Tag Archives: protests

California Throws Education Under the Bus

Written by: BlueDog89

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently proposed to cut more than $1 billion from higher education. Photo courtesy Associated Press.

Student activists and teachers unions in California are organizing statewide protests in opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to cut $1.4 billion from public colleges and universities.

Protesters at a demonstration at Modesto Junior College. Photo courtesy Turlock Journal.

California’s public education system is racked by threats of spending cuts due to the state’s fiscal crises, which include a deficit that has ballooned to more than $25 billion.

The California State University System is facing possible budget cuts of $500 million. The University of California would also face a $500 million cut under Brown’s budget proposal.

Brown has proposed cutting $400 million from the state’s community colleges, and raising tuition by 38 percent.

Modesto Junior College (MJC) administrators recently informed faculty members that jobs may be cut as the college attempts to shed $8 million from its budget.

MJC President Gaither Loewenstein answered questions about the budget cuts in a Q&A forum with students last week. He confirmed that the entire communications department, including majors in journalism, television and radio, would be cut in his budget reduction proposal.

Modesto Junior College President Gaither Loewensteinaddresses concerns over $8 million budget cut proposal. Photo courtesy Turlock Journal.

Other programs to end are culinary arts, communication graphics, architecture, engineering, industrial technology, dental assisting and all foreign languages, except Spanish and sign language.

The MJC West Campus library would close and be used as a learning resource center. Coach stipends would end, but competitive sports would continue.

Additional faculty and management employees would lose their jobs under Loewenstein’s budget proposal. Those layoffs would be effective June 30.
Reductions in salary or benefits for employees are not included in the proposal, which have yet to be negotiated.

Many students fear losing their favorite instructors, like anthropology professor James Todd. According to anthropology major and campus President of the Anthropology Club Priscilla Peralta, the department will be crippled with the layoff of Professor Todd. “Anthropology is a much needed discipline and should continue to be offered to the fullest extent,” said Peralta.

Loewenstein said that the decision to target specific programs rather than split the cuts across the board was intended to leave the college with fewer strong programs instead of making the entire college mediocre.

Californians need to step up, get involved with their schools, and reach out to school administrators and congressional representatives about this issue.

Ms. Peralta urges those who support her cause to send a personal message to Modesto Junior College President Gaither Loewenstein via email at loewensteing@mjc.edu.

In addition to getting personally involved with the schools in your community, education advocates encourage citizens to express their concerns to Gov. Brown. He may be reached via phone at 916.445.2841 or log on to his website to post a comment http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php.

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Filed under Anthropology, California, Civil Protest, Economy, Education, Governors, Students, Teachers, Unions, United States

BBC Besieged by Anti-Fascist Protesters Over Whites-Only Party Guest

UK Far-Right Leader in Controversial TV Appearance

BNP party leader Nick Griffin, pelted with eggs

BNP party leader Nick Griffin, pelted with eggs

AP—The leader of Britain’s far-right party outlined his vision in a controversial television debut that critics fear could help his whites-only party ease into the political mainstream.

British National Party leader Nick Griffin feuded with fellow panelists and was excoriated by hostile audience members in a tense appearance on the BBC’s “Question Time” program Thursday night.

It was hard-going,” he told The Associated Press in telephone interview after the show, describing the program as “a bit like a boxing match. I took some punches but I was able to land some punches too.” Still, he complained that the audience had been stacked with minorities.

They put us on in London where the indigenous population is in the minority so we don’t have much sympathy or support,” he said.

'Question Time' host David Dimbleby

'Question Time' host David Dimbleby

Question Time gathers Britain’s leading politicians, journalists and other public figures in a panel to take questions from a studio audience. The three-decade-old program has become something of a national institution, and many have condemned Griffin’s invitation as awarding his far-right group an undeserved aura of political respectability.

The BBC said that, as a publicly funded broadcaster, it must cover all political parties that have a national presence. The BNP has no seats in the Britain’s Parliament, but earlier this year the party won two seats in the European legislature.

The program showed Griffin defending himself against accusations that he sympathized with the ideals of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party – but also showed him ducking the question of whether he ever denied the Holocaust.

I do not have a conviction for Holocaust denial,” he said, smiling faintly as the studio audience snickered. He later said he had changed his mind about the Holocaust, but then refused to explain exactly how.

Fellow panelist Chris Huhne, a lawmaker with Britain’s Liberal Democrats party, spoke for many of the show’s guests when he predicted that Griffin’s credibility “is going to be seriously damaged by his performance.”

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More @ Associated Press

Protesters Besiege BBC Studios Over Far-Rightist TV Appearance

APTOPIX BRITAIN FAR RIGHTReuters—Hundreds of angry demonstrators besieged the BBC’s television studios on Thursday to protest against a planned appearance by the leader of the far-right British National Party on a flagship political program.

A small number of protesters burst into the television center in West London, dodging a heavy security cordon, but were escorted out, a BBC spokeswoman said.

Some 400 demonstrators, brandishing placards reading “Stop the Fascist BNP” and shouting “Smash the BNP” protested outside.

BNP leader Nick Griffin has been invited to appear as a panelist on the BBC’s Question Time debate show due to be recorded at the center later on Thursday.

The first appearance by a far-right politician on a program regularly watched by three million people has aroused strong reactions, with anti-racism groups arguing the BNP should not be given a platform and others backing it on free speech grounds.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Mark Thompson, director-general of the publicly funded BBC, defended the decision, saying it was based purely on support for the BNP at the ballot box in recent elections and that it was up to politicians to bar parties.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the choice of panelists was a matter for the BBC but added that he thought Griffin’s appearance would backfire on the right-wing party.

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More @ reuterssmall

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Filed under British Politics, Politics, Racism, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Violence

New Chicago Law Aims To Protect Abortion Patients, Providers

Posted by Audiegrl

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Chicago Tribune/ Hal Dardick—Anti-abortion activists would have to respect the personal space of people entering medical facilities in Chicago or risk a $500 fine under an ordinance a City Council committee approved Wednesday.

The measure drew criticism from abortion opponents and praise from agencies that provide abortions.

Sponsoring Ald. Vi Daley, 43rd, said workers and patients going to Near North Health Center — a Planned Parenthood facility that provides women’s health services, including abortions — have complained of conditions outside the building.

“Women seeking any kind of medical service are routinely harassed,” Daley said. “They are photographed, and they are followed.”

The ordinance would establish a 50-foot buffer outside the entrances of all health care facilities. Within that zone, no one could come within 8 feet of another person without consent to pass out fliers, display signs, vocally protest, educate or counsel.

Many cities and states have established “bubble zones” around patients approaching clinics since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Colorado law in 2000. Chicago’s ordinance would be less restrictive than the Colorado one, where the 8-foot bubble zone encompasses 100 feet from clinic doors.

But Beth Kanter of Planned Parenthood of Illinois said her group’s clinics “have seen a significant surge in the size and viciousness of the protesters” since the May 31 fatal shooting of a doctor who provided late-term abortions in Wichita, Kansas.

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Filed under Abortion, Culture, Hate Crimes, Law, Supreme Court