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Posts Tagged ‘rally’

I could not have asked for a better way to start my day. As I drove in to work this morning, I swung by the local Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main Street to see if the Occupy Kutztown action had gotten underway. Despite the rain and cooler weather, there were already at least a couple dozen people in brightly colored rain ponchos, homemade signs, and an energy that seemed to light up that little corner of Kutztown. I honked my horn, put down my passenger-side window and yelled “I’ll see you all in a little bit!!!”

What a way to start the day.

After I get done with my first round of office hours this morning, I am going to head down to Occupy Kutztown and and my voice to the protest as well as gather some stories and photos for Raging Chicken Press. I wish I could be there all day.

I am hoping that my colleagues, union members, union leaders, and students will take some time out of their days to join Occupy Kutztown in front of the Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main. After today’s action, the question will be where do we go from here? I have a host of ideas for what we can do locally to nurture this emerging social movement. After all, the Wall Street created economic crisis is not limited to a few blocks in New York City as we are well aware.

Bruce Levine, author of Get Up Stand uP has given me some ideas about the need to rebuild solidarity and our self-respect. Levine appeared on the Rick Smith Show back in April and I just transcribed the interview and published it in the October issue of Raging Chicken Press. Levine uses the example of the Populist Movement in the 1880s to get at the kind of organizing that needs to take place today to get back our self-respect and confidence.  Here’s a bit of what got me thinking:

But what they did—Populist organizers—was real smart. They realized, hey, our guys are getting ripped off by the banks and they’re getting ripped off by the railroads—that was the oligarchy of the time that was screwing them—the grain elevator operators. Why? Because they had to go into debt to plant their crops and when they finally got around to getting their crops sold, they couldn’t get enough money to pay off their debts, and so they were going deeper and deeper into debt, and losing their farms and all that. So, the great organization of that era was called, the short term for it was the Alliance, and what they did was they did some thinking about it. How could we come up with some kind of economic, self-help here that we could pull off that doesn’t take a lot of money, that could reduce these folks’ pain economically. And what they did was they just came up with the first, gigantic scale, working peoples’ cooperative where they basically cut out the middle-man. These farmers got together and they pulled their crop, cut out the middle-man, got great prices for their crop and word spread—they didn’t need twitter, they didn’t need facebook—word spread in a hurry that this was a great deal, this Alliance. They weren’t just an organization preaching at us, they were taking away our pain, giving us back our self-respect, giving us confidence.

The Occupy Kutztown action opens the possibility for a collective discussion about how we–right here where we live and work–can retake the reigns of the future by looking at alternatives to the mantra of “budget cuts” and manufactured “fiscal crisis.”  We shall see how the Kutztown community responds to the question posed by Eminem — a question that has been ringing in my ears for the past several weeks:

Look…If you had…one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted…in one moment, would you capture it? Or, just let it slip?

The opportunity of a generation is here. An opportunity to begin to retake the initiative, to right decades of wrongs, and to gain back our confidence to do more that throw our hands up in the air and say, “there is nothing I can do.”

I hope to see you today at Occupy Kutztown.

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That’s right folks! The cornfield and picturesque campus were no match for the Occupy movement. It’s here.

Here’s the details:

  • When? Tomorrow! Wed. October 12 beginning at 11am
  • Where? Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main, Kutztown
  • What? A rally of the 99% . Here’s the official call to Occupy Kutztown:
    • INVITE EVERYONE!We are the 99%. Stand up to Wall Street, stand up to the Banks. Stand up to the 1% of the population that have been destroying the American Dream.Since we can’t leave campus because of class, why not bring it to Kutztown. Meet outside the Wells Fargo on main street. A company that took 25 billion dollars from the American Tax Payers. They continue to take people’s homes. They support the 1%. Who do you support?

      For more information about the movement please go to – www.occupytogether.org

      please note this is to be a peaceful demonstration.

  • Word has it that the Reading Eagle will be there along with 69 News. And, of course, Raging Chicken Press will be covering the event as well.
Hope to see you there!

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Check out the link below if you are interested in some pictures from yesterday’s “Rally for a Responsible Budget” in Harrisburg.

Pics from May 3rd “Rally for a Responsible Budget,” Harrisburg, PA

May 4, 2011By ktmahoney

Of the three major rallies in Harrisburg I’ve attended since Gov. Corbett proposed draconian cuts to the state budget, the “Rally for a Responsible Budget” organized by the CLEAR Coalition was by far the largest.  The energy in the air was electric.  Chants of “We are one!” and “Enough is Enough!” echoed through the city as thousands and thousands of union activists filled the Capitol steps and the surrounding lawns.  It was a day that had me tweeting: “Today is another reason I thank god every day for the labor movement  #paunion #pabudget #offthecouch#enough.”  And it’s true.  There is nothing more life-affirming that being with thousands of other people who, day after day, choose dignity over despair, solidarity over isolation, and action over retreat.

via Pics from May 3rd “Rally for a Responsible Budget,” Harrisburg, PA | Raging Chicken Press.

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Just one week ago, we were in Harrisburg for the NAACP sponsored, Children’s March to Save PA Public Education.  APSCUF-KU President, Paul Quinn and I were both invited speakers.  Here is the video of our speeches thanks to our state APSCUF office:

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Dear friends of the XChange,

If you are a reader of this blog, you already know about today’s Rally for a Responsible Budget in Harrisburg.  This rally is being spearheaded by the CLEAR Coalition for PA, of which APSCUF is a part.

Here’s the official call for participation from the CLEAR Coalition web page.

Join us on Tuesday, May 3rd from 1:00-2:00 in Harrisburg on the front steps of the State Capitol. We are expecting thousands of people to come out and stand up for a fair state budget. The buses are full so, but please join us by drivng yourself to Harrisburg to stand with us!

APSCUF-KU is not sponsoring buses for this trip in part because the CLEAR Coalition has organized buses around the state.  All you had to do was sign up and you could have taken a bus for free.  KU faculty members were informed of this rally a while back by our State APSCUF president, Steve Hicks through direct email.  I am hoping to see some of my colleagues there today.  I know that several of our AFSCME brothers and sisters will be there.  I  know that many students will be there (despite the fact it’s finals time).  This will be our last major rally before the end of the spring semester.

So, if you haven’t committed already, consider driving out today.  Follow this link for driving directions to the State Capitol from Kutztown.

If you cannot attend the rally, take a few minutes and check out the CLEAR Coalition’s web page for very useful action-oriented budget information such as a Budget Took Kit:

If you can’t make it to the rally and are sick of hearing about the budget, then I wish you a great end to the semester, a summer of relaxation, and the hopes we’ll all have jobs come the fall.

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On March 28, 2011 1,000 plus converged on our state capitol in Harrisburg carrying the message, “United We Stand, Underfunded We Fail.”  Here are three more videos from that rally. For more videos from the rally and from rallies across the entire State System of Higher Education, check out APSCUF’s YouTube channel:

APSCUF President, Steve Hicks

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APSCUF Vice President, Ken Mash

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Lock Haven Track Member Nick Hilton after 100 Mile Run

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There has been significant news coverage of student and faculty rallies around the state in response to Corbett’s cuts, so I wanted to take a little time to post some of that coverage here.  I think it is critical that we see the work we are doing locally on our campuses and in our communities as part of a significant network of people working to push back against Corbett’s attempts to cut the future.  We might not all know each other (yet), but we are, nonetheless, in this together. Here is a sampling of the news just from the past couple of days:

Yes, there are a lot of articles here and no I didn’t put them in any special order.  I am sure that I missed several articles and stories that ran on local TV news stations.  But the point of posting all of them here, is to recognize that there is significant resistance to Corbett’s cuts and that students and faculty from around the state are already mobilized and resisting.  I’ve heard some students and faculty lament that the protests on their campuses should have been bigger.  OK, I hear ya.  However, I think we also need to see that when taken together, a couple thousand people stood up this past week and said: “Enough!”  AND…(continuing on my upbeat mood)…this Monday, March 28th we expect those folks and more to converge on the State Capitol and make our collective voices heard.

For now, plan on being in Harrisburg on Monday, March 28th.  Monday is a second day of State Senate budget hearings and we need to be outside and inside the chamber to make our presence knows.  The starts at 11:30 am and lasts till 1:00 pm.  The PASSHE hearing will begin at 1:30 pm.  The PASSHE hearing will last until 2:30 pm and then PHEAA will up on the stand.  The Rally is scheduled for outside at the Main Capitol Steps, but in case of rain, we have the Rotunda reserved as well. PSEA, who has their office directly across from the Main Capitol Steps, at 400 North Third Street, has offered their headquarters as a staging area, so faculty and students can arrive at 11:00 am.

Buses will be leaving Kutztown at 9am.  We will meet in the parking lot behind Beekey.  There are still a few seats left on APSCUF-KU’s two buses, so if you want a seat email APSCUF-KU or call 610.683.4277 asap to reserve your seat.  KU’s Student Government Board, Association of Campus Events, and Undergraduate Council also have several buses going.  If you can’t get space on our bus, you can sign up in MSU 153 or call 610.683.1383 with one of their buses.  APSCUF-KU has coordinated with the student groups and all of our buses will meet in the same place and leave at the same time.

So, keep the laments for better times.

GET ON THE BUS!

Jelcz M121MB

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