Tag Archive: protest

Biggest Student Walkout in Newark History – and All of New Jersey Should Be So Proud

“Look, If Governor Christie can disrupt traffic to make a political point, well, so can we.”

                                             – Walkout participant

“The schools in Newark are in chaos.”

                                             – Mayor Ras Baraka

It is refreshing to the soul to see thousands of students put their bodies on the line to defend their schools and their city against the disrespect and disruption of Chris Christie’s errand girl Cami Anderson – and her plan to disrupt, destabilize and ultimately open their schools to tycoonery.

It’s inspiring, what happened today. These students are so damn young. And yet, they know the score.  They know the difference between sweet talk and bullshit, between promises and threats. They don’t have all the answers but they know what kind of city they want. Their leaders are articulate and fierce, they’re not put off easily by intimidation – and intimidation has been tried on them many times, as have efforts to divide them. And still they speak of taking responsibility for one another:

We have a duty to fight! We have a duty to win! We must love and protect one another!

                                                         – 2,000 students chanting

All of New Jersey should simply have their backs.

Below the fold, video – via NJ Communities United – of students at and on the way to City Hall, and at the convergence of major roads including NJ Turnpike. Also, full statement of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Coming Friday: Mass student walk-out in Newark – District-wide

Coming Friday is a student street action that may actually be the most important thing that happens in New Jersey all week. And that includes the visit Monday by the President of the United States. Bear with me, here’s why:

Obama’s Camden visit was the result of a public relations offensive by political bosses, whose interests are tied to the appearance of success. Carefully-orchestrated propaganda; it’s no mystery Obama’s speech was delivered to an audience mostly of non-residents. The unpretty facts of some of the impact this control from outside has on city residents – in policing, in accountability in excessive force complaints, in education – neatly swept aside for a narrative that compliments bosses, investors and Gov. Chris Christie.

We may see the exact opposite in Newark on Friday; the state-imposed “reform” which in Newark takes the route of destabilizing, union-busting, expanding charter enrollment while closing neighborhood schools and ignoring community input, is not going well. The resistance by well-organized and fed-up community members is fueled by outrage at Cami Anderson’s recent designation of 9 public schools as “turnaround” schools, dooming them and making way for privatization. Resistance to racist and elitist policies is national news now. The public relations offensive in Newark has slipped – badly. And students – the greatest stakeholders – are front and center where they should be:

What: Newark Student Walk-Out

When: Friday, May 22nd at 12 noon

Where: Newark City Hall, 920 Broad St, Newark

Students & supporters will gather at City Hall before marching through Newark