student-politics

I might be wrong, but something tells me Mike isn’t totally clear on how a polygraph machine works.

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Over 700 Jefferson County High School students are staging walkouts and protests over proposed changes to the Advanced Placement History curriculum. According to Colorado Public Radio:

Last week, a school board member proposed that advanced placement history classes be required to promote free enterprise and patriotism and be required to avoid classroom materials that encourage social strife or civil disobedience. Two high schools in Jefferson County closed Friday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest.

According the online petition to be delivered to the School District:

Jeffco Public School Board has just proposed a change of curriculum stating that, “Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.”

This means that important parts of our history such as the Civil Rights Movement, Native American genocide, and slavery will not be taught in public schools. If these important lessons are not taught, children will not learn from them, and what will stop them from happening again? This is a severe form of censorship intended to keep the youth ignorant and easy to manipulate. I’m hoping to get enough signatures to prove that this is a public issue, so, please, if this is important to you, please sign. Do not let our youth grow up in ignorance; we all deserve the truth!

You can sign the petition here.

You can read more articles at The Denver Post, CBS Denver (with video), and Colorado Public Radio.

Thanks to theseacaptainsdaughter for dropping a link in my inbox.

PLEASE HELP US: SPREAD THIS SHIT LIKE WILDFIRE

Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote for Chief Executive, the city’s highest political leader in 2017.

Article 45 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s own mini-constitution implemented after the handover from Britain to China in 1997) states that the Chief Executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Time and time again the Communist Party of China have dodged/shut down any democratic progress. Last month the NPC announced that they would continue using the 1200-member committee, consisting of members loyal to the Communist Party, to vote for our CE. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THIS IS SHAM DEMOCRACY AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.

The sit-in of university students belongs to a movement called ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace’ and is led by The Hong Kong Federation of Students (schedule and declaration of the strike included). This act of civil disobedience consists of absolute non-violence. It consists of free public lectures offered by university professors and writers on topics like Orwell’s ‘1984’, history of Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight to end injustice etc etc. I was one of the students sitting in Tamar Park on Tuesday and Thursday and it was one of the most rewarding, educational and, I must emphasise, peaceful political activities I have ever witnessed.

On Friday, high school students led by the student group Scholarism joined in the protest. They marched to Civic Square, pleading for our current CE to come out of his offices and listen to their requests, just like he promised during his ‘campaign’ in 2012. More and more citizens joined in the protest after work.

The police started cutting off access to Civic Square, which is a publicly owned area. They used shields to form a blockade against the protestors and started pushing them back. When people resisted with umbrellas, they started using clubs and pepper spray on the protestors, who started putting both of their hands up to show they are unarmed. Many students who managed to rush in Civic Square are arrested, including the leader of Scholarism. Many of them have visible injuries caused by police brutality and some of them still haven’t been released from police custody.

THE FIGHT IS STIL GOING ON. PEOPLE ARE STILL CROWDING OUTSIDE CIVIC SQUARE AND TAMAR. Resources are running thin and the police are still threatening violence. Some of my friends are at the protest and they are continuing the struggle despite the risks. It is predicted that the police will escalate their brutality with tear gas, more pepper spray and water cannons against innocent, peaceful protestors, many of them teenagers.

You can watch Occupy Central live here: x (Apple Daily livestream)

I know tumblr is a US-centric place but PLEASE PLEASE SPARE A SECOND TO REBLOG THIS POST. Hong Kong is a tiny city. We are anything but a formidable force in international politics. The only thing we can do is raise awareness among the world and force our corrupt government to answer to our protests. 

PLEASE HELP US. 

Articles on Occupy Central (English): x (The Economist), x (BBC News), x (Mail Online), x (Newsweek), x (CNN), x (Right Now I/O), x (NY Times)

Updates (Chinese): x (Campus TV, HKU), x (Apple Daily), x (Amnesty International Hong Kong), x (InMedia HK), x (926政總現場消息發佈)

shout out to all the 18-25 yr old wanna be radicals who aren’t voting tomorrow because “both parties are basically the same” and totally fucking the rest of us over, while not even doing anything to actually protest the two party system. congratulations, not voting is exactly what they want you to do.

Los Angeles students protesting neglect of poorer schools took to the streets, and brought their desks with them.

Some 375 empty desks blocked a downtown street, blocking traffic for several hours Tuesday outside the Los Angeles Unified School District offices.

Organizers say the number represents the count of students who drop out of district schools each week.

Protesters want a student voice on the school board, and more funding for English language learners, foster children and low income students.

District officials declined comment on the protest.

Source

California governor signs transgender-student bill

AP:

California has become the first state to enshrine certain rights for transgender K-12 students in state law, requiring public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday that he had signed AB1266. The new law gives students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.

youtube

My name is Lucia, Im Mexican and #yamecanse… If u wonder what this is mean please watch this vídeo and share…. We are humans, we live, feel, and love….

“The police in Iguala have been finding a lot of unknown tombs, but my heart tells me that our sons are still alive,” says Clemente Rodriguez, whose 19-year-old son Cristian Alfonso Rodriguez is one of the 43 Mexican students missing since September. Watch his interview on Democracy Now! today.

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I have seen many posts about protests in Hong Kong, Australia, Ukraine … but very little about what is happening in Mexico. Please put aside racism.

Some months ago, 43 students from a rural teaching school in the state of Guerrero —yes, the state in which Acapulco is located— were heading to a peaceful demonstration in a small town called Ayotzinapa. None of them did it to this event. They were seized by police officers who later handed them over to a vicious drug cartel. The said demonstration turned violent and the army was responsible for injuring dozens of innocent people who ended up in nearby hospitals.

Since the demise of the students, the entire country has witnessed a widespread indignation and impotence. Thousands of people have shown their support throughout Mexico to the families of the victims through peaceful demonstrations and messages on social networks.

On November 7, 2014, the General Attorney of Mexico, Jesús Murillo Karam, publicly announced that the 43 students had been found dead; actually, in ashes. The message of this officer was the official version of the federal government. The problem is that nobody believed them.

Since this announcement was made, Mexicans have come to protest because the truth to be told. The demonstrations have been massive and through social networks, many Mexican personalities have spoken out against the government’s version and have requested that the facts are clarified, that the search for the missing students continues and that real culprits are punished.

On November 9, a huge demonstration for the missing students and against the federal government was held in Mexico City, where protesters even demanded the resignation of the unpopular president, Enrique Peña Nieto. In social networks it is clear that no one, I mean, no one, supports the president, who, presumably, was imposed by an undemocratic and corrupt manner in 2012. The event came to a climax when a group of protesters set fire to one of the doors of the National Palace —building in Mexico City that houses the office of the President of Mexico— and attempted to overthrow more. Police violently attacked not only against those responsible for these acts, but much more completely innocent people.

Sadly no one on the national media covers the facts truthfully, with transparency and fairness. In Mexico there are very few broadcast networks —similar to ABC, NBC, etc. — and the biggest and most important is Televisa, the largest producer of “telenovelas”. Televisa’s “Channel 2”, in addition to telenovelas also offers news segments which unfortunately hide the reality: they didn’t televised demonstrations as they really were; the presidential family recently caused controversy by acquiring a mansion of over US$ 7 million, and this TV company never aired something about this.

One of the few reliable news brands in Mexico is CNN, which followed closely the case of the controversial mansion as well as the case of the 43 students, and were among the few who dared to criticize the government openly on national television and Internet.

Today, November 20, 104 years of the Mexican Revolution are celebrated. Such an important date is commemorated in Mexico City with an iconic military parade with the presence of the president of Mexico. But this year, the social outrage has surpassed the desire to celebrate and instead of parade —which was canceled just two days earlier— a massive demonstration against the current president of Mexico, corruption, impunity and of course, justice, for the case of the 43 missing students to be clarified, is being held.

Since 2006, over 22,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, because of the “drug war” caused and intensified by the huge consumption of drugs in the United States.

Please share this. It’s not your country, not your people, but outraged and tired of an ineffective and corrupt government young students are trying to change things. Please help this be known.

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Hong Kong’s unprecedented protests & police crackdown, explained
September 29, 2014

Protest marches and vigils are fairly common in Hong Kong, but what began on Friday and escalated dramatically on Sunday is unprecedented. Mass acts of civil disobedience were met by a shocking and swift police response, which has led to clashes in the streets and popular outrage so great that analysts can only guess at what will happen next.

What’s going on in Hong Kong right now is a very big deal, and for reasons that go way beyond just this weekend’s protests. Hong Kong’s citizens are protesting to keep their promised democratic rights, which they worry — with good reason — could be taken away by the central Chinese government in Beijing. This moment is a sort of standoff between Hong Kong and China over the city’s future, a confrontation that they have been building toward for almost 20 years.

On Wednesday, student groups led peaceful marches to protest China’s new plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, which looked like China reneging on its promise to grant the autonomous region full democracy (see the next section for what that plan was such a big deal). Protest marches are pretty common in Hong Kong so it didn’t seem so unusual at first.

Things started escalating on Friday. Members of a protest group called Occupy Central (Central is the name of Hong Kong’s downtown district) had planned to launch a “civil disobedience” campaign on October 1, a national holiday celebrating communist China’s founding. But as the already-ongoing protesters escalated they decided to go for it now. On Friday, protesters peacefully occupied the forecourt (a courtyard-style open area in front of an office building) of Hong Kong’s city government headquarters along with other downtown areas.

The really important thing is what happened next: Hong Kong’s police cracked down with surprising force, fighting in the streets with protesters and eventually emerging with guns that, while likely filled with rubber bullets, look awfully militaristic. In response, outraged Hong Kong residents flooded into the streets to join the protesters, and on Sunday police blanketed Central with tear gas, which has been seen as a shocking and outrageous escalation. The Chinese central government issued a statement endorsing the police actions, as did Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive, a tacit signal that Beijing wishes for the protests to be cleared.

You have to remember that this is Hong Kong: an affluent and orderly place that prides itself on its civility and its freedom. Hong Kongers have a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to China, and see themselves as beyond the mainland’s authoritarianism and disorder. But there is also deep, deep anxiety that this could change, that Hong Kong could lose its special status, and this week’s events have hit on those anxieties to their core.

This began in 1997, when the United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong, one of its last imperial possessions, to the Chinese government. Hong Kong had spent over 150 years under British rule; it had become a fabulously wealthy center of commerce and had enjoyed, while not full democracy, far more freedom and democracy than the rest of China. So, as part of the handover, the Chinese government in Beijing promised to let Hong Kong keep its special rights and its autonomy — a deal known as “one country, two systems.”

A big part of that deal was China’s promise that, in 2017, Hong Kong’s citizens would be allowed to democratically elect their top leader for the first time ever. That leader, known as the Hong Kong chief executive, is currently appointed by a pro-Beijing committee. In 2007, the Chinese government reaffirmed its promise to give Hong Kong this right in 2017, which in Hong Kong is referred to as universal suffrage — a sign of how much value people assign to it.

But there have been disturbing signs throughout this year that the central Chinese government might renege on its promise. In July, the Chinese government issued a “white paper” stating that it has “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong and that “the high degree of autonomy of [Hong Kong] is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorization by the central leadership.” It sounded to many like a warning from Beijing that it could dilute or outright revoke Hong Kong’s freedoms, and tens of thousands of Hong Kong’s citizens marched in protest.

Then, in August, Beijing announced its plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections. While citizens would be allowed to vote for the chief executive, the candidates for the election would have to be approved by a special committee just like the pro-Beijing committee that currently appoints the chief executive. This lets Beijing hand-pick candidates for the job, which is anti-democratic in itself, but also feels to many in Hong Kong like a first step toward eroding their promised democratic rights.

Full article
Photo 1, 2, 3

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[from this earlier post]

Actually, those almost seem like fair questions, HOWEVER:

  • Voting is a valuable and cherished right that many people have fought and died for. Other comparisons tend to fail because voting is not a purchasable, nor an easily revoked privilege like flying or driving —how many people were tarred and feathered or murdered because of fighting for their “right” to fly or drive?
  • The 24th Amendment makes poll taxes illegal. Requiring someone pay —directly or otherwise— for the right to vote is neither democratic nor patriotic
  • Voter ID laws disproportionately impact disabled, the poor and the elderly —all groups that often lack “proper ID.”
  • Many college students (and older people) simply do not drive —and thus have no need for a state issued driver’s license. I know people who live in New York who have never, ever owned a license or a car
  • Students have used their college IDs to vote in elections for decades. But suddenly, after the 2008 and 20012 election results, Republican led legislatures have found cause to suppress their votes. Additionally, it is worth noting such Voter ID restrictions tend to be more lax in districts that have consistently voted for Republicans. Why is that?
  • Many states requiring an “official government ID” to vote have simultaneously reduced drivers license office hours and/or completely closed many offices, thereby making it even harder to obtain the very type of ID they’re mandating
  • Some elected Republican officials like Mike Turzai have said that Voter ID laws were being passed for the expressed purpose of rigging an election. Other elected Republicans like Bill O’Brien, have openly stated they simply do not want college students voting because they tend to vote for Democrats
  • ALEC, a GOP/Koch Brothers political organization, is directly responsible for the surge of voter suppression laws seen in the last decade. ALEC’s founder, Paul Weyrich, was quoted as saying, “I don’t want everybody to vote. Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
  • There have been more elected GOP officials found guilty of Election Fraud than actual voters committing voter fraud
  • Voter ID laws are “solutions” to a problem that does not exist. Voter ID laws are a Republican response to Republicans losing elections, not to fixing voter fraud. There has been a comprehensive study—at the behest of many Republicans—which showed that in more than a decade of voting, exactly 10 people engaged in voter fraud. That’s 10 people out of the millions who voted since the year 2000. And some of those likely did so unknowingly (ie, voted at the wrong voting precinct, or were genuinely unaware they were ineligible to vote, etc.)
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Before I start speaking (or writing, tho), I want you to know that most of the links I’ll use as sources may be in Spanish, because it’s information given by our newspapers. Sorry for that, but I’ll do my best in translating the most important quote on the source as well linking that quote with the article in the newspaper.

On February 12th venezuelan students took over the streets in order to protest pacifically against our current Government. Nevertheless (though not surprisingly) their response over the protest was with violence. Before going on the events, I’ll explain why are we protesting?

Since the last year our consumer prices have been increasing. Only in 2013 it reached over 56 percent, making it impossible for our country to import and get foreign currency. Not only that, the inflation also had increased the prices from different electrodomestics, clothes, books and even food. Our President, Nicolas Maduro, had introduced a new and more complex system of currency control, but experts and critics says it’s another devaluation of our own currency in disguise.

Another good reason is the shortages of basic goods. Venezuelans HAVE to get in lines so we can obtain toilet paper, sugar, flour, chicken, butter and our dearest Harina Pan, corn flour we use to make Arepas. We are almost fighting to get food and thoroughly thinking what are we going to use when there is no more toilet paper. What is more, Maduro is  imposing a lower prices control even though the inflation, making impossible for the supermarkets to keep full inventories.

And, the worst reason, is the violent crimes. Venezuelans are incapable of going to the streets without exposing their lives. With the only propose of burglarizing a venezuelan slaughter another everyday. A recent study put the homicides’ rates 79 per 100.000, making Venezuela one of the most insecure and violent countries in the World. The murder of our Miss, Mónica Spear, a venezuelan who deeply loved this country, just woke our senses and maybe that’s when we said we can’t take this shit anymore. This is all I can summarize from all the facts that made us to take the streets this last week.

Trying to stop us, claiming that we are being violent, the Government sent their Army Forces to apprehend the students. By that meaning the own Government is ignoring the laws from the Venezuelan Constitution (and I’ll summarize):

Art. 61. Every person has the right for freedom of thought and manifest it, unless it constitutes a crime.

The Army, the people who are suppose to defend their equals, the venezuelans, those who are in danger, are kicking and striking the students (this is a youtube video so be careful), holding them under false charges, shooting them (90 under arrest and 40 gunshot wound), and even murdering them.

What is worst from this situation is that the Government is trying to cover it. No Venezuelan television media is reporting the protest as it never happened. An international tv channel, NTN24, was pulled out from Venezuelan TV because according to politics it was “distortioning the information” when all it was doing was telling the truth. Not only that, and as Twitter just confirmed, the Government disabled the picture and video service from the social network so we couln’t see and pass to each other all the crimes they are committing for almost a day. They are saying to the world that the Army Force don’t use weapons towards students (If you saw the video, you can even hear the gunshots in the distance).

I know you can’t do anything to help, but please PASS THIS. Any reblog can help, because what venezuelans need is the world to know that what we are living is not Democracy, but a covered Dictatorship. They are trying to hide it so they can get away with it.

And we can’t let them hide that fact as nothing.