Rally and Hearing Against Privatization of Public Education

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Rally and Public Hearing for a Proposed Grade 5-12 Charter School in Fall River

Fall River Public Library, 104 N. Main St.

Thursday, Dec. 13

Standout Protest at 3:30 PM

Public Hearing 4:00 – 6:00 PM

The newly formed Coalition to Save Our Schools has the following demands: Either the new charter is union and is subject to regulation just like the public schools, or we don’t want it. Join us to hold signs and speak out.

We must be aware of the impact this will have on our schools and our students if approved:

  • Charters hurt school funding. The proposed school will eventually drain about $7 million a year from city schools (assuming 90% of the 585 students come from Fall River at $13,550 per student).
  • They compete on an uneven playing field. Charters typically serve far fewer high-need students than district schools.
  • Charters create a two-tiered education system. Charters typically have very high attrition rates, “losing” students along the way who can’t meet academic or behavior standards. District schools serve all students, regardless of need.

 

 

 

Announcements November 28, 2012

Local Events

Support Walmart Workers Standout – Thursday, November 29th, 2012

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

372 William S. Canning Blvd, Fall River, MA

Sidewalk on Plymouth Ave

You are invited to join us as we hold signs of support for the Walmart labor struggle, and signs to express our views on how Walmart affects our community.

Coalition to Save Our Schools Launch Meeting – Saturday, December 1, 2012

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Keith Middle School

225 Hathaway Blvd, New Bedford, MA

You are invited to attend a meeting to launch the SE Massachusetts Coalition to Save our Schools.

We will be discussing our vision for education reform in SE Mass.

Please attend and bring others who you think will join us in fighting for a public school system where every student will have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. A school system where students, parents and teachers and their unions have a say and not the corporate scammers.

Lunch will be served

please rsvp

http://nbeducators.blogspot.com/2012/11/se-mass-coalition-to-save-our-schools.html

General Assembly cancelled for Sunday Dec. 2nd!

1:00 PM  – 3:00 PM

G & J Building
209 Bedford St, Fall River, MA
United Neighbors of Fall River Office, 4th floor.

If the main entrance on Bedford St. is not open, we leave a contact phone number on the 6th street entrance so someone can let you in. Usually you can call Justin 774.526.5351 to reach the group.

Join us as we report back on Occupy Fall River business, discuss news, make announcements, hold discussions on current events, and plan for our upcoming initiatives.

Some of this week’s agenda items: Report backs, further Walmart action, Budget for All, student debt and Strike Debt, and Occupy East Bay.

Report Backs

Black Friday Walmart Protests – Support Walmart Workers in Their Labor Struggle

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On Black Friday, called together by the joined forces of Occupy Fall River and Occupy Providence, a protest caravan paid visits to four Walmarts: Fall River, Swansea, Seekonk, and Providence. Activists from local organizations came together to participate and show support for the Walmart workers struggle. A day of action had been called for by OUR Walmart, Corporate Action Network, and Occupy Wall Street.

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In Fall River, we entered the store, and led a mic check until we were escorted back out by police. Blocked from completing our three minute action, we proceeded to picket outside the entrance. Next, as a last minute change of plans, we attempted to take the Swansea Walmart by surprise and deliver the demands letter by OUR Walmart. The Fall River Police Department had overheard our plans and called the mall security and Swansea Police Department in advance. We were blocked from even entering the mall. Mall security and Swansea police threatened to arrest individuals for taking photos, recording anything, and even talking on phones. We then proceeded to our next stop in Seekonk. There, we also attempted to deliver the letter. Management advised us that they would only accept the letter and allow us to read it if we took it outside. Once outside, management refused to accept the letter and reading at all as Seekonk police commanded us off the property. We refused, and picketed the store for fifteen minutes until the police delivered their final warning. Afterwards, we conversed with police about the labor struggle as we walked to the sidewalk rally point and then dispersed. Next we arrived in Providence where we met up with a larger portion of Occupy Providence and were allowed right into the building. Fifty activists gathered inside in a row near the checkout lines, careful not to block foot traffic, and delivered a series of mic checks on the Walmart labor struggle and issues of labor. After about twenty minutes in the store, we decided to leave. Providence police escorted us to the entrance without threat or conflict, although management refused to accept the letter from OUR Walmart. We then rallied on the edge of the parking lot by the street.

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More photos and video at Facebook.com/OccupyFallRiver

 

Stand with Walmart Strikers on Black Friday

Stand with Walmart workers in the fight for their rights!

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For decades, Walmart has dragged down wages, forcing their workers to work irregular schedules, and intimidated and took retribution on any workers who fought back. It’s time for the retribution to end, so come to this local Walmart to show your solidarity and tell Walmart that they need to treat workers with respect.

If you can commit to attending, please sign on at:
Schedule of Actions:Mic check in support of striking Walmart workers at the Fall River Walmart. 11AM
374 William S Canning Boulevard
Fall River, MA

We will deliver a letter of delivery of solidarity and read it out load for mangers, workers and customers to hear.
Seekonk, MA 1PM
1180 Fall River Ave
Seekonk, MA

Letter delivery and reading in support Walmart workers.
Providence RI 2PM
51 Silver Spring Street
Providence, RI

A mic check, common in the Occupy movement, is when participants repeat in unison the words of a speaker. It is a great way to amplify our voices and to spread the word about what is happening. We are not interfering with customers shopping or workers duties but will be spreading awareness of and solidarity with the courageous activities of Walmart workers around the country.

Your presence will make a difference! Please let us know if you are interested in attending but can not because of transportation issues. Let’s figure out carpools and support each other to build strong solidarity that will improve working conditions for Walmart workers.

For more info, contact Camilo Viveiros at camilo@activism2organizing.org or call him at 401-338-1665

Why We Occupy: #STRIKEDEBT

Can debt be rethought as something socially productive and collectively managed, rather than as an engine of predatory profiteering for the 1 percent?

 

We are faced with a broken American social contract, and have reached a critical moment for the 99%. Under these circumstances, it seems obvious that a political movement to build a new dream should take debt as its focus. - OSDS organizer Pamela Brown

More info:

Get Me to the Polls On Time – November 6th

Sample Ballot

What to expect at the polls

It’s finally upon us, the day we’ve been aching for so we can put all the ads, spin, punditry and sound bites behind us, for better or worse. The sample ballot below is courtesy of the Herald News. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In addition to working with local Senate and Representative campaigns, members of Occupy Fall River have worked hard on two ballot initiatives. These are Fall River/Somerset ballot Question 4  - the Community Preservation Act – and Bristol Representative District 7 ballot Question 5 – the Budget For All. We hope people will vote ‘YES’ on these questions that are aimed to better our community.

FYI, Massachusetts voters can retrieve all relevant information including polling places and sample ballots by filling out their address on this page. Fall River and Somerset voters, who are able to vote on the CPA, can scroll down on their results page to read ballot Question 4.

Along with Raynham, Bridgewater and 88 other cities and towns across the state, Fall River residents in Bristol Representative District 7 (much of Fall River’s south end) will find Question 5, the Budget For All, on their ballots in that part of Fall River. The wording of the Budget For All is available here.

OK, you know what to do!

 

 

Upcoming Events and Meetings

October 30th November 3d -  Night of the Living Debt rescheduled due to Sandy!

 

Braiiiins!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012. 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Bank of America, Pleasant St, Fall River MA

Join us on our one-year anniversary for a Bank Robs America themed zombie walk, street theater, die-ins, and discussion on debt. Come dressed as a zombie banker, or as close to one as you can (Bank of America logos on t-shirts will do as well). Tomb stone shaped signs will be provided, but feel free to make your own.

This is intended to be a family-friendly event, and we do not expect a large crowd. There will be no civil disobedience at this event. We will be following normal traffic laws when crossing streets and refrain from blocking the side walk and pedestrian traffic.

12 PM – Make Up and Prep followed by The Walking Debt zombie walk

 

November 6thVote “Yes” on Budget for All

Fall River voters in State Rep. District 7 (much of the south end) will see this on the ballot as Question 5 – vote YES for a federal budget that works for all of us! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/rebecca-thiess/massachusetts-voters-budget-priorities_b_1980095.html

 

General Assembly Schedule:

Occupy Monsanto South Coast Assembly

Sunday, October 21st Noon – 1:00 PM

Kennedy Park, Fall River MA
Meet near the stairs between the green warming house and the skating rink

Our sister group, Occupy Monsanto South Coast, is having a short introductory meeting. Occupy Monsanto focuses on educating the public about the dangers of genetically modified foods and crops, sustainability, and issues of food, environmental, and agricultural justice.

Occupy Fall River General Assembly
Sunday, October 21st 1:00 PM  – 3:00 PM
Kennedy Park, Fall River MA
Meet near the stairs between the green warming house and the skating rink
Join us as we report back on Occupy Fall River business, discuss news, make announcements, hold discussions on current events, and plan for our upcoming initiatives. There is a great deal of ground to cover including but not limited to the past week’s OUR Walmart (forrespect.org) solidarity event and next steps, Occupy East Providence updates, the Occupy Student Debt outreach at UMass Dartmouth with PHENOM, the Budget-for-All Question 5 canvassing in District 7 (south end Fall River), and other election updates.

We Stand With Walmart Workers

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You may have heard that a wave of strikes has been spreading among Walmart retail and warehouse workers nationwide. So, in solidarity with striking warehouse workers in Chicago we are supporting local workers who are taking on the worlds largest employer!
On Friday October 12th and along with similar delegations this week across Massachusetts, a group of us will to deliver a letter to the local Walmart addressed to Chairman of the Board Rob WaltonThe letter is a United Call to Change Walmart and Rebuild America. Workers can no longer accept substandard wages and endure oppressive working conditions while the Walton family owns more than the bottom 42% of American families combined. We demand Walmart improve workers’ lives, rebuild communities, guarantee workers’ rights and elevate global living standards.
Join us at Walmart in Fall River this Friday. We begin at 1:15, but we ask for participants to show up at 1:00.

A More Progressive Budget Is Possible

Occupy Fall River has worked to promote the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Deal For All in Massachusetts (see Budget4Allmass.org), a federal budget alternative that calls for more reasonable military spending and investment in jobs and services for our communities. Currently, 57% of our discretionary budget – more than the next 15 countries combined – goes to the military, while only 6% is allocated for education. Here, listen to Your Paycheck tell the whole story:

Contact your Representative! Support the Deal For All. In Massachusetts, vote YES for the ballot question November 6.

  • Prevent cuts to desperately needed services (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing, unemployment assistance)
  • Create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, renewable energy and more
  • Provide new revenues by closing corporate loopholes and increase taxes on the 1%
  • Redirect military spending towards domestic needs by reasonable Pentagon spending, ending the wars and bringing our troops home safely

Occupy: Time For Stage Two

George Lakey has campaigned and written about non-violent social change since the 1960s. He co-founded Movement for a New Society in the 1970s, which for nearly 20 years specialized in organizational innovation for social movements, and has led over 1500 workshops on five continents, training coal miners, homeless people, prisoners, Burmese guerillas, steel workers and others. He spoke to New Left Project’s Ed Lewis about his latest book, Toward a Living Revolution, connecting its ideas with the Occupy movement.

…stage two is about the organisational outcome. It’s about nuts and bolts – it’s about, for example, can an Occupy movement deal with disruptive people, whether they’ve been paid to be disruptive (provocateurs and so on) or whether they’re just volunteers that are immersed in some kind of pathology or whatever and wander onto the scene and make it impossible for people to get their work done. Can we find organisational forms that will enable us to do that or not?

So stage two is about that, it’s about creating organisational forms that will enable us to support us to do the long-term stuff, and that comes from a historical conclusion that I’ve drawn – that unorganised revolutionary movements don’t bring about a new society. They can bring about turbulence, excitement; they can even open up a power vacuum, throwing off centre, off kilter, the 1%, but they can’t deliver the goods if they don’t know how to organise themselves, so stage two is very important in that way.

Read more at New Left Project online.

Interview with OWS organizer David Graeber on Occupy, Debt and Capitalism

David Graeber – co-founder of OWS, anarchist, activist and anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London – talks with Charlie Rose about Occupy, Debt and Capitalism.

Graeber sports the red felt square of solidarity with the student movement of Québec and Ontario.

25 minutes long, via RoarMag.