Friday, September 18, 2015

Why is ABC Hiding from the Public the US Dirty Laundry on the Treatment of Refugee Families?

When Pope Francis touches US soil, he will begin a whirlwind tour through the northeast corner of our vast country. As such, he decided to hold a virtual audience with several parts of the country he would not be able to visit during his brief sojourn here. Via satellite then, he spoke with students at the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago’s inner city; the homeless in Los Angeles and those dedicated people who work with them; and finally, parishioners from Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, many of whom have led the country in efforts to show that the refugee crisis in the United States is a humanitarian crisis, not a political tool to be volleyed back and forth. 

By far, mothers and children are the usual type of refugees we encounter at the border in Texas
Photo Credit, LA Times

The one-hour special aired on ABC News 20/20 on Friday, September 4th, at 9 pm CST. Moreover, it has been posted in its entirety in both English and Spanish on 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ayotzinapa: Chronicle of a State Crime/ Ayotzinapa: Crónica de un crimen de Estado

September 26 — the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa students' forced disappearance from Iguala, Mexico — is coming up. Yet the impunity of taking student teachers en masse laughs at the face of any democracy, and we should all cry out.

As the new semester begins, please share with everyone this film with English subtitles — Ayotzinapa, Chronicle of a State Crime— including your classes if you are teaching at the university level, especially. This film is essential to courses where social justice themes play a vital part, as these 43 student teachers are still nowhere to be found. Thus, you can discuss the wherewithal of government corruption and the narco-state. 

What happens if...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Keith Hoeller Gives Tribute to David Heller, Adjunct Philosopher who Meets Death Too Soon

David Heller, an adjunct philosophy instructor for years, just died at the age of 61 from complications from an untreated thyroid condition. Longtime adjunct activist Keith Hoeller wrote a few words about him  and with his permission  I wanted to share his words with you here, so that all could see and thus also share. 

Make sure you also read about our colleague in the linked article, because we are all in this together... 

Rest in peace, David Heller.  

David Heller stands in front of the bookstore where he worked
Photo Credit by Charles Fischer

Joe Berry's COCAL Update included several stories about Washington state. I wanted to highlight one of them that deals with the death of an adjunct at 61: 

"Adjuncts Struggle to Balance Dreams of Teaching with Low Wages"

It is about the death of David Heller, who taught philosophy as an adjunct at Seattle University. My colleague Jack Longmate is quoted in the article. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

INTERNATIONAL COORDINATION OF THE CARAVANA43: An Anecdotal Journal by Julio César Guerrero, MSW, MA

When Julio César Guerrero wrote a guest post a while back, I promised you the back story of the months of planning for the Caravana43. I know that many of you have already read much about Ayotzinapa. But now  — as we near the anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa on September 26   we have much planned, including presentations of a documentary film with English subtitles that concern the atrocious acts of cowardice enacted in Mexico. The film is called Ayotzinapa, Chronicle of a Crime of State. Please write me if you are interested in knowing how to show this film near you. 

As promised, however, here is Julio César's account of the weeks of preparation and activity from beginning to end, as well as his recollections of the actual process of planning this monumental task. Although this is a condensed version of the original Spanish, he wanted to give you the highlights.

Julio César Guerrero doing what he does best, a presentation in NYC
to a community of activists with Dan LaBotz at his right. 
© Fanzine Detektor
So if you are an activist, if you believe in justice and freedom, if you want peace within our nations and real solidarity to exist, then I strongly encourage you to read Julio César's comprehensive testimony of his weeks with the caravana

You will learn a lot! 

And if you still feel the need to do something more, join one of the many social justice groups that may have developed from our presence throughout the country, since we know that Caravana43 was only the beginning and catalyst of our fundamental work. 

I am sure you can seek these groups out, because Caravana43 laid out the seeds.

But it is now our turn to nurture these seeds and make them grow. 

¡Todos Somos Ayotzinapa!

An Anecdotal Journal

by Julio César Guerrero, MSW, MA

Checking my email, I found a message I sent out on November 11, 2014, proposing the idea of an international solidarity project for the parents of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero. The idea came about after my visit to Mexico City in October 2014, when I participated in a couple of marches to El Zocalo (Mexico’s Central Plaza), supporting the parents of the forcibly disappeared normalistas (students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College).

Thousands march into the Zócalo during the Global Day of Action for Ayotzinapa
Wednesday, October 23, 2014
Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective/Mashable

The display of popular unity the parents of these student teachers generated everywhere they went gave me the idea of extending such support to the United States, something that has become a tradition for the human rights and trade union groups, especially after the enactment of the free trade agreement (NAFTA) in the mid-nineties. The previous year I had coordinated a support caravana for a group of Braceros traveling from Texas through the Midwest that culminated in Washington, DC and New York. I took this idea and adapted it, proposing the same support plan for the Ayotzinapa group.