Fighting Back Against Austerity in the Public Schools

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 WCAT_Education_05162013myths 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.

Tom Weisskopf on Budget Crises and Debt Myths

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.

>>Read the talk here

Fighting Back against Austerity in Michigan, Part 2: Protecting Community Services

Fighting Back against Austerity in Michigan, Part 2
Protecting Community Services

When: 7:30 PM, Thursday, March 28
Where: LEO/GEO Office, Suite 3F, 330 E. Liberty St, Ann Arbor MIImage

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.


Facebook event

Contract Now for Lecturers’ Employee Organization!

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.

Salsa for Justice! A Fundraiser for the Striking Workers of GM Colombia


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

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: )

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 .

Facebook event

Sponsored By: Graduate Employees’ Organization, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Lecturers’ Employee Organization, Student Union of Michigan, Washtenaw Community Action Team

Event flyer

Auto Show Protests in Solidarity with GM Hunger Strikers

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


Jorge Parra’s statement on reaching the 44th day of his hunger strike, 1/2/13:

Protest GM at the Detroit Auto Show in January

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