Saturday, 12 January 2013


Ken Berwitz

Here is a story that should be given lead-story status in our formerly credible, but now hopelessly compromised, mainstream media --- a story I'll bet most readers are completely unaware of...until now, that is.

Excerpted from Kyle Olson's column at

The Occupy Oakland Education Committee - comprised of public school teachers from the Oakland, California school district - has renamed its publication "ClassRoom Struggle" and its platform TEACH, which stands for "Transform Education, Abolish Capitalism and Heal."

Can this possibly be?  Can a group of Oakland public school teachers form a group which openly tells the city - and the parents of the children in their classes - that they are committed to teaching abolition of capitalism? 

The answer is emphatically yes.  Just read the group's web site and see for yourself.

Here's a little taste of what you will find:

While public schools have served a role in developing white supremacist, capitalist and imperialist ideology and social structure (for example through segregated schools, tracked programs, mandated pledge of allegiance, etc.), they have also been key sites of struggle and served as assets for movements of working class students of color and other youth struggles.   This has been true since Reconstruction in the US South when black slaves who had fought to emancipate themselves from slavery organized toward establishing public education with funding from the capitalist state as a form of reparations; it was evident during the student walkouts in the late 60's, and could be felt over the last two decades in Oakland where teachers and students have repeatedly joined forces to fight Prop 21, state budget cuts and gang injunctions.

In many ways, public schools are the last commons that we have in this country, the last place where people - children, teenagers, teachers, parents, school workers, neighbors - meet across difference and share the only assets that cannot be taken from us - our knowledge and vision.  Yet our K-12 schools, the very last free public service still provided to ALL people inside U.S. borders, are under attack.  Between austerity policies that slash school budgets, union busting that threatens the quality of teaching, corporate backed reforms aimed to turn young people into work ready robots rather than creative thinkers, and the rapid privatization of our schools (of which Oakland is a leader with 30% of students in charter schools), our schools are very literally under attack.  And for this reason we call for their defense.  What we are calling to abolish is not education but rather capitalism.

So tell me:  How do you feel about public tax money being spent to indoctrinate children with what you just read?  Do you think it will benefit them?  Prepare them to go out into the world?  Or turn them into socialist/communist robots, reciting these slogans as they demand the government abolish capitalism?

And why - assuming the statistic is correct - do you think 30% of Oakland's children have been taken out of (make that rescued from) the public schools these geniuses teach in, and put in charter schools?  Because they're pleased or displeased with the education Oakland's public schools are providing?

Finally, why do you think media - which were more than happy to give wall to wall coverage of three code pink lunatics walking around in vagina outfits at the Republican national convention last year - have ignored an organized group of taxpayer-compensated public school teachers telling the world that this is what they are teaching their students?

Sometimes I truly despair for the future of our country.  And this, I assure you, is one of those times.

Zeke .... .... Oakland -- where Ebonics is studied. .... .... (01/12/13)

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