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Written by steveperaza on Mar 23, 2014

654 The Ken-Ton School District LogoThere’s an eerie cheerfulness in the ways that some journalists report budget cuts. When the blade falls, they don’t bemoan the folks who lose their heads—they cheer the executioner and hoorah as the heads roll.

Such seems to be the case in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda (Ken-Ton) School District, where “looming deficits” have prompted school board officials to propose deep budget cuts.  Local journalist Naomi Spencer all but cheered for board members as they chopped off several hundred thousand dollars at a time. In all the revelry, not one sentence—one word—accounted for the impacts these cuts will have on workers, parents, and children in the school district…

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District is...

Written by alpalu10 on Mar 21, 2014

Human rights: Whenenever this topic is brought up in conversation, there is a tendency to paint an image of a far away land where inequalities and injustices are every day happenings. Yet, what about human rights specific to our community? We can point fingers at other countries and say what needs to be done abroad, but taking the time to reflect on our own American society seems to be a bit of a struggle. I am entirely guilty of this. Until recently, I fell into the trap of the dominant discourse of America, a democratic and free society, thus blinding me to injustices within our own country. Through dialogue and education, I became aware of the responsbility we as citizens have to our own communities. 

Northern New York is a hot-bed for prisons as the economy is also heavily dependent on these systems to provide jobs to community members. Working with a variety of...

Written by steveperaza on Mar 19, 2014

The fiftieth anniversary of the War on Poverty inspired renewed political debates concerning the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to poverty. Historians have heard the call and begun to (re)examine the history of poverty in America. 652 Along these lines, legal historian Elisa Minoff has begun an interesting conversation concerning poverty studies both past and present. Writing for Right On, a blog examining the impact of the War on Poverty on American society and politics, Minoff analyzed a bibliographical essay on poverty studies published in 1964 and suggested ways that these works compared and...

Written by Sheila Murray on Mar 15, 2014

"Raised voices are seldom heard, fights rarely seen, and Ticos will nod and say "Sí," even if they don't mean it, simply to avoid conflict. "

-This is an excerpt from “Cultural Values and the National Self-Image,” my first assigned reading during orientation classes at the University of Costa Rica.

 

Well, I thought, how does such a passive culture maintain the peace while also implementing forms of expression and social/political/environmental movements?  
What I've discovered so far is that no one seems to do it alone, and all movements seem to have deeply rooted principles of peace and community.  


I see my journey thus far in Costa Rica as a three-step process. 

One: In coming to Costa Rica, I hoped to witness radical movements for climate justice and equality, perhaps people flabbergasted when they  ...

Written by johncollins on Mar 15, 2014

Upon hearing the news that student activists at Northeastern University (“a leader in global experiential learning”) were being targeted for punishment by the university administration in response to their work in solidarity with Palestinians, I was immediately reminded of an episode from my own career as an activist.  I was also reminded of how dangerous the impulse of human solidarity can be, at least in the eyes of those who desperately seek to police it and blunt its impact. 

While the details of the Northeastern case are still emerging and are inevitably subject to dispute (obligatory disclaimer: I have no particular inside information on what happened there, nor do I necessarily support everything...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 28, 2014

Weaving the Street & People's Archive (WSPA)

 

AGAINST THE CURRENT

by Łukasz W. Niparko

 

Rozbrat definitely is an outsider from our reality. It does not follow any rules of today’s world. Rozbrat claims that everyone can live there without paying a rent and taxes, regardless who you are, in what you believe, what is your economical status, background, and sexual orientation - the WSPA Team visited Rozbrat in June of 2013.

 

Claiming freedom

It was October 15th, 1994, when the first inhabitants came to Rozbrat [what in Polish literally means "separation"]. They claimed a city block in Poznań (between Rozbrat Street and Kazimierza Pułaskiego Street left by the old warehouse) as “the environment of freedom.”...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 19, 2014

Written by carolyn_dellinger on Feb 10, 2014

Walking through Brick Lane, one is almost overwhelmed by the amount of street art present, from stickers covering poles to miniscule stencils on yellow traffic lines to three-story-tall murals. With the amount of street art available, one wonders, is this considered vandalism or a form of public works? Up until recently, governments have battled street art because it supposedly desecrates public space and dirties the city; however, street art has actually become beneficial to areas like Brick Lane because it brings in people from all over to admire the art. Street art has actually become a commercial industry with companies offering tours of “Alternative London.” With its increase in popularity, street art is beginning to gain credibility. In fact, this December the House of Commons hosted Smile Britannia, a charity auction featuring street art from the likes of Banksy, Inkie, Nick...

Written by Łukasz W. Niparko on Feb 9, 2014

When most of mainstream media attention in the last couple of days was concerned about the fall due to an overdose of some Hollywood star, and another young celebrity that may go that way very soon. When our commentators were so concerned “why the fifth circle of the Olympic symbol did not work at the opening ceremony in Sochi…" meanwhile in Bosnia and Herzegovina people on the streets were rising, burning presidential and governmental offices, in their disagreement to the neoliberal creed of those in power.

 

Hundred years ago, in 1914, the First World War started in Sarajevo, what later led to other unprecedented catastrophes of the 20th century. These days Bosnians accelerated something what the Occupy Movement tried to ignite more than three years ago. People of Bosnia and Herzegovina noticed one simple flaw in the neoliberal agenda: privatization and...

Written by nicoleszucs on Feb 8, 2014

Latin America has a very dynamic and contrasting culture. It is full of life and colors, yet the social, environmental and economic situation is still hard and unfair in many places. The political environment is gearing towards more populist governments, which shows us the struggle of the people, and the need for change. On the other hand, the growing economic status of the countries emphasizes the gap between the rich and the poor. Young people all over the region are manifesting their concerns about society and their future. Human rights, violence, environmental issues, woman’s rights, unemployment, indigenous rights, neo colonization are some of the topics for which activists stand up. Often times, the form of expression of these concerns are popular art and street art. 

I love Latin America, I love the people and the fact that there is history and art in every corner...