Join the Washtenaw Community Action Team for a community forum on “Fighting Back Against Austerity in the Public Schools”. At the forum, you’ll hear from local teachers on myths about public education, and from a representative of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan on the effect of recent state laws on public education. Join us to discuss ways that teachers, parents, and students can fight back against the privatization of public education in Michigan. Light refreshments will be provided. “Fighting Back Against Austerity” will be held at 7 PM, Thursday May 16th, at the LEO/GEO Office, Suite 3F, 330 E. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor.
U-M Professor (Emeritus) of Economics Tom Weisskopf provided an outline of his talk at the 3/28/13 WCAT Forum “Fighting Back Against Austerity in Michigan, Part 2: Protecting Community Services”. Professor Weisskopf gives an excellent overview of the recent manufactured budget crises, and helps to demolish some of the debt myths that austerity hawks use in their attacks on public services and the common good.
Pratt’s 3/27/13 interview with WCAT members on Transformations radio show, WCBN 88.3 FM. We discuss our forums on austerity in Michigan and how to get involved with the Washtenaw Community Action Team.
Fighting Back against Austerity in Michigan, Part 2
Protecting Community Services
Join local activists and community members in an informal panel discussion about the roots of the series of budget crises (debt ceiling, fiscal cliff, sequestration), and their effect on community social services. We will also have a group discussion about strategies for fighting back against cuts to public education, fighting back against cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and fighting back against attacks on labor. This is the second in a series of public events discussing the effects of austerity programs on Michigan.
Join the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO), the union of non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Michigan, at the U-M Regents’ meeting on Thursday, February 21, to support LEO in bargaining with U-M!
Time: 3:00 PM, Thursday, February 21
Place: Anderson Room, Michigan Union, 530 S State St, Ann Arbor
Join us in delivering our Contract Now poster to the regents! Join the event on Facebook
For more information on LEO and their current campaign, please refer to their website. LEO and Washtenaw Community Action Team members and supporters took part in a flash mob at the Fishbowl on Central Campus at noon on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Donning bright yellow LEO t-shirts, they sang and danced to an adaptation of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” As their revised lyrics indicated, LEO seeks “respect for [their] teaching” via a contract that gives them equal pay for equal work, good benefits, and job security.
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who attended Saturday’s fundraiser! Special thank you to dancer Angeline Burrell who provided free salsa lessons. We raised $668 for the families of the injured GM workers who’ve been camped out since Aug. 2011 demanding health care, compensation, and job rehiring.
Join Washtenaw Community Action Team and friends for…
Salsa for Justice! A Fundraiser for the Striking Workers of GM Colombia
Time: 7 PM, Saturday February 16, 2013
Place: Hathaway’s Hideaway, 310 South Ashley Street (near Liberty St), Ann Arbor
Price: $5 suggested donation at the door
Come and party with us to express solidarity with the workers and their families who have led a tent encampment outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota for over a year and a half to demand justice. Jorge Parra, injured GM worker was on hunger strike for 72 days, from Nov. 20th 2012 to January 31st 2013, demanding negotiations. As the president of ASOTRECOL, the association of injured and ex-workers of GM, Jorge wants to meet with GM to work out a settlement as soon as possible. GM has refused to meet them.
Música y Baile: Una recaudación de fondos por los huelgistas de GM Colombia
Lugar: Hideaway’s Hathaway, 310 South Ashley Street (cerca de Liberty St), Ann Arbor
Hora: 7pm, sábado 16 de febrero 2013
¡Demuestre su amor verdadero!
Vengan a festejar con nosotros para expresar su solidaridad con los ex-trabajadores de Colmotores (filial de General Motors en Bogotá, Colombia) y sus familias. Desde Agosto del 2011, los trabajadores y sus familias llevan un campamento exigiendo justicia enfrente la embajada estadounidense en Colombia. Jorge Parra, presidente de ASOTRECOL, la Asociación de Trabajadores y Extrabajadores Enfermos de General Motors Colmotores, está en Detroit exigiendo una reunión con GM para elaborar un acuerdo tan pronto como sea posible. GM se ha negado a reunirse con él.
Fighting Back against Austerity in Michigan, Part 1: “Right to Work”
(for less) and Other Scams
Time and Date: 7 PM, Thursday February 7
Place: 1427 Mason Hall, University of Michigan campus, 419 S. State
St. Ann Arbor
Join local activists from the Lecturers’ Employee Organization, the Student Union of Michigan, and others to learn about “right to work” in Michigan and what local organizations– and you– can do to fight it. This is the first in a series of public events discussing the effects of austerity programs (deep social spending cuts, anti-labor laws, anti-democratic laws, and anti-women laws) on Michigan.
(Photo: Jamee Urrea, via Twitter: http://t.co/kkFAJ8DK )
The nearest public parking is the Maynard Street public lot on Maynard, between E. Liberty and E. William. There is also limited street parking on State Street. Enter Mason Hall via the Diag entrance (closest to the Graduate Library)– see http://uuis.umich.edu/cic/map/central/index.cfm?region=B4 .
Sponsored By: Graduate Employees’ Organization, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Lecturers’ Employee Organization, Student Union of Michigan, Washtenaw Community Action Team
Stand alongside injured worker Jorge Parra, on hunger strike since Nov. 20th, 2012, demanding negotiations with GM Detroit. Medical Compensation, Job-Rehiring and Union Recognition Now!
Auto Worker Protests: Sun. 1/13 and Mon. 1/14, 1:30-3pm
GM Hunger Strike Press Conference: 1/14, 3pm
Location: North American 2013 Auto Show, across street from Cobo Center, Detroit
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers
Jorge Parra’s statement on reaching the 44th day of his hunger strike, 1/2/13:
Help us expose the crimes of General Motors against workers in Colombia. From JANUARY 14th THROUGH 27th people who care about democracy and human rights will be protesting GM at the annual International Auto Show in Detroit through a series of actions designed to call attention to GM’s wrongful firing of over 200 workers who suffered injuries and illnesses while working in GM’s Colombia plant. One of the workers, Jorge Parra, has been on hunger strike in Detroit since November 20th and may or may not survive past mid-January. Please join us to make sure the world knows the truth about what GM has done, and to pressure GM into fully compensating and rehiring the workers in Colombia.
Stay tuned to the Facebook event for information on specific actions.
Fore info on the campaign see http://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGMHungerStrikers
The Washtenaw Community Action Team calls on its supporters to join us in Lansing on Tuesday, December 11 for rallies against Governor Snyder’s latest attempt at union-busting– “right to work” legislation.
There will be numerous rallies going on, but one organized by the Working Michigan coalition will be starting at the Lansing Center (333 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, Michigan 48933) at 8 AM on Tuesday (see Facebook event).
Join WCAT in protesting not only “right to work for less” bills, but also new right-wing legislation that gravely attacks women’s rights in Michigan. According to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the legislation introduced will:
“Regulate women’s health centers out of existence;
Limit abortion access for women in rural areas;
Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services;
Give a tax credit for fetuses, but not children;
Allow providers to deny any health care service they deem objectionable.”
Showing once again how democracy does not fit into Governor Snyder’s idea of running Michigan like a business, the state Capitol was locked down for several hours on Thursday to block protestors from making their voices heard. (This lockdown was later ruled unconstitutional.)
For more on “right to work” in Michigan and the events of Thursday 12/6/12, see these articles:
“What ‘Right to Work’ Would Mean for Michigan” (PDF), by Roland Zullo, University of Michigan Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations
Mother Jones: “Michigan’s Own Scott Walker-Style Showdown Is Coming”, by Andy Kroll, 12/7/12
Detroit Free Press: “Protesters allowed back in to state Capitol after being locked out for hours“, 12/6/12
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan: Capitol Lockout: An Open Letter to Governor Snyder From Our Executive Director, 12/7/12
Labor Notes: Right to Work Looms in Michigan, by Alix Gould-Werth, 12/7/12