Visit LJI blog for news updates on cuts

To continue to find out about what is happening with budget cuts to Louisiana colleges, please see the Louisiana Justice Institute’s news blog.

Until School’s Out 4 Eva,

occupyLA

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UK and Italy Occupy, Strike, and Protest Against Cuts!

On Wednesday 24 November, tens of thousands of students walked out of their Schools, Colleges and Universities in protest against the cuts and austerity measures in the U.K., while others occupied their campuses! Pictures by students: Student protesters on the balcony of the Aston Webb building at Birmingham

Here is a list of some of the blogs from this weeks occupations which took place across the UK. The students have put up their demands and each occupation can be followed at length. And here is a decent BBC overview of the occupations. Two websites by some of the campaign organizers: Education Activist Network and NCAFC.

Meanwhile in Italy, student protests literally exploded all over the country to block the approval of the new infamous Gelmini reform, which aims at privatizing the university and turning it into a profit-making machine. Thousands and thousands of students have held demonstrations all over the peninsula and occupied university buildings and even the famous leaning Tower of Pisa!

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Clean-In Protests The Mess Left By State Leaders

(via WDSU) – Students at the University of New Orleans did their part on Thursday to help clean up what they believe is a broken funding system for higher education.

Before Hurricane Katrina, there were 87 members of the custodial staff at UNO. There are currently only 31 due to a combination of layoffs and positions that were never filled as people left or retired.

Students said they’re tired of the dirt, and they’re doing something about it.

“It means when we have trash in between classrooms, dust, even roaches, it becomes noticeable (and) very distracting,” said UNO Student Government President John Mineo. “To be honest, I don’t want to go to a classroom like that and sit down.”

Since 2009, UNO has lost $16 million in state support and 150 positions. The move has sparked protests schools across the state, like one at UNO in September, when what was supposed to be a peaceful rally turned violent.

Last week, hundreds of students from around the state rallied on the state capitol, and earlier this week at Louisiana State University, some questioned where the funding for higher education was going by throwing fake money with a picture of Gov. Bobby Jindal on it.

However, Thursday night was the first time that students literally cleaned up the mess they said state leaders have left behind by not prioritizing education.

About 50 students showed up at Thursday’s clean up at Milneberg Hall. They said they chose the building because it’s used for freshmen orientation, and they said dirty classrooms are an embarrassing way to introduce new students to the school.

Louisiana public colleges and universities have had about $300 million in budget cuts since 2008.

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Statewide Protest at the Capitol: Will Politicians Listen?

Mariella Jimenez

Only time will tell whether politicians will listen to the anger of this state’s students and stop budget cuts, or whether they will listen to wealthy campaign contributors who want us to pay for the budget crisis created by the Wall Street recession and tax cuts for the rich. We say HELL NO!
WE MUST NOT ALLOW POLITICIANS THAT CHOICE: WE MUST RISE UP!

Coverage: Hundreds rally at state Capitol to protest education cuts
Hundreds rally against La. higher education cuts
Higher Ed students send message to Governor Jindal
Hundreds rally against higher education cuts
Students Gather to Protest In Baton Rouge
Hundreds rally against La. higher education cuts
Steps of State Capitol full for protest
Protesters feel impact of cuts already

Meanwhile in London….

50,000 students marched against cuts to universities and increased tuition today, smashing into and occupying the conservative party offices. Seems like they are telling their leaders: stop the cuts or we will be ungovernable! Good show ole chaps!

Update:National Day of Mourning declared for windows of Millbank Tower

Education Protest in London Turns Violent
Student fees protest: ‘This is just the beginning’
Students in London storm Conservative Party headquarters during rally to protest tuition hikes
London Student Fee Protest Turns Violent
Videos of Student Protests in London
More Video
BBC coverage

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State Police Intimidate Students as Mid-Year Cuts Passed

Bobby Jindal’s State Police pounded on people’s doors in New Orleans in the past few days to “ask questions” about plans for the rally at the State Capitol on Nov. 10th because they supposedly “heard” there were plans for disruptive action to take place. They also informed the media that they will have a heavy police presence at the rally.

These actions are a blatant and pathetic attempt by Gov. Jindal to intimidate students who are standing up to this fiscal attack on our future. Why does Louisiana have it’s own version of the KGB banging on people’s doors to harass and intimidate them for political protest? Is Jindal really so terrified of students organizing against budget cuts that are ruining our universities that he’ll employ the same tactics used by authoritarian regimes?

The La. State Police’s over-reaction to a permitted, public rally borders on the absurd. Is it possible that Chief Tom “Hyperbole” Harrington has been telling more tall tales? It sure seems to stink of his typical exaggeration and lying….

(This absurd article about the “threat” of asking how much a bond costs shows how ridiculous this is. And don’t miss the cop’s hilarious quote: “We received information they’ve actually made phone calls that said, ‘What type of bond is set if a police officer is struck?’ Those are silly things.” Did they tap people’s phones? And, “silly things“? uh… WTF is this guy even talking about?)

Mid-Year Cuts Announced: Jindal announced $34.7 million in new cuts recently. Here is a brief Media Round-Up:
Health care and higher education are focus of budget cuts outlined by Gov. Bobby Jindal
Deep cuts could set LSU back decades: A guest column by James Carville and Henson Moore
Gov. Bobby Jindal outlines $107 million in state budget cuts
College student puts Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on the spot over budget cuts: Stephanie Grace
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration making cuts without making changes: John Maginnis
LSU Board signs off on $21.2 million mid-year budget cut
LSU budget cuts not as deep at research centers
UNO Driftwood coverage

JINDAL IS STILL NOT LISTENING.

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25,000 students march in Ireland

Upwards of 25,000 students from across Ireland descended onto the streets of Dublin on Wednesday for a protest called by the USI (Union of Students in Ireland).

Up to 2,000 students broke away from the march, many calling It ‘futile’, and participated in the occupation of the Department of Finance and the sit-down protest staged outside. article continued…

This video shows that police brutality isn’t confined to the administrative hallways of UNO, but that kids everywhere are facing down the cops to defend education. This attack is evidence of that, as cops brutally drove people away from the occupied Finance Ministry building.

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Will there be anyone there when they come for you?

They came first for the janitors,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a janitor.

Then they came for the UNO Five,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t arrested.

Then they came for the instructors,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an instructor.

Then they came for the faculty,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a faculty member.

Then they came for a few majors,
and I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t my major.

Then they came for whole departments,
and I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t my department.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-adapted from a Poem about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.

STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER:
-Demand to know why administrators are allowing students to be arrested and charged with felonies for a simple protest.
-Demand an end to outrageous administrative salaries like Joe Lombardi’s $650,000 a year while at the same classes are cut.
-Demand an end to budget cuts to higher education before your major is the next one to go.
-Demand more from the UNO administration in standing up against these cuts. Demand they come to Baton Rouge with students to protest at the Capitol. Demand they fund buses to get there. Demand they call a campus-wide strike to protest the cuts.
-Demand your professors speak out for students.
-Demand fellow students speak out for professors.
-Demand we all speak out for the staff, who haven’t received their annual raise in the last 2 years, and who have faced increased workloads as administrators cut back on the number of janitors.
Don’t let our state government destroy our future as a city and as a state by destroying UNO. More education today means a better future tomorrow.

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