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Friday, April 13, 2012

  • Months After Zuccotti Park Eviction, Occupy Wall Street Springs Up Outside New York Stock Exchange

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    Occupy Wall Street protesters are camping out again, this time across the street from the Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan. For the past four nights, dozens of activists have camped outside as they prepare for a major day of action on May Day. It’s the first time Occupy Wall Street activists have set up an encampment in the Financial District since New York police raided Zuccotti Park five months ago. "This is Wall Street. This is where—for people, where the heart of all this economic injustice in the world comes from and exists," says protester George Machado. "So we’re here standing in the face of that in blatant, explicit contest to that." [includes rush transcript]

  • SDS Founder, Veteran Activist Tom Hayden on Participatory Democracy from Port Huron to Occupy Wall Street

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    We speak with Tom Hayden, principal author of the Port Huron Statement 50 years ago, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Statement advocated for participatory democracy and helped launch the student movement of the 1960s. Tens of thousands of copies of the 25,000-word document were printed in booklet form. "It must have been something in the air, something blowing in the wind, and we wanted to write an agenda for our generation," Hayden says. The youth-led movement changed the very language of politics, and its impact is still being felt today. "The logic of an occupation, I think, is if you feel voiceless about a burning issue of great, great importance, and the institutions have failed you, the only way to get leverage for your voice is to occupy their space in order to get their attention," Hayden says. "This goes way back to occupations of factories in the ’30s. ... Occupy Wall Street is only the latest stage." [includes rush transcript]

  • Arizona Teacher Sean Arce Fired in Latest Crackdown on Acclaimed Mexican American Studies Program

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    Sean Arce, the head of the Tucson school district’s banned Mexican American Studies program, was dismissed Tuesday night amid vocal protests from dozens of supporters. Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program has been under attack following the passage of a bill which prohibits schools from offering ethnic studies courses. Arce maintains he was fired because he spoke out against what he saw as a discriminatory law targeting Mexican Americans and Latinos. "I, along with many others, stood up and [saw] this law as unconstitutional," Arce says. "And because we stood up, the district has retaliated." [includes rush transcript]

  • Despite Praise & Permission, Detroit Teacher Fired for Helping Students’ Trayvon Martin Fundraiser

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    An eighth grade charter school teacher in Michigan has been fired after helping her students organize a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin’s parents. Brooke Harris and her students at Pontiac Academy for Excellence drew up a plan to raise money by donating one dollar each to wear a hoodie to school, as Martin had worn when he was shot dead. She obtained permission for the fundraiser, but her superintendent opposed the plan. Harris was initially suspended and then later fired without explanation. "They didn’t want to walk out of class. They didn’t want to wear the hoods over their head. They just wanted to pay a dollar to wear their regular clothes instead of uniform and donate that money to someone else who they saw needed it," Harris says. "I just wanted to know what I specifically did wrong, so I could learn from my alleged mistake and be sure never to do that again." [includes rush transcript]

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