When: September 6th, 2013
Where: Cass Corridor Commons
4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201
East Michigan Environmental Action Council, 5E, Heru, and the American Indian Health and Family Services invite you to the film screening of, Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience, on September 6th, 2013. The showing will take place in the D. Blair Theater of The Cass Corridor Commons.
Focusing on the lives and experiences of the Native/Indigenous community in the Midwest, Our Fires Still Burn is a one hour documentary that works to dispel the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the United States. The narrative that Native and Indigenous peoples no longer exist in the US has been perpetrated in many forms since the beginning of colonization in the US, with perhaps the most famous example being the book (and movie), The Last of the Mohicans. The narrative usually argues something along the lines that because Native peoples are now dead (or are actively dying), we need non-Native peoples to "save and recover" (read; loot) Native artifacts (very often including actual bones of human beings). Another strand of the narrative argues that names like Washington Red Skins are actually compliments that honor long dead tribes rather than the offensive insults that Native/Indigenous peoples say they are.
Our Fires Still Burns argues that the narrative that Native/Indigenous peoples are dead is harmful in that it invisibilizes and makes unnecessary the voices of the very much alive Native/Indigenous community. But as Our Fire Still Burns shows, Native and Indigenous peoples continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.
The film viewing of Our Fires Still Burn will appeal to native and non-Native alike, and will be followed by a question and answer session featuring many of the people appearing in the film, as well as film director Audrey Geyer. Ms. Geyer is an independent video producer and director whose programs have been broadcasted locally and nationally on PBS. She is the founder and current executive director of Visions, an independent video production company local in Metro Detroit. Visions work focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.
As East Michigan Environmental Action Council co-director, Diana Copeland says, the most important thing to do right now in light of various attacks on marginalized communities in Detroit is to build community responses to those attacks, "Conversations that happen where we can begin to get to know each other are essential and will only make our communities stronger."
The New York Times editorial board recently put out a call to "End Immigration Detention." Detention "breeds cruelty and harm, and squanders taxpayer money," violates due process, "shatters families and traumatizes children" and is "immoral," the Times writes.
Since 2011 GE profits soar, while workers’ take-home pay barely tops inflation
UE members and other GE workers have made the company much richer since we bargained our last National Agreement in 2011, but unfortunately our take-home pay barely kept pace with inflation. Profits for all of GE’s industrial segments were $14 billion in 2010, and rose to almost $18 billion in 2014 – a profit increase of almost 25%. In GE Transportation, where the majority of UE members work, GE’s profit margin more than doubled during the same period, from 9.3% to 20%.
Although our labor makes GE extremely profitable, average take-home pay of UE members from 2011 to 2015 only narrowly stayed ahead of inflation and the increased healthcare costs GE has imposed on us.
After factoring in inflation and healthcare costs, our average annual real wage increase was only one-half of one-percent (0.53%).*
While our wages have barely kept up, the sky’s the limit for what GE pays CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Immelt’s total compensation in 2010 was $21.5 million. By 2014 his annual pay had skyrocketed to $37.25 million. That’s a pay increase of more than 73.8% over four years.
We’re not asking for a multi-million dollar annual income, and we’re not asking for a 73.8% raise. We’re asking for our fair share. In 2015 negotiations, UE will be demanding decent wage increases to improve our standard of living, which is justified by the profits our labor produced for GE. Improvements in cost-of-living adjustments are also needed so that we have penny-for-penny protection against inflation eroding our wage gains.
* Wage and COLA increases totaled approximately 10.2% from June 2011 to May 2015 and were eroded by inflation, which was 5.7% over those four years. The average GE hourly employee with family coverage at the $50-$75K wage band paid an additional 2.4% in new healthcare contributions, deductibles, prescription drug payments and other out-of-pocket expenses. After inflation and health costs, our average total take-home pay increased just 2.1% since 2011.
NNIRR Comment: This is an important step forward in the public scrutiny of immigration detention, from the NY Times Editorial Board.
Border Reality Checkpoints will take place at the following locations and times on Wednesday:
California: San Ysidro Port of Entry, 1:00 pm PST
On Thursday, May 14th CAAAV will stand with Akai Gurley’s family and community to demand justice for his death at the hands of Officer Peter Liang last November. At 9 a.m., CAAAV will gather with Akai Gurley’s family and community at the Brooklyn Supreme Court (320 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201) for a press conference and rally prior to packing the court at 10 a.m. We expect this initial court appearance to be brief.
To show support for Akai Gurley’s family and demonstrate our community’s commitment to black lives, join us. If you plan to attend, please contact Meejin Richart at email@example.com or (206) 455-0885.
What: Justice for Akai Gurley Family Rally
Where: Brooklyn Supreme Court, 320 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
When: 9 a.m. Thursday, May 14th
Across the country, countless workers in the nail salon industry, mainly immigrant women, toil in misery and ill health for meager pay, usually with no overtime, abused by employers who show little or no consideration for their safety and well-being.
Melvin “Ricky” Maurice Maclin, vice president of UE Local 1110, leader of the historic six-day factory occupation of Republic Windows and Doors by Local 1110 members in December 2008 and founding member of New Era Windows Cooperative, died on May 5, after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in early April. He was 61 years old, and died surrounded by family in his Chicago home. The steady stream of visitors was a testament to the impact he had on so many lives and our movement for justice.
“This is a huge loss for me and for our movement,” said his good friend, Local 1110 President Armando Robles. “He leaves a huge hole in our lives. He was a great friend and a brother in struggle.”
Maclin was born in Tennessee and spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ farm, later moving to Chicago with his parents and sister. He worked for many years in the restaurant industry before getting a job at Republic Windows and Doors in 2002. Workers at the plant organized into UE Local 1110 in 2004 and Ricky became a steward. In 2007 he was elected vice president of the local, and he helped lead the successful worker occupation of Republic in 2008. The sit-in challenged Bank of America to take responsibility after the bank received a $25 billion federal government bailout during that year’s Wall Street crisis, and then cut off credit to the window factory, wiping out jobs.
The UE members’ courageous action received massive national and international media attention, making them heroes, and the occupation ended when they won the back pay to which they were entitled. It also led to the plant reopening under a new owner, Serious Energy, and with the UE contract intact. In early 2009 Maclin participated in the Republic Workers Victory tour, speaking in several cities around the country to encourage other workers to take bold action to defend their rights. He loved to say “If you don’t fight, you’ve already lost, but if you do fight, you can win!”
In 2012 Maclin helped lead a second worker occupation of the window factory, after Serious Energy decided to close the plant with little notice. Out of that occupation came the idea of workers buying the company and starting a worker-owned cooperative, and a commitment by Serious to sell them the equipment they needed to make that happen. Maclin was one of three of the original team that began the process of founding what is now the New Era Windows Cooperative, with assistance from The Working World, a group that helps start worker co-ops.
During the first plant occupation Maclin frequently spoke to the news media on behalf of his fellow workers. Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore’s 2009 documentary about the financial crisis and the injustice of the economic system, highlighted the Republic workers’ action as one of the few stories with a happy ending, and Ricky Maclin is featured. He’s also shown and quoted extensively in Workers’ Republic, Andrew Friend’s excellent documentary film on the occupation, and in UE’s own short video about the Republic struggle produced by Andrew Dinkelaker.
On hearing of Maclin’s passing, UE General President Bruce Klipple said, “Ricky Maclin was amazing. What he and his fellow workers in Local 1110 did is unbelievable, and made a huge contribution to this union, the entire labor movement, and the working people of this country. He was a great union member who will be greatly missed.”
Western Region President Carl Rosen said, “Ricky was one of the most inspirational rank and file leaders I have ever met. He had a knack with coming up with the most perceptive comment for any situation and saying it with a very disarming smile. And he always knew which side he was on. UE and the whole labor movement have lost a great leader.”
Born March 2, 1954, Maclin spent his early years in Haywood County, Tennessee on his grandparent’s farm where they grew cotton and raised cows, chickens and pigs. He lived with his grandparents, with whom he was very close, and his mother and stepfather as well as his younger sister Brenda. His Aunt Helen, who is his mother’s sister described Ricky as “a fast learner and very smart. He caught on to anything he wanted to”. While his given name is Melvin Maurice, his mother took to calling him Ricky and the nickname stuck. His cousin May Carolyn Reed said, “Ricky was a real charmer, the family just loved him and we called him pretty Ricky.”
His parents moved to Chicago with Ricky and his sister to Chicago after he finished elementary school. He attended CVS High School in Chicago but after graduation, he became involved in street life and eventually got into trouble. He later turned his life around and became religious. His wife Cynthia Maclin recalls how an elderly woman friend set her up on a blind date with Ricky. “From the moment we met nine years ago, we were inseparable. I will always love him,” she says.
Ricky Maclin is survived by his wife, three step children, fourteen grand children and three great grand children, his sister’s two kids and 10 great nieces and nephews as well as his cousin Shannon who he considered a little sister. He will be remembered by all who love justice and struggle to build a fair and kinder world.
A wake will be held on Friday May 15 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Taylor Funeral Home, 63 E 79th Street, Chicago. The funeral service will follow, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Carter Temple CME Church, 7841 S Wabash Ave, Chicago. Viewing will take place Thursday May 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Taylor Funeral Home.
Through a decade of grassroots organizing, the parents and youth of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos (PJU) have worked towards dismantling the institutional racism and overuse of police in the school-to-jail track in Denver Public Schools (DPS). Because of PJU’s policy and campaign victories, DPS discipline policies and practices are frequently lifted up as national models regarding how to stop the school-to-prison pipeline track across the country, particularly for communities and students of color.
While passing policies is no easy task, ensuring they are faithfully implemented is an even more difficult endeavor. In our Campaign to End the School-to-Jail Track in Colorado, we are now focused on holding power accountable for fidelity and implementation of the new policies and laws. Through this work we have demonstrated the immense power that exists within communities of color, and how youth organizing in particular, can be a driving force for systemic change and reform.
In Denver, we have made significant gains that have brought us to a new reality that calls for new strategies. In 2011, we issued Books Not Bars, our first accountability report card to the district. It assessed the district’s progress and shortcomings in implementing the new discipline code (JK/JK-R, 2008). Youth-driven solutions were developed to improve areas of concern. We have repeated this accountability process annually to reach the crossroads we are now at.
Across the district’s 185 schools, there is progress but it is extremely uneven. Some schools have charged forward embracing the change. Others are resisting it, even fighting it. And many more have become open to change and are tinkering and struggling to figure out how to make it work in their schools.
This report card is a next-generation tool to evaluate how individual schools are advancing or not, and to move us forward under these new conditions. We continue to look at the district as a whole but, for the first time, we also are able to evaluate implementation on a school-by-school basis. This report card shows how each individual school is doing in ending the school-to-prison pipeline inside their walls and how they compare with their peers.
This new report card also connects discipline with other core measures of a healthy school environment: attendance, student turnover, and academic achievement. School discipline is a critical window into what makes students and families feel their school is a place they want to be, where they feel valued and respected, and where they feel truly free to learn. When students feel their school does not care about them or their education, when they feel disrespected or devalued at school, then students leave, tune out, act out, and are not free to learn.
There is no other such tool in the country and we are proud to be the first. We deeply appreciate the district’s central office for having the courage to take this step with us, especially Superintendent Boasberg and the Division of Student Services. We continue to rely on their steadfast commitment to our larger vision of ending the school-to-prison pipeline for Denver’s students and families. Their motto is “We are leaders in ending racial disparities; we foster safe and equitable schools” and that motto means more each year they sit down with us to grapple with this urgent and difficult mission.
We begin in Section One by highlighting the most significant findings of our analysis. In Section
Two we grade the district’s performance in key categories and show which schools are doing
best and faring worst in each category. In Section Three, we present solutions for action on how to best move forward from here. In Section Four, we present data for every school in DPS so that they may be compared equally with their peers. In Section Five, we present brief snapshots of what the data looks like in our charter schools, alternative schools, and different regions of DPS.
CVH Co-Sponsors Critical Forum about East Harlem Neighborhood Planning & Rezoning with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Community Board 11 and Others
DEFINING THE FUTURE OF EAST HARLEM/ EL BARRIO
COMMUNITY EDUCATIONAL FORUM WED. MAY 20TH
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Two Mother's Day commitments to #EndFamilyDetention:
International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day in some places, is a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, anarchists, socialists, and communists and occurs every year on May Day, 1 May, an ancient European spring holiday. The date was chosen for International Workers' Day by the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. This Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
This years march was well attended with over a 150 people marching. Starting at Milam Park / Plaza Del Zacate, we headed towards the SWU office stopping in three strategical spots. First stop being the Alamo, a symbol of colonialism and slavery. Next being the Torch of friendship, where we chanted towards the Mcdonalds, We don't want Burgers and fries, we want our wages super sized! In solidarity with the fight for $15 movement. Next we passed in front of the Hyatt where workers are currently in negotiations for better working conditions. When we reached our ending point, we rallied in the Roots of Change garden and read the May 1st declaration that was put together during our Workers Assembly on April 25th and previous actions from years before. The day was beautiful, the energy was wonderful and the evening brought the perfect sunset to the end of our rally.
Leading up to the march, SWU had a few events to bring attention to the relevant issues that are expirienced in San Antonio, in Texas, in the United States and World Wide. One of the first events we had was a Workers Assembly on April 25. The assembly is the space to begin alignment, movement, and understanding of our current reality. We invite workers to share thoughts and experiences to create change for living wages.We talked about the current food, economic, education and health systems that are not designed to benefit us-the poor working class. We discussed formats to govern ourselves and the systems needed for our communities to grow and prosper. The attacks on our community takes many forms. SWU and its members understand that organizing is diverse and developing these systems has many faces. formats and levels. In order to respond, resist and win, we will need more than one strategy, a public infrastructure that grows youth and builds a base of community leaders with political analysis and organizing skills. To have a living wage if you live in Travis County you would need to make $42,000 a year for a house hold of 3 and a 2 bedroom apartment.To have a living wage if you live in Bexar County you would need to make $34,880 a year for a house hold of 3 and a 2 bedroom apartment.April 26 was the Know your rights as a worker workshop. Workers discussed their rights and were consulted by attorneys concerning work related issues.April 29 SWU attended The No fast track for the Transpacific Partnership protest in front of the federal Building and then later that day we protested in Solidarity with #Baltimore in honor of Freddie Gray. We find there are many intersections in our movements wether it be workers rights, human rights enviromental rights and migrant rights. Please join us next year for the 10 year anniversary of the San Antonio MayDay march
for more info contactSouthwest Workers Union(210)413-8978www.swunion.org
President Obama has done all that he can to change immigration policy through executive action, the White House said Wednesday in response to questions about Hillary Clinton’s pledge to go even further.
On Tuesday, April 28, CAAAV joined our grassroots allies from the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) to demand New York’s Department of City Planning pass our community-led Rezoning plan to preserve and expand affordable housing. Currently, Mayor De Blasio’s neighborhood Rezoning plans for affordable housing emphasize development of affordable housing, but not preservation of it.
However, with any new development, New York City experiences secondary displacement when there lacks anti-displacement protections. The harassment and evictions Chinatown tenants face from predatory landlords are proof of this. The CWG (composed of Chinatown residents, small business owners, and other stakeholders) has met regularly for the past seven years to draft a plan with anti-displacement protections.
The City needs to listen to the people when we say: a plan for low-income tenants must be driven by low-income tenants!
Thank you to our allies from Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Chinese Staff and Workers Association, Good Old Lower East Side, and National Mobilization Against Sweatshops for leading this action with us.
The Mayor has announced that East Harlem is one of the communities that is set to be rezoned to facilitate building more affordable housing. As the City considers these zoning changes, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has formed a Neighborhood Study Steering Committee, which will ensure that a broader set of neighborhood needs is being considered and that the voice of the community informs the proposal.Feature This: No, Do not Feature