Meetings every Wednesday at 7pm
UWM Union
2200 E. Kewnwood Blvd.
Meetings are usually in Union 280, otherwise check by the union elevators for meeting locations.

12/31/09

March 4th: National Day of Action for Education Rights

National SDS and Milwaukee SDS has formally endorsed this national call for action on March 4:



As people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks. Budget cuts degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place. Non-unionized charter schools threaten to divide, weaken and privatize the public school system and damage teachers’ unions, which are needed now more than ever. More and more students are going deep into debt to finance their education, while high unemployment forces many students and youth to join the military to receive a higher education. And all of the attacks described above have hit working people and people of color the hardest.

In California, students, teachers, workers, parents, and faculty have taken action against these attacks. They took to the streets in a one-day strike on September 24th, organized strikes and actions across the state during the University of California Board of Regents meeting from November 18th to 20th, and have called for a state-wide day of action on March 4th. These actions have created a broad mass movement in California, drawing in students from all over the state to create a powerful struggle. As the effects of the economic crisis continue to spread into the education system nationally, it’s time to join our voices with students and workers in California and draw inspiration from their example.

We support each group or coalition organizing in the manner and for the duration of their choosing. In solidarity with those in California, we the below-signed individuals and organizations call on students, teachers, workers, parents, faculty, and staff across the country to join together on March 4th to Take A Stand For Education!

Visit the Web site for more details at http://www.defendeducation.org. You can now endorse online!

To endorse this call or to receive more information, visit the above web page or contact march4nationaldayofaction (at) gmail.com.

12/4/09

Campus Community Crashes Rove

SDS led a loud protest of over 100 students, faculty, and community members outside the hall where war criminal Karl Rove spoke on December 3rd.  Right-wingers waiting in line to see the speech were confronted with signs demanding Rove return the $25,000 honorarium payed to him by excess student fees.  During the worst economic crisis in 80 years, millionaire Rove gladly robbed the university students of much needed funds, at a time when UW schools are facing a $174m budget deficit.  SDS demanded Rove return the money to students who lost financial aid during the crisis.  Rove was instrumental in helping the deregulate the banks, cut college aid like pell grants, and send schools into a downward spiral with the no child left behind act.  Because of these crimes against students, and his war crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, he will be confronted wherever he goes.

Here is some excellent coverage of the protest:
Michael Moore:
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latest-news/karl-roves-visit-uwm-incites-protest


A protester gets thrown out of the speech:


Photos on our facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=5697986836&view=all

12/3/09

SDS, Veterans, Community Protest Troop Surge in Afghanistan

SDS joined hundreds of community members, including Peace Action Wisconsin, Veterans for Peace, and dozens of community groups to protest Obama's troop surge announcement. Students representing SDS led a march of students and veterans into the streets during rush-hour at the Federal Building. Here is the call to action that was sent out for the event:


The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is over 8 years old and a certified disaster for democracy and self-determination. Despite Obama’s anti-war campaign rhetoric, the administration is now preparing to announce a new invasion of U.S. troops into Afghanistan. This is a dangerous move for the Afghan people, and for taxpayers in the U.S.

The defense budget signed by President Obama on October 28th this year allocates $680 billion to military spending, while the American people are suffering the economic effects of Obama’s occupations. Democrats and Republicans are arguing about the cost of a healthcare bill, but Pentagon officials have told the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the House that every gallon of gasoline delivered to US troops in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $400.

The U.S. installed “democracy” in Afghanistan has been a complete failure, with nearly one-third of the ballots for Hamid Karzai thrown out due to fraud. Yet, the United States continues to work with a deeply corrupt government, some of which is still on the CIA payroll.

It will cost U.S. taxpayers $750,000 to send one soldier to Afghanistan for one year. At this rate, the troops surge will cost roughly the same as sending three million young people to college for a year. Therefore we demand an end to unjust occupation, and demand money to save jobs, save homes, and save education in a time of crisis. We condemn any escalation or continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

12/1/09

Wednesday: Emergency Protest of Troop Surge in Afghanistan

The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is over 8 years old and a certified disaster for democracy and self-determination. Despite Obama’s anti-war campaign rhetoric, the administration is now preparing to announce a new invasion of U.S. troops into Afghanistan.  This is a dangerous move for the Afghan people, and for taxpayers in the U.S.

The defense budget signed by President Obama on October 28th this year allocates $680 billion to military spending, while the American people are suffering the economic effects of Obama’s occupations.  Democrats and Republicans are arguing about the cost of a healthcare bill, but Pentagon officials have told the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the House that every gallon of gasoline delivered to US troops in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $400. 

The U.S. installed “democracy” in Afghanistan has been a complete failure, with nearly one-third of the ballots for Hamid Karzai thrown out due to fraud.  Yet, the United States continues to work with a deeply corrupt government, some of which is still on the CIA payroll.

It will cost U.S. taxpayers $750,000 to send one soldier to Afghanistan for one year.  At this rate, the troops surge will cost roughly the same as sending three million young people to college for a year.  Therefore we demand an end to unjust occupation, and demand money to save jobs, save homes, and save education in a time of crisis.  We condemn any escalation or continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Community members and organizations will rally on Wednesday, December 2ndt at 5:00pm outside the Federal Building on the corner of 3rd and Wisconsin.  We will protesting during rush hour, so plan on traffic.

http://www.facebook.com/#/event.php?eid=338250365537&index=1

National SDS Mobilizes Protests of Obama's Troop Surge

Student Protests Against U.S. Escalation in Afghanistan
November 29, 2009

Students for a Democratic Society is calling for students across the country to protest the U.S. government's plans for a massive escalation of the war in Afghanistan. President Obama will announce his plans next week to mobilize 30,000 to 40,000 more combat troops in Afghanistan. We must respond with protest. A majority of people in the U.S. oppose the occupation; we must make this opposition visible. Take action by holding a street protest, a film screening, a teach-in, or anything you can do to demonstrate public opposition to this unjust war.
We categorically reject U.S. wars, occupations, and bombings of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. The Afghan people have a right to self-determination, to control their own resources, and take care of their own affairs. It is not the place of the U.S. to bomb Afghanistan into submission and control its destiny. The only way for Afghanistan to be free is for the bombings to halt, and for all U.S. and NATO troops to leave the country immediately. We support the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for liberation and freedom from foreign occupation and domination.

Funding for education, not for war and occupation!
U.S. out of Afghanistan and Iraq NOW!

Thursday -- Protest Karl Rove


11/19/09

Protest Karl Rove at UWM

SDS is organizing a mass protest of the modern day fascist war criminal Karl Rove. 

On Thursday, December 3rd at 6:30 pm students and community groups will rally in force outside the UWM Union to say "war criminals are not welcome here!" and "Fund Education, Not Occupation!"

Please join the facebook group (which has exceeded the size of the speaking event)
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=168942391403&ref=nf

Karl Rove was in Milwaukee this summer to speak at a private meeting with the MMAC on union-busting strategies.  SDS joined Labor to protest in force: http://sds-mke.blogspot.com/2009/07/sds-joins-labor-to-protest-karl-rove.html

11/17/09

In Solidarity with Striking Graduate Employees

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stands in solidarity with the Graduate Employees' Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the striking workers of CUPE 3906 at McMaster University in Ontario. Students, Faculty, and Graduate Employees share the dream of quality higher education that is affordable for all students, and a good place to work for all educators. We also understand that education should never be just a privilege, but a right. Milwaukee SDS thanks the workers and students in the struggle for their admirable efforts in propelling the important fight for education and workplace rights.

Support the GEO at UIUC:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/GEO/171984109397#/pages/GEO/171984109397?v=info

and CUPE 3906:
http://unit1bargaining.wordpress.com/

11/5/09

Preview: Richard Berg Speaks on December 2nd, 7pm


UWM Education Rights Campaign

Click on Image for full size




We're students, faculty, and staff fighting back against the unjust budget cuts, pay cuts, and tuition hikes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Justice for students and workers at UWM!

1) Chop from the top!

We want the Chancellor and high level administrators of the university to take a pay cut from their six-figure salaries before deciding to cut salaries of faculty and staff. Currently, the Chancellor is making $307,000, a 3% pay raise from last year. The Chancellor is also accepting other benefits that include money to pay for his million-dollar condo, a car, and $20,000 a year from the UWM Foundation. The Chancellor accepts all this and more while cutting all faculty and staff pay by 3%, a net 5% loss after a 2% salary increase was canceled.


2) Transparency now!

“We will address issues relating to the university’s budget with openness and transparency,” stated Chancellor Santiago on December 1, 2008. So where is the transparency? After the Chancellor called for all Deans to cut their departments by five percent, we demand to know exactly what is being cut and who is making these decisions. We demand that staff, students and faculty be part of the decision making process. We demand this information be easily accessible to the public. Who does the university work for?


3) Education first!

Students are continuing to pay a greater percentage of their educational costs. The university is raising tuition by 5% for the next two years. This leaves thousands of students struggling to figure out a way to remain in school. On average, students at UW-Milwaukee work at jobs for more hours than all other students in the Wisconsin university system. We demand a tuition freeze and increased money for need-based scholarships. An urban university must reflect the urban community.


4) Academic freedom!

We demand free, fair and open discussion of issues on campus. Students and employees have the right to organize unions and other associations at the university. The university administration must not try to influence or interfere with the rights of students and employees to share information and perspectives on issues affecting us.

Campaign sponsors:
Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association (MGAA), The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP), Students Equalizing Rights Forever (SERF), Students United for Immigrant Rights at UWM (SURFRIR), Progressive Students of Milwaukee (PSM), UWM Association of South American Students (ASAS), Black Student Union (BSU), Jews for Justice, Systematic Peace Project, Colombia Action Network at UWM, Latin America Solidarity Committee, Latino Student Union (LSU), Black Graduate Student Alliance, National Society of Black Engineers at UWM (NSBE)

http://www.educationrightscampaign.com

Editorial: The War on Students

When I was 17 I signed a four-year contract with the U.S. Air Force, for a chance to go to college without incurring a paralyzing amount of student debt. I was able to meet young men and women from all walks of life, but the one thing we had in common was that we were from modest backgrounds, searching for opportunity. Young people join the military for the chance to go to college or to receive other basic needs that their lives in civilian society just didn’t offer them. By far, the biggest opportunity these young people desire, is higher education. These are the working class and oppressed nationality youth who are offered a “way out” if they will serve on the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States spends $750,000 per year for each soldier sent to Afghanistan by President Obama. In comparison, a student can attend a public university for an average of $7,300 a year. Yet, this economic system enlists poor and oppressed people to fight its wars instead of sending them to school. This system saves the real opportunities for corporations that are built to profit from war. While wealthy families seldom worry about paying their child’s tuition, working students have to earn their higher education through military enlistment, or piles of debt to banks that are making record profits on student loans.

The banks who are making profits on low-income students are also robbing hard-working people through hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts. This has pushed many students to drop out, move back in with their parents, or even join the military. Many university students are forced to juggle education with part time jobs, when they can find them. Corporations and universities take advantage of working class students’ cheap part time labor, so they can cut good union jobs with benefits. This contributes of course, to unemployment and a downward spiral of debt and desperation.

With so much joblessness, the prospects are not looking good for recent college graduates. We all probably know a few college graduates who have been out of school for a couple years and are still unemployed or underemployed. This has contributed to record enlistment numbers for the U.S. Military this year, as university students and high school graduates scramble to stay afloat in a backwards economy. Clearly, this is not a formula for the peaceful, sustainable society we desire. It is no surprise therefore, that the United States is in an economic crisis.

The gross mismanagement of national priorities is leaving working class and oppressed nationality, and immigrant youth with shrinking access to higher education. This incredible rate of debt spending on two occupations, and billions of dollars squandered on greedy banks and the wealthy elite is leaving us, the working class youth and future of this country with little opportunity. Past generations have left us with the largest debt in the world, ever. We cannot ignore this problem for our children to deal with.
Without the right to education, this pattern will continue to dismantle our future, piece by piece, hitting low income, immigrant, and oppressed nationality students the hardest. If the ruling class had their way, universities would become private corporate training grounds for the children of the wealthy. We can’t accept education for the privileged any longer. We have to demand education for everyone!

All people should be able to learn important skills in college, regardless of class, gender, or race. Young people don’t deserve to be sent to war, or indebted to banks simply for seeking essential knowledge. If President Obama sends just ten soldiers home from Afghanistan, he can send 1,000 to college. Fund Education, Not Occupation! Bailout for Education, Not for Corporations!

Jacob Flom is a member of Students for a Democratic Society

10/30/09

Video from Rally for Equality



After the rally, students marched to the Chancellors office, and occupied his building to demand the administration condemn racism in the student government.  Although the Chancellor's office was contacted, they refused to send anyone to talk to the anti-racist coalition.

Full story to come soon!

10/28/09

Rally For Equality



Time:
THURSDAY, October 29th
12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location:
Spaights Plaza at UWM


Come out and show your solidarity against ignorance, hate, racism and sexism on campus.

This university needs to be a safe space for EVERYONE to feel like they are accepted and equal to everyone else despite their race, sex, gender etc...

So show your solidarity and help us put pressure on the administration to do something about the hateful tension on campus. Let your voice be heard. Let it be known that students will not tolerate inequality on OUR campus and the senators and students in the student government need to start representing us.

10/26/09

Join the National Day of Action for Education Rights - Nov 10th

Protest on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Join students and youth across the country on Tuesday, November 10 as we raise our voices to demand an end to budget cuts, layoffs, and tuition hikes, and to say loud and clear: "Education is a right!"

Universities across the country are in a serious crisis. Many universities are responding to economic shortfalls by cutting vital university programs such as scholarships, women’s centers, and even jobs. Administrators are raising already unmanageable tuition and fees, while forcing staff to take furloughs.

Rising tuition, textbook prices, and extra fees, have made access to education even more challenging for poor, working class, immigrant, and oppressed nationality students. Many of these students depend on financial aid, or loans from bailed out banks that are now refusing to help low-income students pay for education. These attacks on working people are unacceptable, and must end.

We will not stand by while the rich are bailed out on the backs of students and workers. It is time for our generation to stand up to the plate and build a better future for ourselves and our children. Across the country, campuses are fighting back: from the historic walkouts and ongoing mass mobilizations at the University of California, to the Save our School campaign at the University of Minnesota, to the struggles against education cuts at Middle Tennessee State University, and at all points in between. Now is the time to carry the momentum forward into a nationwide movement for education rights.

We need to fight for the right to earn a living wage, the right to housing and healthcare, the right of self-determination, and the right to higher education for all people.

Send us your endorsements and let us know what you'll be doing on November 10. Organize a local action, teach-in, protest, or march, or contact us to find out what actions are happening near you.

Contact us at edurtscampaign@gmail.com, or visit our blog: http://educampaign.wordpress.com/

Campaign for Education Rights
Network to Fight for Economic Justice
October 25, 2009

10/23/09

In Solidarity with the California Campaign to Save Public Education

The following statement was sent by the National Working Committee of Students for a Democratic Society to the California Campaign to Save Public Education, in solidarity with their October 24 assembly.


Sisters and brothers,

On behalf of the National Working Committee of Students for a Democratic Society, we send our warmest greetings to this assembly.

The UC walkouts on September 24, and the movement that continues to carry that spirit forward, is an inspiration to students, youth, and campus workers across this country.

At a time when our backs are being pushed up against the wall; when the rich tell us we have to pay for their economic crisis; and when the wealthy are moving to take away the necessities we need to survive — at a stormy time like this, your walkout lights the way forward: the path of struggle and resistance.

As Students for a Democratic Society, we realize that we do not, in fact, live in a democracy. What we have is democracy for the few — for the rich and powerful. But we organize and struggle for a world where “democracy” is not a empty word. We believe that democracy must be transformed to serve the overwhelming majority of people, the working-class and oppressed nationality communities. And we believe that education must be revolutionized towards this end.

We believe in, and fight for, a world where knowledge is not enslaved to corporate profits, but is used to improve the condition of humanity; where higher education is not a means for climbing the ranks of society, but a means for the liberation of the oppressed; and finally, where education is no longer the privilege of the few, but is recognized as a universal and fundamental human right.

In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we must stand our ground and fight for what we believe in. And we must stand together, as students, campus workers, and faculty, for when we are united, there is no force that can stop us.

We have the power to change the world. Our organization extends its deepest solidarity to your movement, and inspired by your actions, we will continue our work on campuses and in communities across the country in the struggle for education rights.

Education is a right!
Chop from the top — make the rich pay for their crisis!


National Working Committee
Students for a Democratic Society
October 22, 2009

10/19/09

Students Participate in Economic Fight Back Movement


   Since the near collapse of the banking system, Americans have paid billions to banks that are now making record profits. Meanwhile, students, workers, and homeowners are facing unforgivable unemployment, homelessness, and debt. In spite of this, the Obama administration continues to escalate the occupation of Afghanistan and maintain troops in Iraq, adding trillions to our country’s deficit and financial crisis. It is the working people who will pay for these wars, just as we are paying for bailouts to greedy banks.

If we are to see the “Change” Obama promised, we need to organize and fight for it. Students and youth are a powerful political force. It is not the rich politicians who make change happen, it is the real working people who fight for, and win change. Students and youth are especially successful in winning radical social change and building mass movements. The right to vote, the right to organize, the right to public education, and the right to the 8 hour work day were won through years of organization, struggle, and sometimes death. Generations before us have taken the streets in the face of brutal repression to win the liberties we enjoy today.

In the past year, people across the globe have organized mass movements confronting all kinds of economic injustices. Last month, Rosemary Williams of Minnesota refused to leave her home when a bank seized her home, and sent the police to evict her. Last December, workers in Chicago occupied their factory when U.S. Bank cut funding to their operation, after receiving a federal bailout. This month, tens of thousands of students and faculty at California universities participated in walk-outs and sit-ins against the budget cuts that are crippling universities across the country. Two weeks ago, over 25 college campuses participated in protests and direct action against the 8th anniversary of war in Afghanistan. Just days ago, Puerto Ricans shut down their island with a general strike protesting huge layoffs, unemployment and budget cuts. These are just a few of the struggles people are organizing to fight for social and economic justice.

It is time for our generation to stand up to the plate and build a better future for ourselves and our children. If we want that future, we need to fight for the right to higher education, the right to earn a living wage, the right to housing and healthcare, and the right of self-determination. This November 10th, students will participate in a national day of action for education rights.

Students refuse to pay for failing corporations and imperialist occupations with cuts to education. We refuse to fight their wars to pay for school. We demand a student bailout, an end to budget cuts, layoffs and tuition hikes. Education is a Right!


Jacob Flom is a member of Students for a Democratic Society


10/6/09

Students to Protest Afghanistan War on 25 Campuses




October 5, 2009

Contact: Natasha Morgan – 608-426-4252– nadashay@gmail.com

Students to Protest Afghanistan War on 25 Campuses

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society to Demonstrate 8th anniversary of Afghan War--demand immediate U.S./NATO withdrawal

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society, along with students on 25 campuses across the United States, will protest eight long years of war against and occupation of the people of Afghanistan, on Wednesday October 7, at 12:00pm in front of the Sandburg dormitories, 3400 N Maryland Ave. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a nation-wide student organization committed to activism for peace, justice and equality, are organizing the protest.

"We're participating in this day of action because the war in Afghanistan is wrong and we need the troops out now. This war is only benefiting benefit rich," said Maral Safabi, of Milwaukee SDS.

The protests come on the heels of the largest loss of life for U.S. occupation forces in a year. On Sunday October 4, anti-occupation fighters in Afghanistan killed nine U.S. soldiers in a series of attacks. So far, 869 U.S. troops are dead in Afghanistan since the occupation began in 2001 – with over a quarter of those killed in the past ten months alone. There are 4,000 U.S. wounded.

U.S. and NATO occupation forces do not keep track of civilian casualties, but many estimate that U.S. air strikes and gunfire have killed tens of thousands of Afghanis. Just last month, U.S. air strikes killed over 90 Afghan civilians in the northern Afghan village of Omar Kheil. A similar strike in Farah province on May 4 this year killed 147 civilians.

“The U.S. occupation is a disaster for Afghanistan, just like it is for Iraq. The Afghan people will never have stability and peace until the U.S. leaves”, said Stephanie Taylor, a member of SDS at the University of Minnesota.

The organizers of the October 7th protests note that the war and occupation of Afghanistan is linked to U.S. interests in controlling strategic energy resources and markets in central Asia. Jenae Stainer, an SDS organizer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama explains, “Our government wants to keep us ignorant about the real reasons and true costs of war both at home and in Afghanistan. That is why organizing to stop the war is so important.”

Organizers of the October 7th actions say they will continue to initiate demonstrations to protest the occupation of Afghanistan until all U.S. and NATO forces leave the country. “We will keep speaking out and organizing to support the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for independence from U.S. occupation,” said Daniel Ginsberg-Jaeckle of Milwaukee SDS. “We will continue to demand that the U.S. government stop spending money on war and occupation, and fund people’s needs here at home, including education, housing, jobs, and healthcare.”

U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!

Fund Education, Not Occupation!

The SDS Anti-War Working Group exists to help coordinate national SDS anti-war activity. For more information, please contact Natasha Morgan at 608-426-4252. More information, reports, and organizing materials are available on the SDS Antiwar Working Group’s homepage at http://sdsantiwar.wordpress.com.

10/5/09

October 7th - National Day of Action

U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now
Eight Years of War and Occupation

This week eight years ago, the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan to begin a lengthy and deadly occupation. Eight years later and with a new president, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan have only grown in scope and violence. This Wednesday, October 7th, students will rally outside Sandburg Hall at noon, calling to “Fund Education, Not Occupation!”

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Wisconsin taxpayers an unimaginable $14.5 Billion in the past eight years. The money from our public schools and universities has been drained into corporate coffers, and even used to pay off resistance fighters. This year, it was announced that UW schools will lose $174 Million in funding, creating a crises for students on financial aid, more tuition hikes, and widespread budget cuts. Even more unforgivable, is the loss of over 6,000 young Americans in these wars.

This year has been the deadliest year for U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan, as President Obama plays with different failed strategies there. As the President plans to send tens of thousands more troops, the cost of these occupations will continue to drain our communities and schools of the resources and attention they desperately need. The U.S. Government is expanding upon Bush’s mistakes by retaining the military presence in Iraq, and building a mass escalation of the occupation in Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, this occupation has become increasingly unpopular as it proves to lack any legitimacy, direction, or improvement. From the recent fraudulent election, to dwindling international support, to fiscal and social costs, this illegitimate war is a nightmare for the people of Afghanistan and for students and workers in our own communities.

The anti-war movement in the United States will unite this week in mass protests of the illegal war against the people of Afghanistan. Students and youth will demand “Books, not Bombs!” and an immediate end to occupation.

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will participate in a national day of anti-war action organized by the National SDS Anti-War Working Group. Please join us outside Sandburg Hall at noon on Wednesday to join the rally.

9/25/09

G20 Solidarity

Students across the country are taking to direct action this week, taking the streets in the face of global capitalism at the G20, and taking over their schools in the face of capitalist crises in California.

Students at U of P attempt to leave their dorms, confronted by riot police


Here is a dispatch from our UND SDS friends at the G20 in Pittsburgh:

"A march, police escalation, local kindness, and musings. And a woman named Hope

I don’t know where to start. Right now the students of the University of Pittsburgh are being attacked. Students are being held in their dorms by lines of riot cops, and I’m sitting at our friends house, legs up, ankles crossed typing this. What does that mean to anything. I don’t know. I’ll try to touch on what I experienced, what I am thinking now.

It seems indecent to try to explain the day when it is still continuing. While I get messages of what’s happening. (#g20pgh:two more arrests, cops have blocked off student dorms, using weapons) But that was the point of this blog, and I’ll continue its goals. We started the day meeting up with a student feeder march. We left the park marched along sidewalks and chanted our chants. It was hotter than it should of been. Sweat and sore feet, hills and a collecting of people at Arsenal park. A line of riot cops boxed off one side of the park, and people gathered. Seeds of peace showed up again, feed people, and the march started. (#g20pgh police dispersing folks onto forbes against traffic) We met a line of police and ended up being rerouted in the other direction. I was dismayed at the small numbers of folks at first, but the march swelled at this point. With people appearing and joining in from all directions, from house, from apartment buildings and we marched. It was alot of energy and friendly faces. We moved towards downtown and were blocked by police who threatened to use force to disperse the march. It started to break apart. You know.

Let’s move past this.

The things that happened: Gas,LRAD(Long range acoustic device:it basically screams at you, fills your head with their noise)rubber bullets, batons and splintering marches. There was more cops than protesters, there was windows broken. There was a momentary break in a park. People eating and talking, then the LRAD swinging up and being aimmed at the folks sitting in the park.(#G20pgh:student dorms blocked by police with weapons)

Walking away from the first blocade. Local folks offered us water, and their places to sit and rest. They asked us if we needed to use the bathroom. If we were alright. As we walked the local folks clapped for us, and asked us why we were there. And people explained and we thanked them. This is what I think about now. I always asked, and am always asked, what people are fighting about. What are people doing going to places and making noise and getting beat, battoned. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s for the kindness of a woman holding a child asking us if we need to use the bathroom. And her apologizing because they turned off her power. Maybe there is something there that is being missed. Maybe there is something everywhere that we can no longer see. (#g20pgh units are responding to hotmetal bridge for reports of protesters gathering) I wish I knew.

Right now, it goes on and I’m still on this couch. Thinking about Hope asking us if we needed help. Meeting her children and shaking their hands.

NDFB

I’m tired and need to sleep. Thank you all for reading. I’ll try to write again tomorrow morning to clear somethings up.

California Students Ignite Resistance

Here is some inspiring videos from California students who are demanding education rights!

9/23/09

SDS Action Against War in Afghanistan



SDS MKE will be participating in the national day of action against war in Afghanistan. Students at UWM will be organizing outside the Sandburg Dowms on October 7th at 1130 am. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, our next meeting is Monday at 7pm in Union room 240!

Two Events This Thursday

Hi Folks,
This is a quick reminder that tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm Father Simon Harak will be presenting his outstanding analysis of who profits from war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also, the Chicana Feminist artist Favianna Rodriguez will be opening an exhibit in the UWM Union art gallery from 5-8pm.


Power to the People

9/15/09

Student Resistance Across The U.S. Today

Students across the country are taking to direct action this week, taking the streets in the face of global capitalism at the G20, and taking over their schools in the face of capitalist crises in California.




Here is a dispatch from our UND SDS friends at the G20 in Pittsburgh:

"A march, police escalation, local kindness, and musings. And a woman named Hope

I don’t know where to start. Right now the students of the University of Pittsburgh are being attacked. Students are being held in their dorms by lines of riot cops, and I’m sitting at our friends house, legs up, ankles crossed typing this. What does that mean to anything. I don’t know. I’ll try to touch on what I experienced, what I am thinking now.

It seems indecent to try to explain the day when it is still continuing. While I get messages of what’s happening. (#g20pgh:two more arrests, cops have blocked off student dorms, using weapons) But that was the point of this blog, and I’ll continue its goals. We started the day meeting up with a student feeder march. We left the park marched along sidewalks and chanted our chants. It was hotter than it should of been. Sweat and sore feet, hills and a collecting of people at Arsenal park. A line of riot cops boxed off one side of the park, and people gathered. Seeds of peace showed up again, feed people, and the march started. (#g20pgh police dispersing folks onto forbes against traffic) We met a line of police and ended up being rerouted in the other direction. I was dismayed at the small numbers of folks at first, but the march swelled at this point. With people appearing and joining in from all directions, from house, from apartment buildings and we marched. It was alot of energy and friendly faces. We moved towards downtown and were blocked by police who threatened to use force to disperse the march. It started to break apart. You know.

Let’s move past this.

The things that happened: Gas,LRAD(Long range acoustic device:it basically screams at you, fills your head with their noise)rubber bullets, batons and splintering marches. There was more cops than protesters, there was windows broken. There was a momentary break in a park. People eating and talking, then the LRAD swinging up and being aimmed at the folks sitting in the park.(#G20pgh:student dorms blocked by police with weapons)

Walking away from the first blocade. Local folks offered us water, and their places to sit and rest. They asked us if we needed to use the bathroom. If we were alright. As we walked the local folks clapped for us, and asked us why we were there. And people explained and we thanked them. This is what I think about now. I always asked, and am always asked, what people are fighting about. What are people doing going to places and making noise and getting beat, battoned. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s for the kindness of a woman holding a child asking us if we need to use the bathroom. And her apologizing because they turned off her power. Maybe there is something there that is being missed. Maybe there is something everywhere that we can no longer see. (#g20pgh units are responding to hotmetal bridge for reports of protesters gathering) I wish I knew.

Right now, it goes on and I’m still on this couch. Thinking about Hope asking us if we needed help. Meeting her children and shaking their hands.

NDFB

I’m tired and need to sleep. Thank you all for reading. I’ll try to write again tomorrow morning to clear somethings up. (#g20pgh: 20-30 bike cops on 6th ave &6 police vehicles on 5th ave heading towards downtown)"

Student Resistance Across The U.S. Today

Students across the country are taking to direct action this week, taking the streets in the face of global capitalism at the G20, and taking over their schools in the face of capitalist crises in California.




Here is a dispatch from our UND SDS friends at the G20 in Pittsburgh:

"A march, police escalation, local kindness, and musings. And a woman named Hope

I don’t know where to start. Right now the students of the University of Pittsburgh are being attacked. Students are being held in their dorms by lines of riot cops, and I’m sitting at our friends house, legs up, ankles crossed typing this. What does that mean to anything. I don’t know. I’ll try to touch on what I experienced, what I am thinking now.

It seems indecent to try to explain the day when it is still continuing. While I get messages of what’s happening. (#g20pgh:two more arrests, cops have blocked off student dorms, using weapons) But that was the point of this blog, and I’ll continue its goals. We started the day meeting up with a student feeder march. We left the park marched along sidewalks and chanted our chants. It was hotter than it should of been. Sweat and sore feet, hills and a collecting of people at Arsenal park. A line of riot cops boxed off one side of the park, and people gathered. Seeds of peace showed up again, feed people, and the march started. (#g20pgh police dispersing folks onto forbes against traffic) We met a line of police and ended up being rerouted in the other direction. I was dismayed at the small numbers of folks at first, but the march swelled at this point. With people appearing and joining in from all directions, from house, from apartment buildings and we marched. It was alot of energy and friendly faces. We moved towards downtown and were blocked by police who threatened to use force to disperse the march. It started to break apart. You know.

Let’s move past this.

The things that happened: Gas,LRAD(Long range acoustic device:it basically screams at you, fills your head with their noise)rubber bullets, batons and splintering marches. There was more cops than protesters, there was windows broken. There was a momentary break in a park. People eating and talking, then the LRAD swinging up and being aimmed at the folks sitting in the park.(#G20pgh:student dorms blocked by police with weapons)

Walking away from the first blocade. Local folks offered us water, and their places to sit and rest. They asked us if we needed to use the bathroom. If we were alright. As we walked the local folks clapped for us, and asked us why we were there. And people explained and we thanked them. This is what I think about now. I always asked, and am always asked, what people are fighting about. What are people doing going to places and making noise and getting beat, battoned. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s for the kindness of a woman holding a child asking us if we need to use the bathroom. And her apologizing because they turned off her power. Maybe there is something there that is being missed. Maybe there is something everywhere that we can no longer see. (#g20pgh units are responding to hotmetal bridge for reports of protesters gathering) I wish I knew.

Right now, it goes on and I’m still on this couch. Thinking about Hope asking us if we needed help. Meeting her children and shaking their hands.

NDFB

I’m tired and need to sleep. Thank you all for reading. I’ll try to write again tomorrow morning to clear somethings up. (#g20pgh: 20-30 bike cops on 6th ave &6 police vehicles on 5th ave heading towards downtown)"

Speak Out Success

Thanks to those who showed up and supported the rally against the unjust budget cuts!

We had a good-sized crowd with great speakers ranging from teachers assistant union representatives, Milwaukee SDS, and financially-struggling students.

Three television crews were there to record the event. Here's a couple broadcasts found online:
http://www.cbs58.com/index.php?aid=9168
http://www.wisn.com/video/20912285/index.html

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Let's keep our momentum! Join SDS next Monday, Sept. 21, at 7:00pm in UWM Room 240!
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Other supporters of this rally included Milwaukee Graduate Assistant Association (Mgaa.org), Critical Work (http://www.criticalwork.org/) Milwaukee Network for a Social Change (http://milwaukeenetworkforsocialchange.org/), Students United for Immigrant Rights (http://sufrir.ning.com/), and the English Education Association at UWM.

9/11/09

Students Speak Out This Monday at UWM

STUDENT SPEAK OUT AGAINST UNJUST BUDGET CUTS AT UW-MILWAUKEE

Milwaukee, WI – Sept. 11, 2009 – Students and workers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are holding a rally on Sept. 14th at 12:00pm in Spaights Plaza (between the UWM Union and Library) to demand student, staff, and faculty involvement in the decision making process for the $20 million in budget cuts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"Our country is in an economic crisis; Students need to fight for higher education, just as workers need to fight for their jobs and benefits, and homeowners need to fight to keep their homes," said Jacob Flom, a UWM student and member of Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society.

Facing $20 million in budget cuts over the next two years, UWM has raised student tuition by 5%, reduce faculty and staff salaries by 5%, and cut every department by 5%. Despite repeated requests, the Chancellor’s office has not met with students or teachers assistants about how the economic crisis is affecting the university.

The three demands of the rally are: (1) Demand the Chancellor and Deans take a pay cut before cutting salaries of faculty and staff; (2) Demand for faculty, staff and students to be part of the decision making process for the budget cuts; and (3) Demand tuition freeze and increased money for need-based financial aid.

The rally organizers are planning to form a coalition of worker and student groups to fight for these demands. A similar coalition was formed last year in the successful campaign to rid UWM of sweatshop goods. The purpose of this rally is to bring about awareness of the demands of many workers and students around the budget cuts, and rally organizers expect dozens of students and workers to attend.

Speakers at the rally will include members of these organizations, financially struggling students, campus workers and teacher assistants. Sponsors of the rally include Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society, Progressive Students of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Graduate Assistant Association, Students United for Immigrant Rights, and Milwaukee Network for a Social Change.



###



If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with rally organizers, please call Natasha Morgan at 608-426-4252 or e-mail Natasha at nadashay@gmail.com

9/4/09

SDS MKE Campaign Kick-off







On the first day of classes at The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) kicked off a campaign to raise awareness of unjust budget cuts affecting students and workers at UWM. Students marched through the Union with a twenty-five foot long homemade banner that read "Education is a Right. Students Fight Tuition Hike!" This direct action is part of the build up for the Student Speak Out on Monday, September 14th at noon in UWM's Spaights Plaza.

U of M SDS Launches Campaign with Banner Drops

The University of Minnesota Students for a Democratic Society organized a direct action this week to raise awareness of cuts to education that are plaguing universities across the country.



SDS Members propped open doors to a closed balcony of the auditorium days before the massive freshman convocation. During the chancellor's speech, SDSers threw fliers about education cuts to students below, encouraging them to get involved in the fight. They also dropped two large school banners which were painted over with facts, and messages about "Campaign Save our School" and SDS. One banner read "We pay Bruininks $700,000 per year to lay off thousands of workers.”



9/1/09

STUDENT SPEAK OUT

Millions of dollars are being cut from UWM's budget while the rich and powerful are lowering employee salaries and skyrocketing our tuition.


Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society is calling for a rally to bring about awareness of the unjust budget cuts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee!

Monday, September 14, 2009, Spaights Plaza, 12:00pm


Click on image for full-size

Demands:

CHOP FROM THE TOP!
We want the Chancellor and Deans of the university to take a pay cut from their six-figure salaries before deciding to cut salaries of faculty and staff. Currently, the Chancellor is making $307,000, a 3% pay raise from last year. The Chancellor is also accepting other benefits that include a money stipend for his million-dollar condo, a car, and $20,000 a year from the UWM Foundation. The Chancellor accepts all this and more while cutting all faculty and staff pay by 3%, a net 5% loss due to a stoppage of an annual salary increase.

TRANSPARENCY NOW!
“We will address issues relating to the university’s budget with openness and transparency,” stated Chancellor Santiago on December 1, 2008. So where is the transparency? In his calling for all Deans to cut their departments by five percent, we demand to know exactly what is being cut and who is making these decisions. We demand that staff, students and faculty are part of the decision making process. We demand this information be easily accessible to the public.

STUDENTS AND WORKERS FIRST!
Students are continuing to pay a greater percentage of their educational costs. The university is hiking up our tuition by 5% for the next two years. This leaves thousands of students struggling to figure out a way to remain in school. Students at UW-Milwaukee work the most per hour of any in the Wisconsin university system. We demand a tuition freeze and increased money for need-based students.


"They say cut back, we say fight back!"



7/15/09

Solidarity: Major Labor Union Struggle Underway in Illinois


Milwaukee SDS stands in solidarity with the union workers of UE Local 1174 in their fight to keep Quad City Die Casting open. We condemn the Wells Fargo bank for refusing to finance the factory in Moline, Illinois. This outrage comes after Wells Fargo received $25 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money in a bailout earlier this year. Wells Fargo is sitting on the money. So now a locally owned factory employing over a hundred workers is being forced to shut their doors. However, the union workers are fighting to save their jobs!

SDS is joining with the demand of the UE workers that Wells Fargo finance the company so they keep their jobs. Like the Republic Window and Door workers in Chicago this past December, it is unacceptable that a huge bank receives billions in bailout funds yet hangs the workers out to dry. Wells Fargo received $25 billion dollars from the recent bailout.

We are calling on all students and youth to hold protests at their local Wells Fargo banks and to express solidarity with the workers in Moline. Support the Quad City workers and their jobs! Pressure Wells Fargo to extend a line of credit to the Quad City Die Casting factory.

Further, we are asking students to go to the factory in Moline, Illinois and stand with the workers while they are fighting for their jobs.

Make the rich pay! Keep Quad City Die Casting open!

7/6/09

SDS Up Against New Military Recruitment Tactics at Summerfest

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) located Military recruiters on duty at Milwaukee’s largest music festival, Summerfest, this time, as professionally trained promotional models. Encore Nationwide, an independent contractor for promotional advertising, provides U.S. military recruitment teams with America’s top aspiring models to seduce young men into joining the military. As contractors, Encore models are hired into general positions and are then purchased to do promotional work by various paying companies, one of which happens to be the U.S. Air Force. The models are not required to have experience with the U.S. military, but are given the go ahead to use their good looks and one line marketing slogans to lure hopeful young people into the Air Force.

One of these slogans is, “Join the Air Force, get a free education,” a calling that is sure to round lower income youth yearning for the unaffordable college degree or Students for a Democratic Society investigating the scene. SDS member and Air Force veteran, Jacob Flom, asked about the details of this unbelievable benefit as if he were interested in joining the military. The models had no problem guaranteeing that his college tuition would be paid for in full, if he joined the military. Although, they were unable to explain the details of the G.I. bill, they answered other questions about the U.S. Air Force with the same certainty before admitting that they themselves had never had actual experience with any part of the U.S. military. Fortunately, there were specially trained recruiters nearby to suavely answer more detailed questions after the models had gotten the hook. Though Jacob refused to be directed toward the recruiters, he wasn’t sent away without his U.S. Air Force merchandise of choice, a hat, given to him only after he had signed an interest card with his full name and date of birth.

This year’s addition to the old recruitment campaign stood outside of the Virtual Army Experience video game that had been banned at last year’s festival after a flood of anti-war activists and parents protested its focus on young teenagers. The game, which glorifies the U.S. military in virtual combat scenarios, underwent a slight modification making realistic targets stationary rather than moving in order to avoid problems. Summerfest executive director, Don Smiley, has refused to reveal the dollar amount of the U.S. military’s festival contract, but surely it was enough to open the gates to still unsatisfied anti-war organizers.

To redirect the scores of misled youth in line for the video game, SDS handed out “anti-business” cards displaying information about their organization while making statements like, “Join the movement, not the military.” While recruiters pled us to leave their station, excited teenagers exclaimed, “I’m with you, SDS, but I really want to play this game!” Hopefully their young minds will be strong enough to ward off the psychological persuasions of the recruiters who continue their pursuit with slogans such as, “Empower yourself; defend America.”

If the unjust recruitment tactics of the U.S. Military aren’t enough to reveal the truth about its profit driven wars, Iraq veterans can explain the cold end of the so-called bargains conveyed by the new recruitment models.

Soldiers, who have had actual experience with the U.S. military, have confirmed that such guarantees were only marketing strategies. Many Iraq War Veterans have been denied G.I. rewards due to far-fetched hidden stipulations or have unknowingly agreed to pay reductions. The lucky recipients of G.I. funds have found that their benefits have failed to cover even one quarter of a modern college tuition. Flom states, “I joined the air force to pay for a private school education, but when I got out I found out that it would still barely cover a public school, and that was only because of the state benefits that Wisconsin had.” His benefits have been subject to change since he has been out of the military and he has not been offered funding for graduate school. While beautiful women are guaranteeing aspiring college students a free education, most university attending Iraq war veterans are burdening the weight of college loans in addition to varying levels of post-traumatic stress disorder.

But, the promotional models are also suffering an unfair burden. Encore has faced many legal complaints due to its unjust employment practices. One common accusation is that Encore guarantees jobs to women only to deny them of the position when a more profitable opportunity arises; leaving employees unexpectedly broke with no source of income. Women have also complained about non-payment for jobs completed. Encore has been known to hold the money made by its employees in interest bearing accounts where additional income can be generated for Encore’s executives. Models who do receive their payment in full can expect it at the very last minute.

When employees begin to catch wind of Encore’s scandalous practices, they are simply removed from its employment list with no warning or notification. For resulting official complaints, Encore keeps a variety of well articulated excuses to maintain its legal immunity to injustice, while creating poor reputations for honest employees. At the end of the month, all is justified by the exorbitant sums of money accumulated by Encore’s directors.

The exploitative techniques practiced by Encore are not unusual for an independent contractor nor is it that the U.S. government comfortably legitimizes these practices to falsely represent its services. While the military pawns are being moved across the board, from Iraq to Afghanistan, as a way to blind sight casual observers, these independent contractors are loading their pockets with the profits of war. As SDS and the rest of the anti-war movement continue to stand strong against the corporate elites backing U.S. interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere, the awareness of such corruption is rising. With no one interested in risking their lives to serve the interests of corporate elites, the U.S. government must resort to scandalous marketing techniques to convince citizens to do its dirty work.

Students Join 4th of July Parades in Revolutionary Spirit


This 4th of July, SDS celebrated revolution, and independence from empire. Students from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Marquette University jumped into two parades, holding multiple banners.

As we stepped into the first parade in Glendale, WI, we held a banner which read "Bailout For Education, Not For Corporations." Many people stood to cheer for the message. Other banners declared "End The Occupations, No War For Empire", and "No Human Is Illegal."


Although much of the parade crowd was delighted to see our message represented, the police acted quick to shut it down. After less than a minute in the parade, one officer on a bicycle demanded that we leave the parade, and threatened us with arrest if we did not comply.

Photo: A Glendale Police Officer tells SDSers to stop marching

Onlookers near us were shocked as police reprimanded peaceful free speech. Others were less forgiving, one American Legion member in the parade told the police to "Lock 'em up!" Another old man yelled "Go to Iran."


Photp: Parade groups show support for detained SDS members.

The police held us while the parade passed. They asked why we didn't have a permit to march. We explained that we had tried to receive permission to join the parade, but have always been denied. One officer said "political groups are not allowed in the parade." As the police held us, we were passed by the Milwaukee River Preservation, a group calling to "Save the Dam", and a candidate for Governor; Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican who refused federal bailout money for our city. Several other senators and politicians passed us over the thirty-minute "investigation."

When the parade ended, the police told us they were finished with "the investigation," and let us go.

After being released, we headed to another parade in Shorewood, WI.

The Shorewood crowd was overwhelmingly supportive of our parade contingent. Throughout the entire march, people were talking about SDS, yelling cheers of support, and clapping. We passed one police officer who got on her radio when she saw us, but police took no action to remove us. The cheering supporters caused this march to be a huge success, with our message reaching thousands of people who were glad to see people taking action against imperialism.

This Independence Day, students proved once again that a message of justice and peace can overcome repression and intolerance.


Photo: Families cheer, a young girl raises her fist!

Photo: Two members of Iraq Veterans Against the War march in solidarity.

7/3/09

SDS National Convention - July 10 - 12

Students for a Democratic Society 4th National Convention
Friday July 10 - Sunday July 12 - Middle Tennessee State University


Join students and youth from across the United States for Students for a Democratic Society's 4th National Convention. This year's convention will be in the lovely town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (nearest airport is Nashville), on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. It's next weekend, July 10 - 12, so make your travel plans now! The convention will begin Friday during the day and run through Sunday, so try to arrive Thursday night and plan on leaving Sunday afternoon/evening.

Please register using this form.

In addition to discussing SDS work over the past year, we'll have lots of exciting workshops, anti-oppression and collective liberation work, trainings, and discussions of campaign strategy for the future. You don't want to miss it!!

Don't forget to check us out on Facebook.

And follow us on Twitter for updates:

Caucuses: If you are a member of a caucus in SDS and would like to claim time for your caucus to meet, please contact (theanarchon@gmail.com)

7/1/09

SDS Joins Labor to Protest Karl Rove, back Employee Free Choice Act


Photo: Members of Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society and labor activists march in solidarity for workers rights.

Angry students and labor unionists protested here against Republican hit man Karl Rove. The conservative lobbying group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) invited former Bush aide Karl Rove to speak against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). EFCA promises to make it easier for workers to form unions with less interference and dirty tricks from bosses. Unions and workers are demanding this new amendment to the National Labor Relations Act that will make forming a union a simple democratic choice.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce conference was closed to the public and the press, but 150 workers showed up at 8:00 a.m. outside to make their voices heard. Workers held signs in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act and chanted, “What do we want? Free Choice! When do we want it? Now!" The bosses at the WMC would not speak to the media, but passed out literature that opposed the EFCA.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is also opposing a measure that would make Milwaukee the third U.S. city to win paid sick days. The paid sick days ballot initiative passed in November with an astounding 69% mandate and would give all workers in Milwaukee nine paid sick days each year, a huge victory for all workers.

Milwaukee Hosts SDS Midwest Convention



This summer Milwaukee SDS hosted the Midwest SDS Regional Convention.

Fifty students from around the Midwest came together to host a wide variety of workshops including: Direct Action Training, Marxist Economics, History of Resistance in Columbia, Vision and Goal Setting, Oppression Workshops, Membership and Chapter Growth, and Managing Media.

We were also lucky to have two plenary speakers: an experienced student and labor organizer from Chicago gave a presentation on unity, struggle, and building a movement. A member of the Just Seeds radical artists cooperative inspired SDSers with a presentation of activist art, and visual resistance.

Midwest SDS officially elected their first regional representatives to work with the first National Structure.

Oh, and there was much free food, love and revolution.

4/8/09

In Conversation with Julia Butterfly Hill



SDS presents a panel discussion featuring:

Jayme Montgomery
from Campaign Against Violence/Making Milwaukee Green Coalition

Dr. Susanne Foster
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Marquette University

Ken Leinbach
Executive Director, Urban Ecology Center

Julia Butterfly Hill
Environmental Activist and Author


Monday, April 20, 2009.
Wisconsin Room, UWM Union.
7PM.
Free and open to the public.

Join the Facebook event, and invite your friends!

4/3/09

Sweat Free UWM Coalition In the News!




Wisconsin Public Radio Story


UWM to sign on to anti-sweatshop policy

Apr. 2, 2009

 Supporters of an anti-sweatshop policy rally in celebration Thursday of UW-Milwaukee's endorsement of the Designated Suppliers Program, a program for ensuring garment workers rights, during an event in front of the chancellor's office. Photo/Benny Sieu

Anti-sweatshop student groups at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are celebrating the university's decision this week to endorse a program designed to protect the rights of the workers who sew university logo apparel.

Student groups have been pushing the school to endorse the Designated Suppliers Program, which requires university licensees to verify the source of their apparel from factories that pay a living wage and allow workers to unionize, among other requirements.

This week, students got word from university administrators that they would sign on.

An 11 a.m. rally planned for Friday will now be a celebration instead of agitation, said graduate student Dana Schultz, an organizer with Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society.

"It feels amazing," Schultz said. "A lot of dedicated people have put hours and hours into this. It seems like an easy thing for a university to do, but it's a commitment and it's putting the university's name behind something to ensure clothes are made responsibly."

As part of the effort to get UWM to endorse the program, Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society and the Milwaukee Graduate Assistant Association staged a protest last fall. In recent weeks, students hung a "sweatshop clothesline" in front of Chancellor Carlos Santiago's office. University apparel such as basketball t-shirts are hung up on the clothesline with facts about sweatshops.

Some 45 colleges and universities across the country have penned policy statements in support of the program, including UW-Madison and Marquette University.

UWM previously said it supported the principles of the Designated Supplier Program but felt "the program may pose legal, logistical, and economic issues as it is currently structured, concerns shared by other institutions and organizations.” The school stopped short of endorsing the program.

Schultz got an e-mail from UWM Vice Chancellor Tom Luljak this week that said the university had agreed to sign on, a move that would make it the 46th university on the list.

UWM appears ready to participate as a member of the Designated Suppliers Program working group, a body of representatives from colleges that support the program and are working to come up with revisions to the plan. Marquette University has a similar commitment.

Schultz said UWM's new commitment won't likely translate into changes in who supplies university apparel. The hope is that UWM's suppliers would all be certified under the Designated Suppliers Program's strict standards.

"If in fact all of our clothes are made from factories that treat workers with respect, then it shouldn't be a problem at all," she said.

4/2/09

VICTORY! - UWM signs DSP!



This morning, UWM Vice Chancellor Tom Luljak mailed a letter to the Worker Rights Consortium, pledging to participate in the Designated Suppliers Program, a set of standards which intends to guarantee living wages and the right to organize to the garment workers who make university apparel. Luljak’s letter was the culmination of over two years of student organizing, and it made the UWM the 46th university to sign such a pledge.

Getting UWM signed on to the program was one of the initial projects adopted by the Milwaukee SDS when it formed in Fall of 2006. Since then, SDS members have met with reluctant administrators, organized petition drives, held protest rallies, and chalked the sidewalks of the campus on an almost weekly basis – even in freezing weather.

In the last several months, SDS was joined by Trafficking Ends with Action, mNSC, and other campus and community organizations to form the Sweat-Free UWM Coalition. The coalition’s efforts have included hosting a traveling workers’ tour, planning a sweat-free fashion show for April 8, and this week’s “week of actions,” which included a sweatshop clothesline display and a student/labor rally.

The rally, held today outside of the chancellor’s office, was initially expected to be a protest. However, after Luljak called group members promising to sign the DSP pledge, Sweat-Free UWM turned the event into a celebration.

Members of Milwaukee IWW, the SEIU, SUFRIR, and 9 to 5 joined Luljak, bookstore director Erik Hemming, and student activists in celebrating the victory, while also focusing on the many battles ahead, which include Milwaukee’s Paid Sick Days initiative, the DREAM Act, and Employee Free Choice Act.

3/30/09

SOIL in the New York Times



Nick Kristof of the New York Times visited Haiti last week and interviewed our friends in Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL). Please take a few minutes to check out their amazing work through Kristof's eyes:
The Video
The Article

3/13/09

Tom Hayden




Thanks to Tom Hayden and approximately 200 people who attended.

2/27/09

SDS presents: Tom Hayden



On Thursday, March 12, Tom Hayden will be speaking at 7pm at the UWM Zelazo Center (2400 E. Kenwood). This event is free and open to the public.

Tom Hayden has been an activist and author since the early 1960s. He was active in Students for a Democratic Society, and is the principal author of "The Port Huron Statement." He was also one of the "Chicago 8" (along with Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, and Dave Dellinger) tried for conspiracy following the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Since the 1960s, Hayden has authored several books, including The Love of Possession is a Disease with Them, Ending the War in Iraq, The Zapatista Reader and Writings for a Democratic Society. He also served as a California state legislator from 1982 to 2000.

His speech at the 1999 WTO Protests in Seattle is featured in the documentary This Is What Democracy Looks Like. He is currently a national co-director of No More Sweatshops! and regularly writes for The Nation and The Huffington Post.

SDS presents: Stephen Duncombe



On Friday, March 6, activist, author, and professor Stephen Duncombe will be speaking in the UWM Fireside Lounge at 7pm. The talk is entitled, "Re-Imagining Radicalism for the 21st Century, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Las Vegas."

Duncombe is a professor of the history and politics of media and culture at the Gallatin School of New York University. His books include Notes From Underground, The Cultural Resistance Reader, and Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy.

This event is sponsored by Milwaukee SDS, the Student Labor Action Coalition, the MGAA Solidarity Committee, the Alliance of History Graduate Students, and the Center for 21st Century Studies at UWM.

Free and open to the public.

2/26/09

Saul Williams + Rosemond Jolissaint



Thanks to the approximately 800 people that came to see Rosemond Jolissaint and Saul Williams.

2/13/09

Which Side Are You On?



Exhibition featuring work from the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative
From March 5 through April 3 the UWM Union Art Gallery will present Which Side Are You On?, featuring the work of 20 plus artists who are part of the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative. The exhibition reception is on Thursday, March 5 from 5-8pm. An exhibition preview will take place on March 3 at 5pm. All events are free and open to the public.

Justseeds is a decentralized radical art cooperative consisting of 20 plus artists who live in Brooklyn, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Portland, Milwaukee, and other cities across North America. Together they work on a myriad of projects where art is used as a tool to serve social justice movements. Justseeds is best known for their political prints, a blog that serves as a home for socially engaged street art and news, their group installations, and a recent portfolio project in honor of the 10-year Anniversary of Critical Resistance (a grass roots organization committed to opposing the prison-industrial complex.)

In early March, the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative will create a massive floor-to-ceiling, all encompassing installation that combines elements of street art, sculpture, video, and other mediums. Which Side Are You On? examines the use of walls as physical and mental barriers that create de-facto segregation, whether it is the walls that divide nation states, the streets that separate one side of town from the other, or the barriers that separate humans from the environment. Which Side Are You On? challenges these barriers while envisioning a more just and sustainable future.

At 5pm on Tuesday, March 3, an exhibition preview will take place at the Union Art Gallery. Stop by for a chance to see the Justseeds installation in progress. During the walk through, meet and talk with the artists involved in the installation.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Union Programming is hosting an evening with Justseeds founder, Josh MacPhee, on Monday, March 2 at 7pm in the Union Fireside Lounge. In his talk, The Walls Are Talking: Street Art and Social Movements, MacPhee will present an in-depth discussion about street art and graffiti and their role at four historical times, between 1968 and 2003. The lecture is free and open to the public. Josh will also lead a printmaking workshop in the Union Studio Arts and Craft Centre on Saturday, March 7 from 12:30-3:30pm. Call 229-5535 for information on the fee and to register.

Which Side Are You On?
is cosponsored by UWM Students for a Democratic Society.

Gallery hours are Monday thru Wednesday 12-5pm, Thursday 12-7pm and Friday thru Saturday 12-5pm. The Gallery is located in room W199 on the Campus Level of the Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Boulevard.