Sit-in at Michigan Governor Jenniffer Granholm’s Office on May 12th! Walk-out by Detroit high school students on May 18th
Readers of Daily Censored know that they can get the most up to date news on the fight against the privatization of education at this site. No where more than Detroit can one see the actual direct action that is being used to confront the terror of neo-liberalism and the privatization through school closure and the charerization of education.
Remember De’Von Burt? He was the Frederick Douglas High school student I wrote about who organized the fight, with ‘By Any Means Necessary’ (www.bamn.com) to ‘kick out’ Wal Mart from four high schools where they planned to offer ‘classes’. If not, go to Daily Censored and go to ‘Author’s, hit my name, Danny Weil and you will find the incredible journey this young man has taken along with others and major organizers dedicated to fighting for public education for all. It is a battle they are waging for all of us!
Robb Bobb Financial Manager of Detroit Schools wins Court Battle
In what can only be seen as a tragedy, the court battle to remove Robb Bobb, who now runs the Detroit school system, from power failed. BAMN attorneys had brought an action to the court to overturn Bobb’s ability to make academic decisions for the Detroit School System. BAMN lost in court but will now win in the battle for public opinion. They have to; and we must help them by making their struggle national news. Write Rachel Maddow, Free Speech TV, Keith Olbermann and tell them to cover the educational issues mirrored in the fight against the billionaire takeover of the city of Detroit and the massive closing of schools. Although Bobb will stay on as the ‘Don King’ of system management for the school district, the struggle is hardly over, as De’Von told me just minutes ago. We are fighting a ‘Newszak’ 24/7 cycle and we need your help!
Sit in planned tomorrow at Jennifer Granholm’s office
Governor Jennifer Granholm, who appointed the harlot, Bobb is now going to get a visit from at least 30 dedicated fighters for public education. 75% of them will be students and the moment will occur tomorrow, May 12th at 10:30 AM when students and parents plan to occupy the office of the Governor and demand a face-to-face meeting. They will bring blankets and sleeping bags, come in busses to make their voices heard and demand that the Governor of the deteriorating state meet with them. The issue: the removal of Robert Bobb from his judicial executioner’s chair.
The sit-in is organized by, yes, BAMN, most undoubtedly the leader in civil disobedience and the demand for equity, non-discrimination and for public schools. Students from Frederick Douglas High School, Cass Technical School and Northwestern High School will all be on board to force a dialogue between them and the Governor. They did it in Florida with 11 people, caravanning from afar to assure Crist never signed the horrific bill that would tie teacher performance to the numerologists test taking fraud. And they won! Crist would not sign the bill and now he is paying for his high crimes and misdemeanors from the right-wing bent on capturing all public schools and transforming them into charter ghettos.
The sit-in is also aimed at letting Granholm know that Race to the Top, the brain child of smooth talking ‘capo’ Arne Duncan is not going to be implemented and shouldn’t. Robert Bobb, who works for Eli Broad the billionaire (he pays part of his salary -see my articles) wants to close 45 public schools he says are not performing well. But the ventriloquists or the ‘wizards behind the curtain’ are really the hedge fund privatizers who, like I wrote in my article on New Jersey, see profitability and cannibalization on the horizon for the decimated city ravaged by bilking and public theft.
Noticeably the schools Bobb is aiming to close, all sit in a row, as De’Von told me, they are all close to each other, indicating to those of us who practice law the stench of gentrification. The school closures are the first step. Second step is urban removal and then of course the new charter cities that are popping up like Viagra driven henchmen (see my article on Cory Booker from New Jersey). These muscled up money men have big plans for the public real estate; the first being seize it, the second being finance and profit off of it, as they have done so well in New York where they are setting up phone banks and mailers with private funds to kill unions, decimate public schools, and assure they control education through privatization(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/nyregion/10charter.html?pagewanted=all).
Capitalism has its own logic and it is commodification of everything in life. turn all public good into plutocratic profit and hammer the message home with ‘rappers’ and other weapons of mass distraction used to lead the public to believe these vested interests with their billions and their phony rhetoric or caring have a ‘vision’ for kids. They certainly do have a vision for kids, but it is displacement and containment, not education and social well being.
The hedge fund Wall Street financiers will stop at nothing to assure they capture all of public education for their own profit. To do this they must set up ‘retraining camps’ for the ‘sub-prime’ youth, who are generally black and Latino. This way they colonize not just the property, but the minds of youth as they are checked in like ICU patients into the new charter schools the billionaires boyz club has in store for them.
De’von Burt told me he thinks the Governor will meet with the more than thirty protestors who simply wish to dialogue with the Governor, ask her to attend local school board meetings and not take her marching orders from the corrupt vixen, Bobb. They want to tell Granholm that they are against the closure of public schools and the ‘glass cities’ that the architects, real estate developers, billionaires and vulture capitalists, want to set up for them. This is Bobb’s plan. To turn the fledgling community over to the ‘big boyz’ who he takes orders from. Re-zoning will accompany re-learning if Bobb gets his way and the fight for public education could not be better portrayed.
De’Von said he is skipping school to attend the sit-in; he told me he will go to jail if he has to. When I asked him how he and others would enter the Governor’s office he indicated that it was a public building, they had a right to enter. This young man is learning more with BAMN and the struggle for public education than he would ever learn in school. He is a fighter and although he suffers disabilities, he will sit-in and be handcuffed if necessary. For he knows he is not alone; he knows BAMN is not only there but you the reader are there. He knows that you care, that you will fight the same fight in your cities, be it in New Jersey or Rhode Island or New York or LA.
He told me by phone: “If I believe in something than I must take the risk. I am willing to get arrested.” The coverage of the sit-in has been announced to local Detroit Channel 7 news and we can only hope they will be on hand when Queen Granholm meets with the sit-in students and parents. According to De’Von:
”I don’t want to take a bigger risk by not sitting in and end up in a charter school! I’ve got a disability and charter schools do not accept disabled kids.”
De’Von’s experience with charter schools
De’Von also told me he has been in charter schools almost all his life, attending the Detroit ‘Academy’ of Arts and Science. Notice how the names of the urban charter schools are always ‘regal’. They are either ‘academies’ or ‘centers of excellence’ but they are hardly learning centers and they do not teach all children. The ‘cream’ and discriminate on the basis of disability.
From kindergarten to 8th grade De’Von attended the ‘Academy’. Up until 8th grade De’von related to me that he did not have the current physical disability he has now, that sometimes leaves him unable to walk, having to use a wheel chair. But in late 8th grade he was in pain, needed help and found that he had a crippling disease. However, the ‘Academy’ didn’t have services for disabled students. De’Von could not get the wheel chair he needed to navigate through his education; he could not get public bus transportation from the school to transport him to and from the privatized dungeon.
As his disability worsened and his pleas for help from the ‘so-called public charter’ were dismissed, De’Von found out what many of us have been saying for decades: charter schools don’t wish to service the disabled, the second language student, the poor or the working class. It is not that they can’t, as De’Von sagaciously relayed to me, it is that they have no interest. They’re an ‘Academy’, right? Run for profit, not for the public.
I asked De’von what he did when the charter school failed to help him with his ability to learn despite his disability. He told me that he ‘chilled’ for a few months, waiting to get into 9th grade when he could go to a public school (you remember those, right) where he could put his feet up on the desk when his pain swelled, where he could have a wheel chair when his legs gave out, and where he would be able to have transportation to and from the school.
He enrolled in his 9th grade year at the Frederick Douglas High School, a legitimate public school, not run by the charter harlots. There, after meeting with staff and special services, he was admitted and now has his own wheel chair at school, gets bus service to school from home, and is allowed to relax his feet when crisis bites at his pain filled body. He says he is now in school with autistic students, students with disabilities like himself; a school that will not discriminate for it is a public school.
This is what the capitalists don’t want. They want to cull students like they winnow coy fish in their private ponds. The one percent wish to deny an education to those not deemed the fittest in the new Social Darwinist economic order they are building. Much like in health care, a pre-existing illness will now get you kicked out of schools or your school closed and admission denied.
De’Von will not stop with a simple sit-in: student walkouts are next
‘Chevelle’, another student, is leading the fight for adequate public education along with De’Von and many others. She is a student at Northwestern High School, one of the schools on the executioner’s list. Chevelle has organized walkouts of students before and she too will not stop until Robert Bobb and the likes of him are scrubbed out of decision making.
It was March 25th, 2010 when Chevelle along with 400 students walked out of Northwestern High School to protest the eventual school closure by Bobb. This gave the impetus to other students, many of them at Cass Technical School and elsewhere to consider their options in face of public school closures.
Now the narrative will be ratcheted up by De’Von for he plans to organize a walkout for May 19th from the three high schools: Cass Technical School, Frederick Douglas High School, and Northwestern High School to oppose Bobb’s plan for school closures and the tycoon’s plans for school privatization. He says he will organize and is, using e-mail, FaceBoook, flyers and that he is asking students, as he did when he entered D.C. schools (see my article at dailycensored), to put their signature on a sign-up sheet to oppose both Robert Bob and his ventriloquist’s plans as well as Arne Duncan’s, Race to the Bottom. Perhaps thousands will walk-out as they did in New Jersey and elsewhere. We can only hope and organize that this becomes a reality.
According to De’Von:
“When I go to college, I want to organize more. I want to organize groups like BAMN.” This is so heartening to hear from the mouth of a young disabled sixteen year old that understands the system better than your average adult; he understands what is at stake and is willing to put his life, literally on the line.
More and more students are organizing and at young ages. They are the future, they are our hope and we must be with them in this fight. They are organizing and meeting the purveyors of doom with hope and resistance, you just don’t hear about it on the corporate Newszak. But you will at Daily Censored. And if you are concerned about the sit-in tomorrow at Granholm’s office know that BAMN attorney’s have their back: You can call Joyce Schon at 313-434-7075 in the afternoon to assure that these young people have not suffered the billy-club or the riot police. You can call Ronald, another BAMN attorney at 510-501-2435. We must assure our youth are not put into the prison industrial system by the same hand-maidens for the corporations who wish to put them in the educational industrial complex. We need them.
Please help: contact Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm now at:
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services
Tell her to get rid of Robert Bobb and his billionaire goons. Tell her to stand up for students who can’t, for if she cannot do this she has not right to represent anyone in Michigan but those who provide money for her campaign.
De’Von deserves our support; don’t let him down for if you do, you will let all students down all over the country as the rapacious capitalists transform education into a venture fund for their own divine lifestyles, while culling the present for a vicious corporate future.
Struggle! It is the only way we win! Organize students in your cities to walk out of schools. Direct confrtontation is the only way to win!