21 March 2013 Chicago Public School officials announced a plan to close 54 schools with the goals of reconciling a $1 billion dollar deficit, making better use of resources, and improving education. District CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the plan addressed the underutilized and under-resourced schools in order to raise the quality of education in the remaining schools. The plan was expected to affect 30,000 students in the Chicago Metropolitan area and cost 300 teachers their jobs.
University of Michigan students defend student leader against homophobic attacks by state official, 2010
In the fall of 2009, the University of California Board of Regents met at UCLA to discuss and vote for a tuition hike necessary for them to deal with shrinking budget and spending cuts across the board. The Universities’ budget deficits were associated with those troubling the state of California. The proposed increase in tuition of 32% would force annual tuition costs above $10,000 for the first time in history.
On 16 December 2005, the United States House of Representatives passed HR4437, a bill increasing restrictions on immigration and undocumented immigrants. This was the first bill regarding undocumented immigration to pass through Congress.
On 14 June 2010, the High Court of Israel ruled to abolish state grants given to students at Jewish seminaries, or yeshivas. Prior to this decision married yeshiva students with children had received these grants to support their studies, but for nearly ten years secular students of higher education had not. The Knesset had passed a bill in 2000 ceasing stipends of secular students. Soon after this, Ornan Yekutieli, a Jerusalem councilman and activist, petitioned the Knesset to end the support of yeshiva students as well.
On 28 December 2007, Australian Jock Palfreeman was in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, with some friends when he witnessed a young man being attacked by what he believed were football hooligans. Palfreeman chose to help the man, and suddenly found himself fighting a few men after they turned on him. Jock and two attackers fought, and when the dust settled, one of the attackers was fatally wounded and the other was severely wounded.
After almost ten years of guerrilla warfare, Zimbabwe achieved independence from Britain in 1980. The Lancaster House Agreement included a constitution for Zimbabwe that described a multi-party democracy.
On 30 April 1999, at 2 am, Jessica Lal was shot dead at an unlicensed bar in New Delhi. Lal, a 34-year-old model at the time, had been working as a barmaid at a party filled with actors, politicians, and other socialites. A little after midnight, the bar had run out of alcohol. At 2 AM, Siddharth Vashisht, known as Manu Sharma, along with some of his friends, Alok Khanna, Amardeep Singh Gill, and Vikas Yadav, asked Lal for some alcohol. Sharma offered to pay Lal 1000 Rupees, but she refused. He then took out a .22 pistol and fired it twice, killing Lal with a bullet in the head.
In 2004, Western Michigan University outsourced its custodial labor to a private company called Commercial Sanitation Management. The contract cut costs for the university by $1.1 million dollars a year and eliminated 58 positions. Commercial Sanitation Management did not pay what the national living wage movement deemed a living wage: $9.50 an hour with health insurance or $10.50 without health insurance.
Following the rise of global food prices in 2007-2008, international investors began buying or leasing large tracts of land in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. In these deals, called the “Great Land Grab,” local governments and private landholders sold over 203 million hectares of land. Organizations, such as the Oakland Institute, have brought these exchanges to public attention through studies and media coverage.
On 14 July 2011, Daphni Leef, a freelance filmmaker, began a campaign to be known as the “Tent Revolt” or “Tentifada.” Leef, like many middle-class citizens in Tel Aviv and in the nation of Israel, faced great financial hardships in an economy that statistically should have provided a level of comfort. Barely able to afford her home, Leef created a Facebook page, inviting those with similar grievances to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv Thursday of that week in order to convince the government to lower housing costs.
Student activism in Thailand had grown during the 1960s as the number of students in university increased rapidly. In 1971, the Thanom Kittikachorn government launched a coup and restored authoritarian rule by disbanding the national legislature, terminating the 1968 constitution, and proclaiming martial law. On 15 December 1972, a new constitution was established that gave Prime Minister Thanom and his National Executive Council extensive power, but promised to return the country to democracy as soon as the communist threat was eliminated.
During the late 1960s, students around the world were visibly protesting and speaking out against injustices. The Vietnam War made an especially large impact on young people. Many students in the United States of America aggressively protested their own government's military intervention in Vietnam.
On 17 September 2000, the Ukrainian government under President Leonid Kuchma kidnapped a journalist, Georgiy Gongadze. Gongadze was known for speaking out openly against the government, using his popular radio show and website to expose the widespread corruption in Kuchma’s cabinet. His decapitated body was found two weeks later. In November, Socialist Party leader Oleksander Moroz released recordings of conversations between members of Kuchma’s party planning the execution.
During the fall of 1968, Ayub Khan celebrated his tenth year as president of Pakistan. In honor of this anniversary, he declared his reign as the “Decade of Development,” an action that sparked an outbreak of protests against the state.
Much of Pakistan was already discontent with the Ayub regime. Following the 1965 war with India, Pakistan experienced a huge economic gap. The working classes faced the burden of this disparity.
The League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) wanted to situate Yugoslavia in a balance between the Soviet dominated Eastern Europe and US dominated West. In order to ensure this global placement, Yugoslavians exercised an economic reform program during 1964-65. LCY utilized market mechanisms to overcome stagnation and stimulate economic growth, but employment and a growth in wage disparity ensued instead. Members of the Yugoslavian Student League as well as professors and editors of dissonant magazines established spaces for critique and set the stage for nonviolent
South Korean activists win rights in Seoul for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students, 2011-2012
South Korea was one of the countries to vote in favor of Resolution 17/19 on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity,” which was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011. Yet, on a local level, there was still much controversy when the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education drafted a students’ human rights ordinance on 7 September 2011. The ordinance contained articles that specifically addressed the right of LGBT students to not be discriminated against.
Undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison founded the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) in 1994 after watching a video in a sociology course about the lockout of 700 workers at A.E. Staley, a sweetener company in Decatur, Illinois. They formed the organization to support the workers’ campaign there, and later spread to university campuses across the country.
In the fall of 1998, Harvard students began a Living Wage Campaign that would last for almost four years. The Campaign was headed by the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) and aimed to help all Harvard employees receive a “living wage”. The demands of the LWC were that each Harvard employee (janitors, security guards, cafeteria workers, etc.) receive a wage of $10 per hour or more. Most workers were receiving the minimum wage at the time, which was around $6.50. In 1998 Cambridge, MA, this was not enough to get by individually, let alone to support a family.
In April of 2006 Chilean high school students had many complaints against the government and the way it ran the public school system. Chief among their concerns included bus fares and university exam fees. Over the previous few years, there had been isolated protests throughout the city, but none had gathered very much momentum. In 2006, however, in the first major social movement since “Chileans overthrow Pinochet regime,” the students took the general public by surprise.
Beginning in late 2005, students at the University of Vermont (UVM) were involved in a movement to increase the wages of school employees such that workers could be given a "living wage." Primarily focused on food-service employees contracted by Sodexho, the nonviolent campaign sought out and acquired support from local officials, faculty, and even state legislators. The students believed they needed in intervene in order to secure a wage that was equal to the state standard of a living wage as established by the state legislature.
India has maintained much of its traditional caste system, which separates communities based on the socioeconomic status of the communities’ forefathers. Early 20th century constitutional reforms prevented the kind of medieval discrimination that used to make some castes literally ‘untouchable’. The untouchables were replaced by what are referred to as ‘scheduled tribes’ (STs), ‘scheduled castes’ (SCs) and ‘other backward castes’ (OBCs) that collectively refer to India’s socioeconomically disadvantaged people. Combined, they represent about 85% of India’s population.
On 29 July 2012, thousands took to the streets after the Hong Kong government announced that by 2015 they would integrate mandatory national-education classes in Hong Kong’s public schools. The government’s plan would not affect international schools where rich families tend to send their children, but it would affect the education of children from the working and middle classes.
Heligoland (also spelled Helgoland) is an archipelago 46 kilometers off the German coastline in the North Sea. The two small islands are less than 2 square kilometers in total, but the British, Danish and Germans have hotly contested the land over the centuries. In the Second World War, the British Air Force frequently bombed the islands, most notably in air to sea battles in 1939 and in 1945, when the residents of the island were forced to abandon their rock shelters and evacuate due to an enormous Allied air raid.
In 1966, faced with an economic recession, the two major West German political parties--Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU)--came together to form what came to be known as the Grand Coalition. Their decision to allow Kurt Georg Kiesinger of the CDU serve as chancellor proved controversial, as Kiesinger played an active role in the foreign ministry under the Third Reich.