye to the praxis in the occupations themselves, I
see no quick-and-easy legislative, executive, or judicial patches for the
problems the movement means to confront. I came to think, instead, that
the movement’s lasting contribution could be something substantially more
ambitious: a wholesale rethinking of political life, more akin to the
promulgation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in
revolutionary France than, say, the introduction of a
financial-transaction tax or the revocation of the Supreme Court’s
Citizens United decision in the United States. (Unlike the Declaration of
the Rights of Man, mind you, the Occupy documents rarely refer to
property, law, or patriotic sentiment. They don’t even mention borders.)

It isn’t crazy to think the time has come to go back to the drawing board,
politically. The constitutions of most Western nation-states were dreamed
up during the late Enlightenment, long before anyone could foresee such
realities as globalized mega-corporations profiting from chronic personal
and national debt, Internet companies possessing more private information
than the average diary, and undeclared wars being fought by drone
aircraft — which have all contributed to what Occupy Wall Street describes
as a “feeling of mass injustice” in its Declaration of the Occupation of
New York City, approved on September 29 and now available as an attractive
pamphlet. Our familiar, Lockean governments have come to seem inept,
powerless to oppose the incorporeal profit machines that can, as the
declaration adds, “achieve the same rights as people, with none of the
culpability or responsibility.” The Declaration of the Occupation is
addressed not to governments — no hope there — but rather “to the people of
the world,” urging communities everywhere to “assert your power.”

"We are creating an exemplar society," states Occupy Boston’s Declaration
of Occupation. That being the case, let’s attempt some Occupy sci-fi: What
would the world look like if the Occupy revolution were carried through to
completion?

"No one’s human needs go unmet," continues the Boston declaration. Planet
Occupy, like last fall’s occupations, provides food and shelter for
everyone, no questions asked. It also ensures health care, mutual
education, childcare, legal representation, and a large, meticulously
catalogued library. Sounds like a good social democracy — except that, in
the words of Occupy Wall Street’s Principles of Solidarity, the basic unit
of political life is not the ballot box but “autonomous political beings
engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy.” Though they
might be wired to the teeth, the political beings of Planet Occupy carry
out their democracy face to face, in well-coordinated small groups that
operate by consensus. It’s “participatory as opposed to partisan,” adds
the Statement of Autonomy, suggesting that the aim on Planet Occupy is for
all voices to be heard, rather than for one party to prevail over others.
Those with “inherent privilege” defer whenever possible to others. The
consolidation of power is discouraged, and resisted when necessary.
Policing troublemakers becomes the job not of cops, but of assertive,
well-trained listeners.

The movement’s documents contain fewer hints about Planet Occupy’s
economy. The Principles of Solidarity calls for “redefining how labor is
valued,” which may look something like the worker-owned cooperatives
currently being developed at the Freedom Plaza occupation in Washington,
D.C. Broadly speaking, human needs prevail over claims on profit.
Companies are chartered for the public good, not private gain.
Participatory democracy prevails in workplaces, neighborhoods, and other
productive groupings. Many aspects of the economy — food, especially — remain
local. This is necessary partly in order to preserve and sustain the
natural environment. Everyone on Planet Occupy knows, after all, that if
they don’t protect the planet, there will be nothing left to occupy.

Even with its inhabitants’ passion for local autonomy, though, Planet
Occupy is a globalized place. People and their ideas travel freely,
creating new opportunities and partnerships wherever they go. Assemblies
share their plans and innovations over Interoccupy. (The movement’s
conference-call network will have supplanted the original Internet, which
was overrun by corporate advertising.) Following the urge in the
Principles for “the broad application of open source,” all ideas are
common property, and these collective resources are, according to the
Statement of Autonomy, valued more highly than money — if money still exists
at all. SOPA-style censorship in the name of ownership is not okay.

Also not okay is using violence to resolve conflicts. Almost every Occupy
document makes some statement to this effect. Occupy Boston’s Memorandum
of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples envisions “a new era of peace and
cooperation that will work for everyone.” When conflict occurs, as is
inevitable, people resist injustice through “non-violent civil
disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance,
and love,” in accordance with the Principles. Every such struggle is both
local and global.

Is this anarchist utopia realistic, or even desirable? It’s at least a
little out there. Perhaps a lot out there. But the Declaration of the
Rights of Man, drafted while Louis XVI still had his head, wasn’t easy to
comprehend in its time. The circumstances of our world exceed the politics
we’re used to imagining for it, and the politics that are really necessary
might therefore seem impossible. “We have come to Wall Street as refugees
from this native dreamland, seeking asylum in the actual,” explains
"Communiqué 1," an article in the movement journal Tidal. "We seek to
rediscover and reclaim the world.”

«Nathan Schneider is a writer living in Brooklyn. His story “Some
Assembly Required,” which traces the birth of Occupy Wall Street, appears
in the February 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine. Schneider previously
blogged for Harper’s about the General Assembly process at Occupy Wall
Street, and whether Occupy encampments should be covered by the First
Amendment. »

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