MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: Lessons from the Black Panther Party and the Rainbow Coalition from the 1960s-70s – 10/29

Standard

Featured Image -- 607

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School/Press Releases

In remembrance of the founding of the Black Panther Party in October of 1966, the last Freedom School class of this month will look at the politics of the Black Panther Party as well as other groups of the New Left of the 1960s-70s, including the Young Lords, American Indian Movement, and the Patriot Party. A close look will be given to various coalitions that these groups formed and what this meant for the movement of the 1960s-70s. A particular focus will be given to the Rainbow Coalition organized by Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers in Chicago which united a rainbow of Black, white, Latino, Native, working class and poor people into a coalition that had a major impact in local politics. As always, we will ask ourselves what this important history means to us today, especially at a local level. With so many student, activist and community groups doing great things in the Utica area, what do we need to do to make our own coalition to organize for a better Utica and, ultimately, a better world? Come learn about this exciting history and join this discussion.

This class will be followed by a networking meeting open to students, activists and community members who are interested in making connections and building a local coalition to stand up and organize for social, economic and racial justice. Among the topics of discussion will also be a proposal to organize a Utica Social Forum for the spring. This meeting will occur during the next Freedom School class on Thursday, November 5 at 7:00pm. Stay tuned for more details.


The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is held every Thursday at the Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm. Please contact 240-3149 or mvfreedomschool@gmail.com.

This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Advertisements

Freedom School Class – Wednesday, 9/16 – Mexican Independence Day – The Zapatistas, the Power of Art & Painting Murals in Utica

Standard

Mexican Independence Day – The Zapatistas, the Power of Art & Painting Murals in Utica
Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00pm – 8:30pm 

at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School (500 Plant Street, Utica, NY)

“Build different worlds where many worlds fit” mural of the Zapatista autonomous rebel elementary school in Oventic, Chiapas.

Please join us in celebrating Mexican Independence Day by watching the very short film “Galeano Vive! – Painting a Zapatista Teacher.” This will be followed by a short presentation on the Zapatista village of Oventic in Chiapas, Mexico that educator Brendan Maslauskas Dunn visited this summer, and a discussion of art and murals.

The fast-paced, visually stunning video will teach about the assassinated Mayan rebel Zapatista teacher Galeano while documenting the painting of an astounding mural deep in Zapatista territory. This dramatic artwork was painted by an international team of volunteers from twelve countries earlier this year and now lives on the walls of Galeano’s rebuilt school and clinic in the community of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. Discussion will then focus on murals and art in Utica.

Planning is currently underway to paint a “people’s radical history” mural in Utica that people in the community will design and paint next summer under the guidance of mural artists from New York City.

Freedom School Classes Announced for September

Standard
Freedom School Classes Announced for September

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is back in session! Classes are free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds. Classes are held in Oneida Square’s Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street. Topics discussed this month will include urban spaces, Murray Bookchin, the Zapatistas, art and murals, education, anarchism, Black Lives Matter and Ban the Box. There will also be excursions to Hamilton College and Rochester. Come get involved with the Freedom School!

The Limits of the City, Utica
Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
MV Freedom School (MVFS) – Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street, Utica, NY

The opening class for the Fall 2015 Semester will also launch a series of classes focused on community-building and organization. Derek Scarlino will lead the discussion with an analysis of Murray Bookchin’s work on urban spaces, ‘The…

View original post 632 more words

A Place Called Chiapas – Film Screening at the Freedom School – April15

Standard

by MV Freedom School

A_Place_Called_Chiapas_VideoCover

During the last Freedom School class there was a lively discussion about the indigenous Mayan Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico. The originally scheduled event for class this Wednesday is rescheduled until May. Instead, we will watch the film “A Place Called Chiapas.” The film will be screened at 7:00pm on Wednesday, April 15 at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School. The school is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Dinner will be served at 6:30pm.

The documentary film was released in 1998. It captures the rise of what the The New York Times called “the world’s first post-modern revolution” in Chiapas. The revolution was launched the same day NAFTA was put into effect on January 1, 1994. The revolutionaries called themselves Zapatistas in honor of the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, a hero of Mexico’s 1910 revolution. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) was organized to spur the revolution forward. Since then the Zapatistas have carved out their own society autonomous from the Mexican state that is based off of principles of collectivism, mutual aid and popular power.

Come join us for a great film and an interesting discussion. As always, we will ask ourselves how this struggle is relevant to us and what we can learn from it.

Freedom School Class – April 8 – A Discussion on Grassroots Leadership and Popular Education

Standard

EZLN-1

4/8 – “We Are All Leaders” – A Discussion on Grassroots Leadership and Popular Education, discussion led by Brendan M. Dunn

Brendan will lead a discussion on what leadership means. He will give a brief history of bottom-up forms of leadership. Students will look at the “group-centered leadership” advocated by Ella Baker in the Civil Rights Movement, the concept that “we are all leaders” that Wobblies (members of the IWW labor union) and other union activists promoted in the 1930s, as well as the “horizontalism” advocated by groups ranging from Argentinian workers to the indigenous Mayan Zapatistas. Students will also discuss what popular education is.

Class is from 7:00 – 8:30pm with a free dinner at 6:30pm.

Fundraiser Dinner for the Mohawk Valley Freedom School Summer Program, March 28

Standard
 by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

Fundraiser Dinner for the Mohawk Valley Freedom School Summer Program
Saturday, March 28 from 5:00-9:00PM
500 Plant Street, Utica

ae-eop-freedom-school_t700

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is hosting a fundraising dinner and community group “meet and greet” on Saturday, March 28th. The event will feature live music, spoken-word poetry, and dance groups, including MVCC’s own, CP, and the Utica Tango Society. There is a $5 suggested donation (although people are also welcome to make a larger donation), and tickets are available. All proceeds will benefit the two week long summer program in August.

For those unable to go and who want to make a donation, please feel free to do so online:

http://www.gofundme.com/jzfjok

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is an afterschool and summer program available for fee to the community. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to attend. Classes meet every Wednesday at 7pm. The Freedom School is located at the Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant St. in Utica.For more information, please visit:

mvfreedomschool.wordpress.com

or

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mohawk-Valley-Freedom-School/430548723721365?fref=nf

Freedom School Announces Classes on The Civil Rights Movement

Standard

sncc1

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School will have three classes on the Black Freedom (Civil Rights) Movement this month. Local activist and Freedom School educator Alicia McWilliams will teach the classes. The first class on March 11th at 7:00pm will give an introduction to the Black Freedom Movement. Class will start with a screening of part of the powerful documentary on the subject Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.  This will lead into a discussion that compares the Civil Rights Movement with various social movements today. The second class on March 18th will continue this discussion. Students will be encouraged to do their own research before coming to class and present their findings on the Black Freedom struggle to the class at large. The next class on March 25th will go over the history of the FBI’s counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) which was created to destroy the Black Freedom, Black Power and New Left movements of the 1950s-1970s. As always, this history and these movements will be brought to the present as we ask the questions: how is this relevant to us today, how can we learn from this, and how do we move forward?

Alicia McWilliams is a dedicated activist and organizer who has been active in New York City, Utica and across the state and country. She has been very active in fighting for civil liberties, defending the Newburgh 4 and others unjustly targeted by the War on Terror, ending mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow, and with the Mohawk Valley Freedom School.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is located at Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm with a free dinner at 6:30pm. Please contact 732-2382 or mvfreedomschool@gmail.com. This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Freedom School Class – Wednesday, March 4 – A RESPONSE TO THE NEW JIM CROW: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Standard

ATTICAweb1a-articleLarge-v2

Scholar, activist and socialist Joseph Schwartz will speak at Hamilton College this Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00pm on the subject of mass incarceration. Schwartz is Professor of Political Science at Temple University where he teaches political theory and American politics. He has been active in the fight for affordable urban housing. He is the author of The Permanence of the Political and The Future of Democratic Equality. Schwartz also serves as a National Vice-Chair of Democratic Socialists of America. He will give a talk on mass incarceration in the U.S. and will give attention to the plight of people of color and undocumented immigrants. While many activists and critics point out the brutality of the racialized system of mass incarceration in the US, few provide alternatives to this major problem. Schwartz will address this in his talk as he offers an alternative vision to combat the New Jim Crow. That vision is socialism for the 21st century.

The event is being organized by the Hamilton Democratic Socialists, a student group at Hamilton College. The Mohawk Valley Freedom School will provide transportation to the event from Utica. Cars will promptly leave Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street at 6:30pm. The event will take place at Hamilton College in Kirner Johnson 102.

Malcolm X Remembered – Freedom School Class – Wednesday, February 25

Standard
Malcolm X Remembered – Freedom School Class – Wednesday, February 25

malcolm-x-1

The Freedom School is back in session with a class and discussion centered around the life of Malcolm X. February 21 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, a man whose legacy means many different things to many different people. Malcolm X’s beliefs had a major impact that transcended his life, his race, his religion, and his nation. His beliefs animated the Black Panther Party, were discussed throughout countless social movements throughout the Third World; his name invoked by those struggling in apartheid South Africa, the streets of Gaza, the slums of India. His spirit can be found in the countless prison cells, protests, schools, mosques, marches, movements, slums, rebellions and in the dreams of a better world yet to come. Yes, Malcolm means many things to many people. What does he mean to you? Come join our discussion at 7:00pm this Wednesday.

The Kurdish Revolution in Kobane – Freedom School Class – Thursday, January 29

Standard

tumblr_ng9nnotHM61sx76vio1_r1_1280

Derek Scarlino and Brendan Dunn will give a talk and lead a discussion about the events in the fight against ISIS in Kobane, Syria, and the Kurdish social revolution. The Kurds are a people who have for years been denied a nation to call their own and have been occupied by the Ottomans, British, Americans, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. While Syria has been ripped apart by a tragic civil war since 2011, a number of Kurdish towns in the Northern part of Syria carved out their own autonomous cantons where they have created a social revolution rooted in concepts of feminism, mutual aid, cooperation and participatory democracy. It is here where women have taken the lead in the fight against ISIS and have successfully beat them back. It is here where the PKK, the anarchist Kurdish Workers’ Party, has carved out an alternative to the systems envisioned by Islamic fundamentalists, authoritarian states and the Capitalist West. It is a system that many would call anarchist in nature and in practice. There will be an open discussion in class about what we can learn from the Kurdish revolution.

Protest Today! – CUOMO’S PROPOSED EDUCATION REFORMS PROMPT LOCAL NYSUT RESPONSE

Standard
Photo by Miller Photography.

Photo by Miller Photography.

By Love and Rage

UTICA AREA – In response to the most recent proposed school reforms, the state teacher’s union, NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) is working to mobilize its members to build community-wide coalitions to save public education.

The first action locally will be held today at 5:30 PM. The presidents of the local school boards are holding a meeting at BOCES on Middle Settlement Road in New Hartford.

NYSUT is calling on all CNY locals to greet the board members as they enter the building. Supporters are encouraged to bring signs and let the local school boards know where teachers and residents stand on the reform. NYSUT and others involved feel that now is the time to act to protect our students from excessive standardized testing and to protect our teachers from bogus evaluation methods.

Other forms of action include writing letters to Congressman Hanna.

Proposed Reforms

Teacher evaluations (mitigating local power):

  • 50 percent teacher evaluation will be based on state tests.
  • 35 percent will be observation by a third party, independent of the local school.
  • 15 percent principle (local) observation.

Weaken due process to make it easier to fire teachers and principals.

Increase funding for charter schools.

Closing the lowest performing schools (mainly inner-city) and replacing them with charter schools (especially in Buffalo). In effect, turning poor schools into trade schools and turning the profession of teaching into low-wage temp work.

Force small and rural districts into mergers.

The working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions of students. The current reforms undermine the very notion of public education in favor of corporate-owned schools who do not consider the students or teachers beyond the status of customers and workers.

Locals working with NYSUT plan to hold follow-up meetings and discussions in the coming weeks.

Click here for a link to the Facebook event.

https://loveandragemedia.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/cuomos-proposed-education-reforms-prompt-local-nysut-response/

Fredom School Class Postponed Until Next Week!

Standard

tumblr_ng9nnotHM61sx76vio1_r1_1280

Derek Scarlino and Brendan Dunn will give a talk and lead a discussion about the events in the fight against ISIS in Kobane, Syria, and the Kurdish social revolution. The Kurds are a people who have for years been denied a nation to call their own and have been occupied by the Ottomans, British, Americans, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. While Syria has been ripped apart by a tragic civil war since 2011, a number of Kurdish towns in the Northern part of Syria carved out their own autonomous cantons where they have created a social revolution rooted in concepts of feminism, mutual aid, cooperation and participatory democracy. It is here where women have taken the lead in the fight against ISIS and have successfully beat them back. It is here where the PKK, the anarchist Kurdish Workers’ Party, has carved out an alternative to the systems envisioned by Islamic fundamentalists, authoritarian states and the Capitalist West. It is a system that many would call anarchist in nature and in practice. There will be an open discussion in class about what we can learn from the Kurdish revolution.

Class is from 7:00 – 8:30pm. Free dinner will be served at 6:30pm.

Freedom School Class Schedule for January – Je suis Charlie? – The Kurdish revolution in Kobane – Love and Rage Media

Standard

This is a list of the Mohawk Valley Freedom School classes for this month. Dinner starts at 6:30pm every Thursday and classes usually run from 7:00 – 8:30pm. The Freedom School is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica, NY at Cornestone Community Church.

pencils

Thursday, January 15

Je Suis Charlie?

The recent attacks in France have led too much commentary and massive public support and empathy for those who were killed at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. The mainstream media is saturated with news stories about Islamic extremism and terrorism and push the dangerous narrative of “us versus them” and the “clash of civilizations.” We will discuss the events that led up to the attacks, media coverage of it and ask the difficult questions surrounding war, terrorism, racism, Islamophobia and imperialist aggression. We will also look into the history of colonialism in Algeria, free speech in France, and secularism in France.

tumblr_ng9nnotHM61sx76vio1_r1_1280

Thursday, January 22

The Kurdish Revolution in Kobane

Derek Scarlino and Brendan Dunn will give a talk and lead a discussion about the events in the fight against ISIS in Kobane, Syria, and the Kurdish social revolution. The Kurds are a people who have for years been denied a nation to call their own and have been occupied by the Ottomans, British, Americans, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. While Syria has been ripped apart by a tragic civil war since 2011, a number of Kurdish towns in the Northern part of Syria carved out their own autonomous cantons where they have created a social revolution rooted in concepts of feminism, mutual aid, cooperation and participatory democracy. It is here where women have taken the lead in the fight against ISIS and have successfully beat them back. It is here where the PKK, the anarchist Kurdish Workers’ Party, has carved out an alternative to the systems envisioned by Islamic fundamentalists, authoritarian states and the Capitalist West. It is a system that many would call anarchist in nature and in practice. There will be an open discussion in class about what we can learn from the Kurdish revolution.

cropped-loveandrage23-1024x554

Thursday, January 29

Love and Rage! – A New Media Collective

Love and Rage is a new independent, alternative media collective in Utica that was just launched as an alternative to the mainstream media that already exists. Members of Love and Rage will be present to have a discussion about who they are, what they do, and how you can get involved. They will also lead a discussion on critically analyzing local and corporate media, creating narratives, and doing “guerrilla and citizen reporting.”

This is a statement from the Love and Rage “About” section on the group’s new website:

The aims of Love and Rage are simple. We are a collective which wants to provide our diverse, multiethnic hometown with a source for alternative news and information.

It has come to pass that the past few years have seen dramatic shifts in all currents of American and global society. From the social to the economic to the political. We are activists, writers, students, teachers and organizers who have come together to use our talents to tie the strings together.

If you’re looking for fair and balanced, keep searching. There’s no such thing. What there are plenty of, however, are facts. We’ll do our best to present those.

What there’s also a lot of are analyses to news and information that local for-profit media are not equipped to engage in. We don’t want to skim the surface. We want to dig in and present insight, from the bottom-up.

We declare that news through our lens is through that of anarchism, of feminism, of anti-fascism. We are critics of capitalism, imperialism and racism. These are some themes that will be prevalent with us.

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” – Howard Zinn

https://loveandragemedia.wordpress.com/category/front-page/

Freedom School Organizational Meeting – Wednesday, January 14

Standard

MISC_ask-me-about-button

There will be a Freedom School organizational meeting Wednesday, January 14 at 7:00pm at the Freedom School office. It should be a rather quick meeting but please come with your ideas. We will be talking about planning for the summer school among other things. If you want to get more involved with running the Freedom School, this is your chance! See you there!

Support our First Annual Mohawk Valley Freedom Summer School!

Standard

_69666872_teachergam

We are currently in the process of raising funds to launch a summer school program. This is something we have wanted to do for a couple of years but never had the funds to do it. If you can support us, please do! The money will be used for supplies, books, food, transportation costs, and stipends.

Visit our fund-raising site here:

http://www.gofundme.com/jzfjok

Oppression & Resistance, The Lead Catastrophe in Utica & A Lesson on Slavery – Freedom School Class – Thursday, January 8

Standard

utica

We will continue our discussion from our previous class on the lead catastrophe in Utica and what we can do about it. During our last class, MVCC student and Freedom School educator Lana Nitti taught a class which gave a deeper look into the lead catastrophe in our community, who it impacts, and why. We will continue to examine this important issue through a social, economic, and scientific lens to ensure that we have the necessary knowledge to make positive changes in our community. We will also discuss what actions and organizing can happen in order to address this catastrophe.

Since systems of oppression evolve over time and have remained integral to the smooth operation of this nation, we will also have a discussion on slavery led by high school student Diamond Hunt. We will look at the connections between forms of oppression, such as slavery throughout history, and the modern plight of poor and working class people as they are affected by lead poisoning. As always, we will ask what ordinary people can do, and what people have done, to end catastrophes.

Class will begin at 7:00 and dinner will be served at 6:30.

Official_medallion_of_the_British_Anti-Slavery_Society_(1795)

The Lead Catastrophe in Utica – Freedom School Class – Thursday, December 18

Standard

utica

There is a major public health problem locally that few are talking about. Utica is the epicenter for instances of lead poisoning and the piloting of lead prevention programs in New York State. Join MVCC student and researcher Lana Nitti as she leads the Mohawk Valley Freedom School in a discussion to take a deeper look into the lead catastrophe in our community, who it impacts, and why. We will examine this important issue through a social, economic, and scientific lens to ensure that we have the necessary knowledge to make positive changes in our community. We welcome you to become a citizen scientist!

Class will begin at 7:00 and dinner will be served at 6:30.

lead-infographic-final-03

Screening of The Battle of Algiers – Dec 12

Standard

MV5BMTIzMjI1OTQxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzc3NTYyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR18,0,214,317_AL_

The Battle of Algiers (1966. In French and Arabic with subtitles.)

Friday, December 12 from 7:00pm – 9:30pm

Mohawk Valley Community College – AB 233
Film screening of the film The Battle of Algiers and lecture by adjunct faculty Brendan M. Dunn on the Algerian national liberation struggle, imperialism, and terrorism.
“One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly recreates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot on the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. Pontecorvo’s tour de force has astonishing relevance today.” (from the Criterion Collection)

Screening of Pan’s Labyrinth and Lecture on the Spanish Revolution – Dec 10

Standard

panslabyrinthfaun

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006. In Spanish with subtitles.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Mohawk Valley Community College – AB 233

Film screening of the film Pan’s Labyrinth and lecture by MVCC adjunct faculty Brendan M. Dunn on the Spanish Civil War, Spanish revolution, and how this film is an allegory of the tragedy of Spain in the 1930s.
“Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the greatest of all fantasy films, even though it is anchored so firmly in the reality of war. On first viewing, it is challenging to comprehend a movie that on the one hand provides fauns and fairies, and on the other hand creates an inhuman sadist in the uniform of Franco’s fascists. The fauns and fantasies are seen only by the 11-year-old heroine, but that does not mean she’s “only dreaming;” they are as real as the fascist captain who murders on the flimsiest excuse. The coexistence of these two worlds is one of the scariest elements of the film.” – Roger Ebert

Feminism! – Freedom School Class – Thursday, December 4

Standard

womenlib

There are multiple misconceptions around the term feminism. What is it? What are the roots of feminist thought and action? What does it mean to us and for us? Come to the Freedom School to have a discussion about feminism. We will examine and debunk both historical and contemporary myths about feminism. We will also analyze the relationship between feminism, race and class. As always, we will discuss how this is relevant to us and to our community and what we can learn from it. The class will be taught by Kimberly Williams who is the associate director of the Days-Massolo Center at Hamilton College. She has a background in academia in a wide variety of issues including feminism, poetry, science fiction, race, class, gender, and trauma. She also has a background in social justice activism. She is the founder of an international women’s organization, was active as a student in Ithaca and continues her work around multiple issues of social justice at the Days-Massolo Center.

As always, dinner will be at 6:30pm and will be cooked by our wonderful student-teacher-chef Alicia. Class will start at 7:00 and continue to 8:30.

Day After Demonstration for Mike Brown: Utica in Solidarity with Ferguson

Standard

mikebrownnn

Join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson in their quest for dignity and justice the day after the grand jury in Ferguson reveals their decision in whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown. (Although there is a specific date listed here for the rally, we will MEET THE DAY AFTER the grand jury delivers their verdict).

The rally will start at the foot of the Baron von Steuben memorial at the intersection of Genesee Street at the Parkway in Utica at 5:30pm. We will then march to Oneida Street to the location where UPD Sargent Geddes killed Utica’s very own Mike Brown, Walter Washington, in 2005. We will have a candlelight vigil at that location.

We will rise up with countless people in countless cities all over the country and world to demand justice. No matter what the grand jury decides, the struggle for racial equality, economic justice, and the necessity to act upon the simple belief that Black lives matter should continue to be fought for.

It is far too often that innocent young Black men are gunned down by police. It is incredibly rare that justice is ever found. Every community has its Officer Darren Wilsons who gun down innocent Black men. Every community has its Mike Browns, those who are pushed to the edges of society because of the color of their skin and their socio-economic class, those who are killed at the hands of the police.

In the summer of 2005 UPD Officer (now Sargent) Samuel Geddes gunned down Utica resident Walter Washington in plain sight of the man’s girlfriend and their children. Washington is our Mike Brown. Justice has yet to be delivered for Geddes, like most cops who kill young people of color, are above the law. The UPD continue unabated in their racial-profiling, disrespectful behavior, unwarranted searches and raids, surveillance, brutality, and violence.

While the people of Ferguson continue to rebel against injustice, they are only one movement within an ocean of movements that stretch from Ferguson to Mexico to Palestine and all over the world. Let us join this global justice movement and stand up for Mike Brown, Walter Washington, and all the others whose lives were cut short by police and state violence. Brother Martin Luther King said it best when he proclaimed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Anarchism Reading Group Meets! – Saturday, November 22

Standard

juntoscreando

Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group
When: This Saturday, November 22 at 7:00pm
Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School office – 500 Plant Street in Utica’s Oneida Square                                                     What: We will be discussing the first 30 pages of the book ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman

Why?: Several local activists are forming a new organization in town called Black Rose (Rosa Negra). They have decided to launch a discussion and reading group open to anyone interested which will be centered around the philosophy and theory of anarchism and revolution. Although anarchism and anarchy conjure images of chaos, violence and disorder in the minds of many people, the actual theory and practice of anarchism are the exact opposite. In its most basic form, anarchism is a framework that is critical of all forms of violence, coercion, hierarchy and oppression. As such, it is a rejection of both capitalism and the State. Anarchism envisions a society that is rooted in concepts of liberty, freedom, mutual aid, cooperation, decentralization and collectivism. A society whereby the people democratically control and self-manage society and the economy. There is a long history of anarchism and anarchist social movements in the US and around the world. Come join this reading group if you want to learn more about this philosophy or are interested in discussing political theory.

We will read the following text:

The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman
– Published in 1929, this is considered a classic text that discusses what, exactly, anarchism is, its theory, history, and practice. Berkman was a well known revolutionary anarchist who was persecuted for his beliefs and activism and eventually deported to Russia by the US government. The book can be found here or picked up in person at the Freedom School: https://libcom.org/files/AlexanderBerkman-ABCofAnarchism.pdf

Freedom School Organizational Meeting, Saturday, November 22

Standard

sncc-cairo

There will be a general organizational meeting this Saturday, November 22 at 2:00pm for anyone interested in helping make the Freedom School grow. We will discuss future classes and courses, summer school, fundraising, structure, outreach and many other exciting topics. If you want to help shape the Freedom School and expanding various programs, this is the meeting for you. It will be held in the Freedom School office at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Please call 315 732-2382 if you have any questions. See you there!

Freedom School Class – Thursday, November 20

Standard

_69666872_teachergam

See you at the Freedom School today, Thursday, November 20, for a 6:30pm dinner and 7:00 class. We’ll be continuing the discussion on education, school, knowledge, philosophy, and power. We will also begin formulating our own plan and program to offer as an alternative to the education system (or what we would like to change about it). Students are encouraged to come a talk about different models of education to the table and what can learn from them. Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring some ideas for some great discussion!

Freedom School Class – Thursday, November 13 – Education, School, Knowledge & Power

Standard

_69666872_teachergam

We will continue the discussion we started over a week ago on the philosophy of education for this class. What is education? What is school/schooling? Are these terms in opposition to each other or do they compliment each other? We will look at different perspectives on knowledge, education, school and learning and have an open dialogue about this. We will also look at the debates surrounding public schools, charter schools and various alternative approaches to school and learning. In addition, we will look at the unique experiment in “popular education” led by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Bring yourself, bring a friend, bring a family member and bring some ideas for this exciting class! As always, dinner will be served at 6:30pm and class will be from 7:00-8:30.

Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group

Standard

malatesta

Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group
When:First meeting this Saturday, November 15 at 5:30pm
Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School office – 500 Plant Street in Utica’s Oneida Square
We will order pizza! Feel free to bring other food to share with us!

Why?: Several local activists are forming a new organization in town called Black Rose (Rosa Negra). They have decided to launch a discussion and reading group open to anyone interested which will be centered around the philosophy and theory of anarchism and revolution. Although anarchism and anarchy conjure images of chaos, violence and disorder in the minds of many people, the actual theory and practice of anarchism are the exact opposite. In its most basic form, anarchism is a framework that is critical of all forms of violence, coercion, hierarchy and oppression. As such, it is a rejection of both capitalism and the State. Anarchism envisions a society that is rooted in concepts of liberty, freedom, mutual aid, cooperation, decentralization and collectivism. A society whereby the people democratically control and self-manage society and the economy. There is a long history of anarchism and anarchist social movements in the US and around the world. Come join this reading group if you want to learn more about this philosophy or are interested in discussing political theory. The readings will be passed out at the first meeting and we will decide which sections to read and how often we will like to meet.

We will read the following texts:

The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman
– Published in 1929, this is considered a classic text that discusses what, exactly, anarchism is, its theory, history, and practice. Berkman was a well known revolutionary anarchist who was persecuted for his beliefs and activism and eventually deported to Russia by the US government.

“The Tyranny of Structurelessness” by Jo Freeman
– This was a popular essay that emerged from the women’s liberation movement in the US in the 1970s. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in setting up organizations that have democratic structures. Freeman was active in the women’s liberation movement of that era.

Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
– Written by ex-Black Panther turned anarchist Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, this is a great writing that focuses on the fundamentals of class struggle anarchism and discusses the relevance of anarchism to the Black liberation movement.

“Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism & Deep Ecology” by Judi Bari
– A great essay on what deep ecology is and why struggle must also be centered around the environment. Bari was a member of Earth First! and  the Industrial Workers of the World who organized timber workers and environmentalists to save California’s old growth redwood forests.

Please email mvfreedomschool@gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in joining this reading group.

anarchism_defined_by_ztk2006

IWW Union Meeting – Saturday, November 15 – 4:00pm

Standard

mobilerailiww

There will be an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union meeting this Saturday, November 15 at 4:00pm at the Freedom School office. If you are a worker, or even unemployed, and are interested in getting involved with labor and union activism then this is the organization for you. It is open to all workers of any background. The delegate of the union will be present to sign up new members, distribute the most recent newspaper, and discuss the upcoming elections within the union. There will also be an opportunity to discuss current campaigns within the union and how you can improve conditions at your workplace.

Email maslauskas@riseup.net or call 732-2382 if you have any questions.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

http://www.iww.org

Field Trip to Hamilton College Slam Poetry Event – November 6

Standard

poetsham

The Freedom School class this week will travel to Hamilton College Thursday, November 6 to attend a slam poetry event. The event is dubbed Poetry in Power and three young poets will perform. Students are welcome to meet us at Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street at 6pm sharp so we can all travel to Hamilton College together. We will have a quick dinner at Tony’s Pizza in Clinton and head up the hill to Hamilton College. The event starts at 7pm and will be in the Event’s Barn on the Kirkland side of the campus. Feel free to meet us at the church so we can carpool over together, or meet us at the actual event.

The event is funded by the Kirkland Endowment in collaboration with ACS, BLSU, & Womyn’s Center 
 
Check out the Artists: 

Freedom School is Back in Session! – Thursday, October 30 at 7pm

Standard

freedom_school_1

Freedom School is back in session! Come to our first class this Thursday, October 30 at 7:00pm. A free dinner will be served at 6:30pm. We are located at Cornerstone Community Church (500 Plant Street in Utica). The topic for the evening will be “Changing the Education Paradigm” where we will discuss the philosophy of Freedom Schools, education and schooling. We will have a discussion centered around the function of schools in modern society. Are they places that encourage students to question authority? Are they places that encourage regimentation and obedience? Come join us for the first of many exciting classes and discussions. We will meet Thursday every week. Same time, same place.  This is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and “education” levels. See you there!

If you have any questions, please call us at 732-2382 or email us at freedomschoolmv@gmail.com.

An Interview With Green Party Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins on Activism and Social Movements

Standard

howie

(This interview was originally published in 2010 on Znet and in the Industrial Worker. The full interview can be found here: http://howiehawkins.com/2010/index.php/interviews/399-interview-by-brendan-maslauskas-dunn)

Brendan Maslasuaks Dunn (BMD): I understand you spent some time in the Bay Area growing up. What were you politically involved with back then?

Howie Hawkins (HH): Well, Willie Mays was a San Francisco Giant and he was my hero and this was in the Bay Area and this was in the 60s so… I cut school one day when they were doing the ban the draft week and went over there and was on the periphery of one of those demos that week. The next year the big thing was the San Francisco State strike so I went to some of those activities that was basically trying to get autonomy for the black studies program so they could serve the community so I learned a lot from that and got familiar with a lot of the different tendencies in what was called the New Left back then. One of the things that influenced me was there was something called Ecology Action West which I later learned was all written by Murray Bookchin. So that Post Scarcity Anarchism with an ecological orientation and libertarian socialism – that was probably one big influence on me back then. [I] also ran into Hal Draper’s Socialism From Below pamphlets that the independent socialists were circulating and understood the distinctions between statist socialism that was authoritarian and socialism from below which was democratic. I’m in high school and new to all this and they’re sure not teaching us much about this in high school.

I remember on Earth Day, 1970 I organized the Earth Day at my school and wrote up a sort of handbook on the issues and called for corporations basically to be run as public utilities without the profit motive but to serve production for use and not try to grow endlessly like capitalism makes companies do endlessly in order to survive and I sort of got to the conclusion without understanding the whole analysis of how to get to it. There were demonstrations over at Berkeley and I went over to one I remember when Peoples Park was breaking up and I was there the day before the kid was shot to death. I cut school and went there so I was absorbent of a lot of this stuff as sort of a truant who was really going to political protests which was sometimes just a library across the railroad tracks from the high school because high school was kind of slow and there was a lot of antiwar demos in the Bay area that I went to so I absorbed a lot from the movements there.

BMD: I also understand you’re a socialist. Given the dark history of what was done in the name of socialism, why do you call yourself one?

HH: Well, any word is contested. I mean you have democratic republics that are dictatorships so democracy – do you want to abandon that word? Do you want to abandon the idea of a republic? I think we need an alternative to capitalism which most people understand to be profit oriented enterprise and appropriation of surplus by the owners. So what is socialism? It’s democratic appropriation and allocation of economic surplus by the people. I would say a little different from some socialists who say the producers because in any economy in any one time it’s something like, at most, you have about 40% of the people actually working. You have young people, children, you have old people, you have injured people so everyone should have some say in how the surplus is distributed and the forms that those socialist economic institutions could take can be public in the sense of like a municipal power utility, they can be cooperatives where the users (the people that contribute to the enterprise) dispose of the net income and you have consumer you have producer or worker you have marketing coops you can have hybrids of producers and consumers… but the point is that what is produced is how you dispose of it, is the democratic decision – it’s not just to those who happen to own the property and I think that that’s an important idea that America, out of all the countries of the world, has just sort of erased form discussion. So I think it’s important to keep that on the table. Now when I campaign I don’t campaign for an ideology – socialism or even ecologism or green – green’s a label we use but, I campaign for concrete reforms that more people can understand on their own terms. Now a lot of those reforms; for example, a right to a job and a living wage which requires direct public employment to ensure everyone there has full employment, is not compatible with a capitalist economy, not because you couldn’t with government help have a market to get everyone employed between public and private employment because the vested interests who own the capital in the capitalist sector, they want unemployment to discipline the workforce and keep wages down. So, for me socialism for me is an extension of democracy into the economic realm.

BMD: I was wondering if you could speak a little bit about, maybe one or two movements you’ve been involved with in your life that have really had an impact on you.

HH: Well, I think the anti-Vietnam War movement, in particular the GI movement… and when I got drafted I did enlist in the Marine Corps before the draft letter got me. My number came up – it was the last call for Vietnam – July ’72 and the Defense Secretary Laird(sp???) called up numbers 35 through 70 and I was number 65, so… you know I had looked at my options and decided rather than going into exile or underground I would go into the service and first thing I did was join the American Serviceman’s Union which was actually the front for Workers World Party, you know they really ran it, but it was an effort to unionize and resist imperialist war. And by the time I did it, I wasn’t sticking my neck out so much, I mean I can remember one of the things that I saw, this is when I think I was a freshman in high school was the Presidio 27 refusing to go to Vietnam out of San Francisco and they really paid a price for that. And there was the GI Coffee House movement… Anyway, by the time I was in the resistance, particularly in the Army, I mean Nixon had to Vietnamese the war as they called it – bring the troops home and let the Vietnamese fight with our funding because our soldiers, in the Army in particular, they weren’t fighting, they were refusing, they thought… they didn’t like the war. And it even affected the Marine Corps. I went in – this was officer training – I was in college and it was an off-campus program. And actually the veterans who had been there as grunts and then come back to college on the GI Bill and were now coming back into the Marines to be officers, they were pretty anti-Vietnam War. It was amazing. The “gung ho” Marines were the kids that were just coming straight out of college and wanted to be Marines; you know the whole image around that. So I just think that’s an underestimated but powerful movement that’s a more working class movement than a lot of the movements of the 60s because it was working class people that tended to get drafted and go fight and resist.

So that was something that really stuck with me and made me understand also the importance, when you’re getting back to domestic affairs, the importance of building a strong labor movement. So what I ended up doing after college was construction up in northern New England where none of the jobs were union except really big projects and those guys came in from out of state. You know, nuclear power plant, sort of big college dorm construction, although I did some of that but it was a non-union shop. So I joined the Wobblies just so I had an affiliation. There were no other Wobblies anywhere around, except we had a couple of guys, we had a worker co-op for a while – we were all Wobblies but I wanted some affiliation, at least in spirit. I’ve kept that affiliation since then. And I’ve been involved in a lot of labor support struggles – the JP Stevens textile struggle in the South, I was really involved with the Phelps Dodge struggle, the miners in Arizona. The same thing happened today as what happened to miners in Namibia, owned by the same company – Phelps Dodge, they struck when it was in Namibia, they were sent… this actually happened a long time ago in Arizona. In both cases they just put the workers on a train and sent them out to the middle of the desert and just dropped them off in the desert. And I got involved with that because the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Dartmouth was the President and CEO and Chairman of the Board of Phelps Dodge. So we did a lot of work around that and even the AFL-CIO national office came in and we did a whole corporate campaign around that. There were UFW grape and lettuce boycotts. And then since I’ve been in Syracuse, there’s labor actions, there was one [recently] at Coyne Textile Services a couple blocks from here, and I’ve been out at the Motts strike in Williamson and out at the Momenta Processed Materials rally back in June. And it’s a big part of my campaign for governor. So I think I’ve been inspired by the labor movement – not so much the official labor movement but the real labor struggles that people have when they get attacked by employers. And we haven’t won a lot, I mean one thing, before I came to UPS and became a Teamster I was really supportive and glad to see they’d won that UPS strike in 1997. It was one of the few big strikes that the labor movement won in a generation, going back to the 60s.

BMD: What exactly attracted you to the Wobblies and how has an IWW analysis of the labor movement and the economic system we live under had an effect on your outlook?

HH: The Wobblies are an inspiration given their history. I mean, they organized people that the AFL wouldn’t organize – the migrant workers, the minority worker, the workers in dirty, dangerous jobs like mining. They were relatively antiracist in a time racism was really strong in this country, in the nineteen-teens – this is when they were strong and they’ve kept that spirit alive. They also are very big on democracy at a time when the mainstream labor movement is bureaucratized. And the Preamble, the Wobblies’ classic document that’s inspirational to this day. So, all those things attracted me to it and it has informed me, you know, I have not really been engaged in any Wobbly activities because they haven’t been where I live at. And I think that [construction] is an industry where Wobblies can make really big inroads because there’s a lot of small construction, home construction that’s being done. Even in New York City which is a union town a lot of the rehab work is being done by immigrants who are being paid less than a minimum wage and that’s been going on for decades. I did some construction work down there in the 70s and 80s and most of it on rehab stuff. And I saw that it was disheartening. But in the organized building trades, they have a tradition in this country of sort of being exclusive and trying to keep their numbers small so they can keep their wages up. It’s not a class movement – it’s a movement for their members. So I think there’s a lot of room there for the Wobblies to organize and I wish them all the best luck. And there are other sectors like that where the IWW is organizing right now like Starbucks. Even the nonprofits they were trying to organize. Some people criticize that and there may be some merit in some of the criticism from some of the real small groups but on the other hand, I know, for example, SEIU organizers up here in Upstate New York were really overworked and underpaid by 1199. They tried organizing a union, they got fired right away. So I think there’s definitely a role for the IWW. And for me it’s more of inspiration and, you know, I pay my dues out of solidarity.

BMD: Do you think there’s an upsurge in the labor movement with undocumented workers in particular but with workers in this country in general?

HH: Well certainly undocumented workers and even the documented immigrants – they were in solidarity with each other. They’re coming from countries where there’s real changes going on  -Venezuela, Bolivia, at least, you know, the Latin American Spanish speaking countries I think inform a lot of those peoples’ activities and understanding of what’s going on. So I think that could have a much broader influence and I think the AFL is in a lot better position than it was, say, 15 – 20 years ago in its relation to those workers, at least formerly. So I think that’s going to be a source of renewal for the labor movement. The workers centers that are organizing those folks and things like Jobs with Justice, community-labor alliances, you know it varies from town to town and place to place but I think those are all areas where renewal of the labor movement will come. And the reform caucuses in different unions – I’m in TDU – Teamsters for a Democratic Union – and that’s probably the biggest and it’s had its ups and downs but those kinds of things are popping up. So I think the potential is there and the need is there and we just got to try to make it happen.

Green Party Candidate for NY Governor Howie Hawkins to Visit Utica – Oct 21

Standard

hhawkins

Come visit Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins Tuesday, October 21at 6:00pm at Mohamed’s Barbershop in Utica (1207 Park Ave – near Oneida Square). Hawkins joined Freedom School students and various local activists in Utica this past May Day at a  protest to demand a $15/hr minimum wage. This event is open to the public. You can visit Howie Hawkins’ campaign sites here:

https://www.facebook.com/HawkinsforNYGovernor

http://www.howiehawkins.org/

Heart-to-Heart Letter Writing to Prisoners – October 22

Standard

pages-from-bpp-pp-final-web

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014 at 6:00pm

CORNERSTONE COMMUNITY CHURCH

500 PLANT STREET

ONEIDA SQUARE – UTICA

This Wednesday, October 22 the local prisoner justice organization Incarcerated Flavors is having its second letter writing to prisoners event, with many more in the works. October 22 was chosen as a date for this event as this is the very same day that two young men, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, in 1966 formed the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA. Because of the Black Panthers’ political activism, their vision for a more just world, and their community survival programs such as the Free Breakfast for Children Program, Free Busing to Prisons Program, and Free Medical Clinics to name just a few, the organization was virtually destroyed by the FBI and multiple police forces in a covert program later reveled to the public as COINTELPRO. Multiple Panthers were targeted for their beliefs and sent to prison. Many still sit in prison cells today for crimes they did not commit. Although the US government consistently denies having political prisoners, these Panthers are included in a list of hundreds of political prisoners in the US.

Although the prison system affects political dissidents like the Panthers, mass incarceration affects all of us. Let us create a caring community to stand up for justice and heal. Join us as we share stories, share food and write letters to friends, family members and political prisoners.

FREE DINNER & A SOLID EDUCATION WILL BE SERVED!

I have been locked by the lawless.

Handcuffed by the haters.

Gagged by the greedy.

And, if i know anything at all,

it’s that a wall is just a wall

and nothing more at all.

It can be broken down.

-Assata Shakur

politicalprisoners

Brought to you by Incarcerated Flavors.

Contact: ifclub.utica@gmail.com, 240-1888

Running Down the Walls! – Fundraiser for Political Prisoners & Local Community Group Incarcerated Flavors – October 19

Standard

politicalprisoners

WHAT: Running Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike/Skate
WHEN: 1:00pm, Sunday, October 19th
WHERE: Proctor Park– Culver Ave/Rutger St. in Utica, NY.
COST: $10 donation (people will not be turned away for lack of funds)

Countless political prisoners languish in prison cells around the world. The US is no exception – 100s of political prisoners, many of them who were targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program during the Civil Rights and New Left movements of the 1960s-70s, are locked up in prisons across the US. Thankfully, organizations exist to raise awareness of these political prisoners and support them. One such group is the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC).

Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity events with a 5km road race called Running Down the Walls. Last year, runs were held in in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Denver (CO), Elmore (AL), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), New York (NY), USP Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto, Ontario. This year we hope to expand the amount of runs in prisons and other cities, as well as increase the amount of funds raised for community projects. This is the very first time that Utica will have this event.

This year’s run in Utica is taking place later than other runs but it is still in the spirit of solidarity and conjunction with runs that took place in cities and prison yards across the country.

Over $70,000 has been raised over the years by ABC, both through Running Down the Walls and other events. Local activists will split the raised funds from this event with the local prisoner justice organization Incarcerated Flavors which is organizing the event.

REGISTER AS, OR SPONSOR, A PARTICIPANT

* Run/walk/bike/roll in the 5k – We need participants who can run/walk/bike/roll the 5k and are able to collect financial pledges to offer as donations to the run.

* Volunteer for the run – We need people who are willing to staff a registration/literature table, hand out water, and help chalk the route beforehand.

* Donate to the run/sponsor a participant – If you are not able to attend, but want to support this fundraising effort, please email maslauskas84@gmail.com and someone will meet you to pick up your donation.

If you have any questions, please contact maslauskas84@gmail.com or 315 732 2382. See you at the race!

For more information on ABC, Jericho Movement (another political prisoner support group) or Incarcerated Flavors, please check out:

http://www.abcf.net/

http://thejerichomovement.com/

https://www.facebook.com/incarcerated.flavors?fref=ts

Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements – October 3

Standard

f_untilrulersobey9781604867947_4_small_crop

Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements

A book talk by editors Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein of the new book Until the Rulers Obey.

Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School (500 Plant Street in Utica at Cornerstone Community Church)
When: Friday. October 3 at 7:00pm

Sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Freedom School, CNY Citizen Action, and others.

Ross and Rein will give an overview of social movements in Latin America – what they are, their history and current struggles – and dialogue with the audience on the lessons these movements have to offer to people here in the U.S. engaged in working for a better world.

Here is a bit of information about the book itself:

Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements includes interviews with more than 70 organizers, activists and scholars from 15 countries, Mexico to Argentina. The movements they’re part of helped bring new governments to power after decades of austerity and dictatorship. They’ve mobilized on a broad range of issues, fighting against mines and agribusiness and for housing and land; for rights as women, workers, LGBT and indigenous people; for the survival of their communities and our planet. Their organizing runs the gamut of nonviolent social change strategies, from land occupation to electoral participation to creating alternative communities.

Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein say, “This is the book we’ve been waiting for. Anyone interested in the explosion of social movements in Latin America—and the complex interplay between those forces and the ‘Pink Tide’ governments—should inhale this book immediately.”

Until the Rulers Obey is a profoundly necessary book. Little has been published about Latin America in the way of an overview from 1989 to the present, even less in the voices of the protagonists themselves. The great experiments of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s failed, but new and in many cases less dogmatic approaches to social justice have taken root in a number of countries south of the border. This book explores those efforts, often in the words of the change-makers themselves. Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein have done us a great service. Read this book for access to what the U.S. corporate media still doesn’t want us to know.”
—Margaret Randall, author of Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, When I Look Into the Mirror and See You, and Che on My Mind
For more information, please call 732-2382 or email maslauskas84@gmail.com

“I am not Target Practice.” – Rally for Michael Brown – Thursday, August 21, 6:00pm

Standard

ferguson

Protest Police Violence and the Killing of Michael Brown

When? Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 6:00pm

Where? Watson-Williams Park on James Street near Steuben in Utica

On February 24th, 2012, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman for “looking suspicious.” Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges. On November 23rd, 2012, 17 year old Jordan Davis was gunned down by Michael Dunn for being a passenger in a car that played “loud music.” Though Davis was unarmed and not even focused on Dunn, Dunn’s trial for first-degree murder was declared a mistrial. On August 9th, 2014, 18 year old Michael Brown was slaughtered while his hands were up–a universal sign for surrender!–by police officer Darren Wilson. Though he surrendered and was unarmed, Wilson chose to end Brown’s precious life.

We saw something similar here in Utica on July 5th, 2002 when Utica police officer Samuel Geddes killed resident Walter Washington. Geddes’s actions were said to be “a reasonable and justifiable use of deadly physical force.” He was later promoted to a sergeant.

All victims had one thing in common: they were black.

The killing of innocent young black men is an unjust, immoral, and racist action that has become commonplace in America. We must fight collectively, diligently, and strategically to battle police brutality, racial profiling, and any other method that allows these murders to happen.

Please join us on August 21st, 2014 to gather in protest against police brutality, racial profiling, and to fight for Justice for Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown, Walter Washington, and the millions of other precious black lives that have been unjustly taken throughout the history of America. We will meet at 6 o’clock pm at Watson Williams Elementary School Park on the corner of Steuben and James.

– written by Freedom School student and organizer Marquis Palmer

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line…”
W.E.B. Dubious
The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

“…the problem of the twenty first century remains the problem of the color line.”
Cornel West
Preface: Race Matters (2001)

Free Palestine! – A Speech Delivered by Palestinian Refugee Haneen Alsaad

Standard

haneen

(This speech was delivered by Haneen Alsaad at the Free Gaza rally recently held in Utica.)

In the past few weeks we have been seeing and hearing many stories about the crisis in Palestine. But this violence, oppression, and bombings have been going on for decades. This didn’t just begin in the past few days. Palestinians have faced a long history of oppression and occupation. Our people were forced to leave our own land, and now we are facing bombing plus the severe destruction. It is time for the world to hear our voice. It is time to put a stop to the injustice.

The Israelis are killing the Palestinians without any mercy. They persecuted them and they are forcing them to leave their land. They have committed the absolute worst crimes against the Palestinians. Now the circumstances in Gaza are unimaginable. Israel has prevented aid from reaching Gaza. The city is almost completely destroyed. What makes the Israelis kill babies, three months old or even younger? What makes them kill women and the elderly? How can they kill innocent children, who are playing and not hurting anyone, and then claim they did it in self-defense?

The horrible and unacceptable crimes that Hitler did to the Jews in the past are exactly what Israelis are now doing to the Palestinians. When will the killing end? We need to end this cycle of hate. The Israelis keep killing our Palestinian children because they don’t want them to grow up and they don’t want them to fight for their land & rights. They want to destroy all the Palestinians. But we want to let them know that even though they have killed, and are still killing our children, other children will be born. We will never give up on our country. We will fight back until the last day of our lives even if we don’t have guns, or rockets or tanks.

The whole world cares about human rights and especially children’s and women’s rights, but what about Palestinian rights? Aren’t we human also? Palestinian children have a dream of living in their own house, living in safety and peace. These children who dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, or artists, are being destroyed. The Palestinian children have the right to play and to be happy in their country. They have the right to go to school and learn as any normal child does, to make their dreams become truths in their own country.

I was one of these kids. I dreamt of living peacefully in my country, Palestine. But now, there are so many Palestinian children suffering. I suffered too. For many years, I lived in a refugee camp with horrible conditions that no one could stand. Now imagine if Israel hadn’t taken our country. I, and all the Palestinian refugees, would be living together within our country in peace.

The whole world needs to wake up and stand up for what is right. We all must stand against the crimes that Israel commits against the Palestinian people. Together, we must stop the massacre in Gaza and free Palestine!

by Haneen Alsaad (Haneen is a Palestinian refugee and a recent graduate from Proctor High School)

One Hundred Protest the Israeli Siege of Gaza, Vow Future Activism to Support Justice in Palestine

Standard

palestineutica

On Friday, July 25 nearly 100 people gathered in Utica at the foot of the Baron von Steuben monument where Genesee Street and the Parkway meet to protest the continued bloodshed and war unleashed on the people of Gaza, Palestine. Although the large demonstration had only a fleeting reference in local media, the issues discussed at the protest will no doubt be revisited in the future.

Occupy Utica, the Green Party of Herkimer-Oneida Counties, the Mohawk Valley Freedom School, the union Industrial Workers of the World, local Palestinian refugees and others put a call out for the rally just a few days prior. Much outreach was done at the mosque on Kemble Street where many of the demonstrators, young and old, heard of the rally.

Although the mainstream media in the US has a strong bias favoring Israel and its policies, the experiences of the Palestinian refugees at the protest, such as recent Proctor High School graduate Haneen Alsaad paint a very different picture. Many of the protesters held signs, waved Palestinian flags, and listened to speeches before they marched down Genesee Street to Congressman Hanna’s office to continue the rally. Hanna, like most of his colleagues, provides uncritical support to Israel.

There were a number of comparisons made between apartheid South Africa and the state of Israel at the rally. During one speech, reference was made to South African freedom fighters and strong supporters of Palestinian liberation Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. The racial segregation and brutality forced on the Palestinian people by Israel was not lost on Tutu when he visited Palestine and Israel.

There was also discussion of launching a local Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target local politicians, businesses, and even colleges that have financial or political connections with the state of Israel. The BDS campaign, endorsed by Tutu among countless other activists, politicians, musicians, and celebrities around the world, is an international struggle, one modeled in many ways after boycott campaigns that were launched against South Africa.

Although the spirit of the demonstrators was somber over the rising death toll of Palestinian civilians (UN schools, hospitals were repeatedly bombed by Israelis, and entire families have been wiped out), there was also a glimmer of hope that change is possible. Local educational and political rallies in the near future will take shape to target modern-day apartheid in Israel and support an enduring peace in the region. This peace ultimately rests on the reality of a liberated and free Palestine.

Brendan Maslauskas Dunn

(to get involved with a local BDS campaign, please contact 240-3149 or email maslauskas84@gmail.com)

Free Palestine! – Meeting this Friday, August 8

Standard
Palestine196
FREE PALESTINE Meeting
Friday, August 8, 2014
7:00pm
at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School / Cornerstone Community Church
(500 Plant Street in Utica near State Street)
Please enter on the side entrance.

There will be a meeting this Friday to discuss how we can get involved locally to support the struggle in Palestine. Among the topics discussed will be planning future protests, educational events, and supporting the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel. If you would like anything added on the agenda, please let me know.

LANGUAGE NEEDS: This meeting will be in ENGLISH and ARABIC. If you need another language to translate the discussion to, please let me know.
Finally, there is another “Day of Rage” / Free Palestine protest in Albany this Saturday: http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/events/a-day-of-rage-rally-for-Palestine.html
Please email or call me if you have any questions. Let’s build a local movement to help free Palestine and end the occupation!
in solidarity,
Brendan Maslauskas Dunn
315 240 3149 (cell)

Free Gaza Rally – Friday, July 25

Standard

Palestine196

Free Gaza! – Rally and Protest
Friday, July 25, 2014
5:00pm
Utica, NY
(At the intersection of Genesee Street and the Baron von Steuben monument)!

End the siege in Gaza!
End the bloodshed!
End the occupation!
End Israeli apartheid!
End US complicity!

In light of ongoing events in the Gaza Strip, a coalition of Utica activists will descend upon the Memorial Parkway in front of the Baron von Steuben statue at the intersection with Genesee Street in South Utica.

About the Rally

The rally, in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, resulting from the current Israeli military incursion, Operation Protective Edge, will commence at 5 PM on Friday July, 25th. Among those involved are Occupy Utica, The Mohawk Valley Freedom School, The Green Party of Oneida and Herkimer Counties, local Palestinian refugees and other community action groups. This protest will also be carried out in conjunction with others like it in cities around the world.

About the Cause

While recognizing the State of Israel’s right to defend itself, international opposition to their policies toward Palestine has grown for decades. Among those policies most contested are the overwhelming military responses to alleged Palestinian provocations; Israel’s “collective punishment” philosophy, which involves a deliberate policy designed to punish the entire population of Gaza; the disparity in Israeli versus Palestinian firepower (Israel’s is the 11th largest military in the world, Palestinians have no military); Israel’s controversial apartheid policies against Palestinians; the death toll from Operation Protective Edge, which stands at over 400 as of the writing of this press release (with up to 80 percent of those deaths being civilian according to The Guardian); the use of banned/illegal/controversial weapons (white phosphorous, DIME munitions); the continued and illegal seizure of Palestinian land, property and assets; the continued denial of a viable economy from being formed in Palestine; Israel’s embargo against goods reaching Palestine; the diversion of 80 percent of Palestine’s fresh water resources into Israel.

The rally will be held as part of a growing international call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as the recognition of Palestine’s borders which make Israeli settlements illegal, the repeal of apartheid policies in Israel and recognition of Palestinian right to self-determination and human rights.

There is no position being taken on justifying either side’s violence, however with Israel’s enormous historic disparity in the ability to carry out destruction, as well as casualties inflicted, with significant US military aid, the State of Israel must be held accountable for the violation of dozens of internationally recognized treaties and laws.

Since 2000, over 6,000 Palestinians have been victims of the Israeli military – most of them, civilians. With the 600+ deaths in the last few weeks, and over 90 in the city of Shujaiya alone, this most recent Israeli offensive has been one of the most destructive yet.

– written by Derek Scarlino (with additions from Brendan Dunn)

Contact For more information and if you are interested in getting involved with a local Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, please contact, Brendan Maslauskas Dunn – maslauskas84@gmail.com, 315 240-3149

Memorial Service today for activist Sunithi Bajekal!

Standard

Image

Utica lost a committed activist last week. Sunithi Bajekal was a dear friend of many and was active with Occupy Utica, the Mohawk Valley Peace Coalition, and the Mohawk valley Freedom School, among many other organizations. She will be greatly missed.
Please come to Sunithi’s memorial service today. Here are the details:

Sunithi Bajekal – Memorial Service
Saturday, June 21st 5pm
1607 Genesee St, Utica

The Memorial Service will be on June 21 at 5 PM, at the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL), 1607 Genesee Street, Utica. RCIL occupies the former Temple Beth El.

There will also be a vigil on Hart Street at 3 PM, and then a walking procession to the service at 5 at RCIL.

People are encouraged to bring food for after the service, but kitchen facilities are not available at RCIL, so it should be something that doesn’t have to be warmed.

Rest in Power, Sunithi! As martyred IWW member and labor activist Joe Hill said years ago, “Don’t mourn, organize!” Let us march forward and carry on all the struggles that Sunithi committed her life to.

Mohawk Valley Freedom School Ceremony and Celebration – Juneteenth – Thursday, June 19

Standard

Image

There will be a ceremony and celebration to mark the end of the class Social Movements, Social Change this Thursday, June 19 at the Freedom School. The ceremony will be held at 6:00pm followed by dinner. Certificates will be given out to students of the Freedom School. As always, there will be an opportunity for students to share poetry, spoken word, or any thoughts. The event is open to the public and family and friends are encouraged to come. This event also happens to be on Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day and Freedom Day, a holiday that marks the abolition of slavery in Texas and is celebrated nationally by those continuing the in the struggle and fight for freedom.

Please, come and celebrate this Juneteenth with us at the Freedom School

JOIN THE FIGHT FOR INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE ON TUESDAY, JUNE 17 BUS LEAVING UTICA AT 10 A.M.

Standard

Image

Our fight for higher wages is heating up!

A bus will be picking up local residents on Tuesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. to attend the Albany Rally to raise the minimum wage.  The bus will be stopping at the parking lot at the North Utica Shopping Center (50 Auert Ave, Utica, NY 13502, off Herkimer Road near Berkshire Bank).     There is no charge for the bus.  Lunch will be provided.  Please arrive 15 minutes earlier.

Cities across the country are taking action to raise wages for low-wage workers — with Seattle recently passing a $15/hour minimum wage. And now, thanks to the work of unions, community groups, faith leaders and the Working Families Party, the governor is standing with workers in support of a $10.10/hour statewide minimum wage in NY and the right for localities to raise the wage even higher.

Now is the time to RaiseUpNY! This is our moment — join us at the State Capitol on Tuesday, June 17 to pressure legislators to take action now!

http://nyworkersrising.org/events/]

Rally to RaiseUpNY!

When:  June 17,  Bus Leaves Utica at 10:00 a.m. at the North Utica Shopping Center Parking Lot (50 Auert Ave, Utica, NY 13502, off Herkimer Road, near Berkshire Bank.)  Please arrive 15 minutes earlier.    Bus will be coming back to Utica at about 6 p.m.  Transpiration is available to the North Utica Shopping Center.

Where: Capitol steps in Albany, NY.

What: Rally in  Albany in support of $10.10 minimum wage and the right for cities and counties to raise the wage even higher.

Call John Furman at 725-0974 or send an email to cnycitizenaction@gmail.com to make a reservation

Who:   Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc, Working Families Party

Click here to RSVP and we’ll send you more details. [insert link: http://nyworkersrising.org/events/]

The media will be covering the event, and a big crowd will help make sure we get the attention of the state senate to RaiseUpNY now.

Freedom School Class – Thursday, May 29 – The Zapatistas: Rebellion and Indigenous Resistance in Mexico

Standard

Image

Join us for class this week as we discuss the Zapatista uprising in Mexico. A Filipino dinner will be served at 6:00pm and class will run from 6:30-8:00pm.

On January 1, 1994 an indigenous rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico took the world by storm. Indigenous Mayans chose the date as the rebellion because it coincided with the day that the trade agreement known as NAFTA was enacted into law in Mexico, the US, and Canada. NAFTA had a disastrous impact on indigenous people, the poor, and the working class in North America. The rebels called themselves Zapatistas after the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The Zapatistas created a new political system that built grassroots power of indigenous people, peasants, women, and other oppressed people. Their influence on social movements and politics forever changed Chiapas and Mexico and also shaped the alter-globalization and global justice movements. Zapatismo is the set of politics and practice advocated by the Zapatistas which is a combination of Mayan indigenous beliefs, anarchism, and Marxism. It advocates decentralized politics, building grassroots power without seizing state power, participatory democracy, autonomy, liberty, mutual aid, cooperation and dignity. A common saying of the Zapatistas is, “Para todos todo, para nosotros nada” (everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves), which is reflective of their selflessness and vision for a very different world. We will discuss the history of the Zapatistas, social movements in Mexico, and how the Zapatistas have influenced alternative politics around the world. We will also look at the Zapatistas’ ideology, political structures, alternatives, and views on leadership.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TffwElt_UU

Freedom School Class – Thursday, May 22 – Environmental Science, Climate Change, Environmental Justice

Standard

Image

A visiting scientist from Chicago will be leading discussion during class this week on climate change, environmental science, and environmental justice. While there is still “debate” over climate change and whether or not it exists amongst US politicians and in the mainstream media, there is virtual unanimous agreement within the scientific community that it exists, has been caused by human activity, and is accelerating rapidly. Meghan Dunn is an atmospheric chemist and environmental scientist who works to help solve this growing environmental catastrophe. We will have a discussion on the background of climate change and the science surrounding it. We will also discuss a more relevant debate – whether or not it is too late for humans to turn the tide of climate change. We will look into some environmental issues that impact Utica and the Mohawk Valley such as lead exposure, hyrdrofracking, and Canadian Tar Sands and the oil industry. As always, we will look to find solutions to these problem and see what organizations and social movements are doing about it.

As always, dinner will be served at 6:00pm and class will be from 6:30 – 8:00pm.

No Class Today at the Freedom School – May 15

Standard

Image

There will be no class today, but have no fear – Freedom School classes will resume next week with a discussion on environmental science, climate change, and environmental justice. A scientist will be visiting from Chicago and will be teaching the class. We also have some other exciting events coming up, including more classes in May and June, a public debate on poverty and social mobility, summer classes, the summer Freedom School, field trips, and much more!

See you next week and keep on standing up for justice!

Justice for Dairy Farmworkers Event: Today, May 4

Standard

Image

Kickoff of State-Wide Justice for Dairy Farmworkers Speakers Tour    

When:  Sunday, May 7-9 p.m.

Where:  At the Freedom School – Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street, Utica (Oneida Square)

Event description:
An immigrant farmworker who has worked on Upstate dairy farms and an organizer for a local workers’ center will speak at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4 as part of a statewide speaking tour aimed at improving the lives of immigrant farmworkers. The talk and a brief slideshow will be given by Jose Canas, who is originally from El Salvador, and Rebecca Fuentes, of West Monroe, who is lead organizer for the Syracuse-based Workers’ Center of Central New York.The local talk is free, but donations will be accepted to support the workers’ center. Light refreshments will be served.
Jose Cañas has a dream: empowerment and social justice for New York’s immigrant dairy farm workforce. His vision stems from three years of exposure to physical and emotional abuses as a New York dairy farmworker. He has experienced or witnessed wage theft, accidents and injuries due to employer negligence, nightly fevers due to indecent housing, and depression from social isolation. In solidarity with Jose, and the thousands of immigrant workers in the New York dairy industry, we have organized the NYS Justice for Dairy Farmworkers campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to advocate for and support dairy farmworkers in their struggle for basic labor and human rights.

What:  On Sunday, May 4, an 11-day-long statewide peaking tour will stop in Utica to draw attention to the plight of immigrant dairy farmworkers and to build support for the Justice for Dairy Farmworkers campaign. A presentation entitled “Dairy Farm Workers Organizing for Justice” will be given.

Who:  Workers Center of Central New York, Worker Justice Center of New York, Local co-sponsors include Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., IWW, Mohawk Valley Freedom School, Occupy Utica, Workers Center of Central NY, Working Families Party, and MoveOn.   

Why:  The dairy industry is New Yorks leading agricultural sector and New York is a leading dairy producer in the nation. In fact, in 2012, New York became the countrys number one producer of yogurt. This boom in dairy production, however, has come at a significant cost to the workers whose labor has made it all possible. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been 55 fatalities on dairy farms in New York State since 2006.  Interviews will be available with the speakers.

“Fight for Fifteen” May Day Vigil for Fair and Living Wages Slated for May 1

Standard

Image

In honor of May Day (international labor day), class will move from the classroom into the streets for a protest!A coalition of local groups will be sponsoring the “Fight for Fifteen” May Day Vigil for Fair and Living Wages on Thursday, May 1 between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the public sidewalk on 100 block North Genesee Street (across the street from the Hess Gas Station), Utica.

“We are holding this event to press for a higher minimum wage, improved wages for food service, child care, and hospitality workers, and living wages for all workers,” said Brendan Dunn, one of the organizers for the event.  “We are joining with countless people across the country to demand a $15/hour minimum wage. This is a new movement that has gained considerable momentum in Seattle and has its roots in the recent upsurge of fast food worker organizing. May Day is internationally recognized as Labor Day and has its roots in the US. In recent years it has been revived by the immigrant rights and labor movements.”

Over three million workers in New York–37 percent of the state’s labor force–work in low-wage jobs that pay less than $15 per hour, according to a 2014 report by the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute. Census data show that workers of color in New York are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage jobs, with 49 percent of Hispanic workers and 48 percent of black workers throughout the state holding jobs that pay less than $15 per hour.

Two out of three (66 percent) small business owners in New York think cities and counties should have the authority to set their own minimum wage rates above the state level, according to a new poll released by Small Business Majority. The poll signals broad levels of support among small businesses for legislation introduced this year (S. 6516/A. 9036) by State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Karim Camara that would grant localities in New York the authority to set their own minimum wage rates.

The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found that 77 percent of small business owners in New York support setting the minimum wage above the state’s current rate of $8 per hour, as well as indexing the minimum wage to rise each year with the cost of living. The respondents were predominately Republican–with 45 percent of small business owners identifying as Republican, 40 percent as Democrat and 15 percent as independent or other.

The event is free and open to the public.  Local co-sponsors include Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., IWW, Mohawk Valley Freedom School, Occupy Utica, and MoveOn.   For more information or transportation, please contact John Furman 315-725-0974, cnycitizenaction@gmail.com/Brendan Dunn 315-240-3149,maslauskas84@gmail.com.

For event details, please refer to http://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/598887090224476/ .  Follow events on  ‪#FightFor15 ‪#15Now  #FightFor15CNY.

Trip to Syracuse for Cornel West Lecture and Drone Protest Sunday, April 27

Standard

Cornel West Talk:
“Connecting the Dots: Poverty, Racism and Drones”

Sunday, April 27 at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30)
Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Ave

MEET AT CORNERSTONE COMMUNITY CHURCH ON SUNDAY AT 12:00PM FOR A CARPOOL TO SYRACUSE! CALL 315 240 3149 IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GOING OR HAVE QUESTIONS.

Rally and March at Hancock Air Base Follow

On Sunday, April 27 at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30), renowned activist and scholar Cornel West will speak as part of the National Spring Days of Actions Against Drones. Admission is free. He will speak on “Connecting the Dots: Racism, Poverty and Drones.”

Immediately following his talk at 4:30, there will be a rally and permitted march to Hancock Air Base (where drones are piloted over Afghanistan and drone pilots and sensor operators are trained). Gather at the OCM BOCES parking lot (6820 Thompson Rd. – near the intersection with E. Molloy Rd. See map). The theme “People’s Orders of Protection Against Drone Terror” alludes to the needs of people around the world to be protected from drone attacks, as well as to the Orders of Protection severed to many activists who have participated in nonviolent civil resistance at the Base. Those activists have been threatened with arrest if they participate on the legal march, an affront to their First Amendment rights of free speech.

Both events are organized by the Syracuse Peace Council and the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, and co-sponsored by many groups throughout New York. For more details see www.upstatedroneaction.org.

See www.knowdrones.org for a listing of events throughout the country.

For more details on either event, contact Carol – carol@peacecouncil.net or 315.472.5478

From Dr. West’s keynote speech at CodePink’s anti-drones summit last November:

“There is a cloud of witnesses that say that those innocent persons, especially the precious babies, who are killed by US drones in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen have exactly the same value as those priceless white children who were killed in Newtown, CT; as those black brothers and sisters in the south side of Chicago; brown brothers and sisters in barracks; red brothers and sisters on reservations; yellow brothers and sisters. We are here to bear witness and to say we will not allow the kind of callousness toward catastrophe and indifference to criminality to become the norm and routine in America…

We remember the legacy of Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Philip Berrigan, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Grace Boggs these are names that constitute figures in movements that say, it’s time to straighten our back up, it’s time for us to try to awake our fellow citizens; No More Sleep Walking in America when it comes to militarism, when it to comes to consumer market materialism, when it comes to racism, anti-semitism, anti Arab, anti Muslim, homophobia any form of xenophobia, and most importantly when it comes to imperial crimes that emanate from Washington, DC around the world.”

Black History, Black Freedom, Black Liberation – Mohawk Valley Freedom School Classes Announced for February 2016

Standard
Black History, Black Freedom, Black Liberation – Mohawk Valley Freedom School Classes Announced for February 2016

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

Utica Social Forum, World Social Forum and May Day Organizational Meeting
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Graffiti-Art-by-Faith47-You-Strike-a-Woman-You-Strike-a-Rock

Interested in organizing the Utica Social Forum, a conference for networking, education, organization and action that will be held this April? Interested in going to Montreal this August for the World Social Forum? Interested in helping organize for May Day, otherwise known as International Workers’ Day on the first of May? Then this is the meeting for you! Come get involved with a movement to for justice locally. This meeting is open to the public.

Film Screening: “Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes From the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense” Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

concerningviolence

Come join us as we watch a gripping 2014 documentary to launch our Black History Month series of classes and events at the Freedom School. Variety’s Peter Debruge reviewed…

View original post 1,217 more words

MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: The Roots of Terrorism – 11/19

Standard
MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: The Roots of Terrorism – 11/19

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School/Press Release

Many people are understandably confused and angered by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut and trying to figure out why groups like ISIS even exist. Come to an exciting Freedom School class tonight to discuss the roots of groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. We will look at how and why these groups form and put it into context in a longer history of colonialism, Western economic dominance and countless wars launched by nations such as the United States. In particular, we will make the connections between the governments of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel and helping the rise of extremist Islamic groups. We will also look at stateless terrorism and state terrorism as well as look at examples of terrorism in Latin America. Hope to see you at the Freedom School tonight, November 19 at 7:00pm!


The Mohawk…

View original post 72 more words

MV Freedom School: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners Film Screening – 11/5

Standard
MV Freedom School: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners Film Screening – 11/5

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School/Press Releases

The acclaimed 2012 documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” will be screened at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School on Thursday, November 5 at 7:00pm. The film chronicles young Black revolutionary Angela Davis’s trial in connection with the Marin County attempted jailbreak of the Soledad Brothers in 1970 and the global movement to demand her freedom. Angela Davis: the Black Panther, the college professor, the political prisoner, the Communist and the woman who made it to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List represents both the voice and the spirit of a generation that rose up in rebellion. Come to the Freedom School to watch this riveting film.

Watch the trailer here.


The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education.

The Mohawk Valley…

View original post 42 more words

MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: Lessons from the Black Panther Party and the Rainbow Coalition from the 1960s-70s – 10/29

Standard
MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: Lessons from the Black Panther Party and the Rainbow Coalition from the 1960s-70s – 10/29

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School/Press Releases

In remembrance of the founding of the Black Panther Party in October of 1966, the last Freedom School class of this month will look at the politics of the Black Panther Party as well as other groups of the New Left of the 1960s-70s, including the Young Lords, American Indian Movement, and the Patriot Party. A close look will be given to various coalitions that these groups formed and what this meant for the movement of the 1960s-70s. A particular focus will be given to the Rainbow Coalition organized by Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers in Chicago which united a rainbow of Black, white, Latino, Native, working class and poor people into a coalition that had a major impact in local politics. As always, we will ask ourselves what this important history means to us today, especially at a local level. With…

View original post 198 more words

MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: BE THE MEDIA! – INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM AND LOVE AND RAGE – 10/8

Standard
MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: BE THE MEDIA! – INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM AND LOVE AND RAGE – 10/8

Love and Rage Media Collective

by Love and Rage /Press Releases

Members of the Love and Rage Media Collective will give a presentation and facilitate an interactive discussion about corporate media, independent media, citizen and grassroots journalism and the Love and Rage website. A short history of Love and Rage as well as examples of grassroots and independent media will be discussed. Students will learn about the ins and outs of independent media and learn the skills they can use to start reporting, interviewing and writing as grassroots media activists. Students will also critically look at mainstream and corporate media with a specific focus on the coverage of the U.S. military bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that occurred last week. If you want to have a more critical lens to look at corporate media, or if you want to actually “be the media” through independent, alternative and grassroots journalism…

View original post 93 more words

Freedom School Film Screening – “A Place Called Chiapas” – May 6

Standard

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

A_Place_Called_Chiapas_VideoCoverThe originally scheduled lecture on drone warfare by Syracuse activist Ed Kinane for this evening’s class has been canceled. Instead, we will watch the film “A Place Called Chiapas.” The film will be screened at 7:00pm on Wednesday, May 6 at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School.

The documentary film was released in 1998. It captures the rise of what the The New York Times called “the world’s first post-modern revolution” in Chiapas. The revolution was launched the same day NAFTA was put into effect on January 1, 1994. The revolutionaries called themselves Zapatistas in honor of the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, a hero of Mexico’s 1910 revolution. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) was organized to spur the revolution forward. Since then the Zapatistas have carved out their own society autonomous from the Mexican state that is based off of principles of collectivism, mutual aid and popular power.

Come join us for a great film and an interesting discussion. As always, we will ask ourselves how this struggle is relevant to us and what we can learn from it.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is held every Wednesday at the Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm.

This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.