GEO to Announce Campaign to Protest the Unjust Firing of GSRA for Union Organizing


GEO to announce campaign to protest the unjust firing of GSRA for union organizing

  Press conference

WHEN:  12pm, Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

WHERE:  Outside the Lurie Engineering Center, 1221 Beal Ave, Ann Arbor

WHY:  To protest the unjust firing of a GEO member who is a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA).  She was terminated and kicked out of her academic program for union organizing at the University of Michigan.

WHO:  The Graduate Employees’ Organization ( is the labor union representing ~1,800 Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) and Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs) at the University of Michigan.  GEO was founded in 1970 and we won our first contract in 1975, making GEO the oldest certified graduate employee union in the United States.  GEO has been organizing with ~2,200 Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA) since late 2010.

In The News: WCAT and Brandon Jessup Fight Emergency Manager Law

Washtenaw Community Action Team and Michigan Forward’s Brandon Jessup in the news for leading the fight against the emergency manager law (Public Act 4).

Write us at to learn more about how to fight back against Public Act 4.

How a 2005 EMU grad became a leading opponent of Michigan’s emergency manager law (



This Week: Social Forum & Teach In

The WCAT, Occupy Ann Arbor and Occupy UM will jointly host a pair of events this week that address the Occupy movements and how local labor, students and community members can get involved to rebuild political power for working people.

Social Forum on Rebuilding Working People’s Power (FB RSVP)

Where:  Kalamazoo Room, Second Floor of Michigan League (UM Campus)

When: Tuesday, 7:00-9:00pm

Who: Tom Weisskopf (UM Political Economist), Jane Slaughter (Chief Editor of, Maureen Taylor (Michigan Organization for Welfare Rights)

Occupation Teach In (FB RSVP)

Where: CC Little Building, Room 1528 

When: Thursday, 6:00-8:00pm

Who: Occupy Oakland, Occupy Ann Arbor, UM Political Economist

Social Forum and Teach In Flier (pdf) 

Power of Working People Film Series: November Screenings of Inside Job

Part one of the WCAT film series The Power of Working People finished last week at the Student Center Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University with the final screening of With Babies and Banners: The Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade. The event turned out about 50 students and community members that had the opportunity to discuss the film, and the labor and Occupy movements with Dr. Greg Barak (Professor of Criminology and Sociology), Dr. Mehmet Yaya (Professor of Labor Economics), and Dr. Howard Bunsis (President of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress).

This month the WCAT will screen Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job (2010) – a documentary about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption.” The first screening will take place this Sunday at Cafe Ambrosia – 326 Maynard St., Ann Arbor  from 3:00-5:30. UM Political Economist Tom Weisskopf will facilitate discussion following the film.

This will be followed by a screening at Ypsilanti District Library – Whittaker from 6:30-9:00 on Monday, November 7th featuring UM Political Economist Frank Thompson (FB RSVP) and again at Mason Hall (Room 3411 at UM Campus) from 7:00-9:30 featuring Lecturer in Sociology Ian Robinson (FB RSVP). 

With the Occupy movement taking off across the country and in Michigan you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see this important film and discuss it with your community!

Download Flyer for Film Series and Social Form Here (JPEG)



Funeral for the Middle Class: Protest Eric Cantor

FUNERAL FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS: MONDAY, October 31st, 12:30 PM at the Michigan League

Download a flyer for the event. (Thanks to Jordan Adema from Occupy Ann Arbor for designing this great flyer!)

“Open invitation to all Zombie Banks to feast on the remains of the Middle Class”

After previously canceling a public appearance at the University of Pennsylvania because he was unwilling to face public criticism over his destructive votes on economic and social policy, U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor is now scheduled to speak at the Ford School of Policy on Monday, October 31st at 1:00 PM.

The Washtenaw County Community Action Team and Occupy Ann Arbor invite you to join us in a protest at Congressman Eric Cantor’s speech on campus to make visible the targets of his attacks on the social safety net and middle class and working families.

The Protest will have a Halloween theme, and will involve a theatrical “Funeral for the Middle Class” to highlight Eric Cantor’s continued attacks on our social safety net and the middle class.  Please come, and please come in a spooky costume.  Eric Cantor’s vision for our nation is SCARY!!!!!!

We will meet at 12:30 PM Monday October 31, at the Michigan League, 911 N. University Street, Ann Arbor.

How bad is Eric Cantor for Michigan’s and the Nation’s working and middle class families? Check out an excerpt of his voting record:

  • Voted “No” on $192 billion additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (July 2009)
  • Voted “No” on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (March 2009)
  • Voted “No” on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (January 2009)
  • Voted “No” on monitoring TARP funds to ensure mortgage relief. (January 2009)
  • Voted “No” on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (November 2007)
  • Voted “No” on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (November 2007)
  • Voted “No” on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (July 2009)
  • Voted “No” on protecting whistleblowers from employer recrimination. (March 2007)
  • Voted “No” on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (January 2009)
  • Voted “No” on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (March 2007)
  • Voted “No” on increasing the minimum wage to $7.25. (January 2007)

 Want to know what kind of enemy Eric Cantor is to women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, reproductive rights, energy policy, civil rights and maintaining the separation of church and state?

Just follow the link

Occupy Wall Street and Social Movements

The Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Together movement is an exciting development in a year which has seen uprisings in support of democracy and the rights of working people from Egypt and Tunisia to Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York City. All over the U.S., activists in both the Occupy Wall Street movement and in peoples’ movements are thinking about how our movements should work together. The Washtenaw Community Action Team recommends the following articles as a way to start this discussion locally:

The Four Habits of Highly Successful Social Movements by Ezra Klein (Washington Post, 10/5/11)

Victory! Transforming Occupy Wall Street from a Moment to a Movement by Peter Dreier (10/7/11)

On the Contrary: A New Labor Insurgency Can Only Begin Outside the Progressive and Labor Establishment by Stephen Lerner (New Labor Forum, Fall 2011)

There are several independent “Occupy” groups in and near Washtenaw County:

Occupy Detroit
Occupy Lansing
(Facebook page)
Occupy Ann Arbor

UM Nurses Supported At Occupy Ann Arbor General Assembly – March & Rally Wednesday 10/12

The UM RNs will hold a rally, march and informational picket on Wednesday, October 12th. The rally will kickoff at 4:30 at Liberty Plaza and the march to the UM Hospital will begin at 5pm followed by an informational picket at location until 7pm.

The nurses ask that participants wear red in solidarity.

The nurses were well represented at the Occupy Ann Arbor General Assembly last night. As one speaker put it –

“I came here today annd I think most of you came here today. because I am sick of corporate greed. I think this is the perfect place for us to meet because this university acts more like a corporation everyday. Right now, this university is asking hard-working nurses to take cuts in healthcare, overtime and working hours – that’s not right” (watch video via eclectablog)

WCAT Presents The Power of Working People – A Film Series and Social Forum

WCAT announces The Power of Working People: A Film Series and Social Forum to be held during the months of October and November.

The Power of Working People responds to the attack on the rights and welfare of working people, the unemployed and students in our communities in Washtenaw County and in the State of Michigan as a whole.

The Film Series

The film series will explore the history of labor in Michigan and critically examine the causes and fallout of the 2008 financial crisis.

Each film will include a special guest that will provide a brief introduction to the film and facilitate a question and answer session following the screening.

Guest Facilitators include:

Gregg Barak (Sociology and Criminology @ EMU)

Ian Robinson (Sociology @ University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

Frank Thompson (Political Economist @ University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

Tom Weisskopf (Political Economist @ University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

Social Forum: Rebuilding Working People’s Power

The social forum will feature

Jane Slaughter (Labor Journalist and Activist @ LaborNotes )

Maureen Taylor (Michigan Welfare Rights Organization2010 US Social Forum)

Tom Weisskopf (Political Economist @ University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

The panelists will explore how the political class and big business have exploited the economic crisis to push anti-worker policies at the local, state and federal level.

The forum will also feature representatives from local social justice and community organizations, union leaders and students reporting on how they are fighting back.

For more information go to Get Involved > Film Series and Social Form: The Power of Working People.

Visit the Facebook Event Page 

Click Here for Flyer – PWPFLYER