Archive for June, 2010

Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota (UMN SDS) stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Raleigh, NC. In protest for a better future, these courageous women are demanding Senator, Kay Hagan, to support the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow undocumented peoples access to higher education.

UMN SDS sees the DREAM Act as an important step on the long road toward the liberation of undocumented workers within the United States. Education is intrinsically a right that all people should have no matter differences in class, race, gender, sexuality, or legal status within imagined borders.

We unite and stand with the demand of the Immigrant Rights Movement that education is a right! We are in solidarity with the three Raleigh hunger strikers and any person willing to resist, fight, and struggle!

Solidarity and Resistance!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Students for a Democratic Society at the University of MN

For more info on the hunger strike in North Carolina, visit the Fight Back! Article


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Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Nurses Association website http://www.mnnurses.org


6/6 – All Out for the Minnesota Nurses’ Strike! The Minnesota Nurses Association, one of the largest bargaining collective of nurses in the country, are gearing up for an open-ended strike July 6th. This strike will be the largest nurses strike in US history and SDS as a part of the MN People’s Bailout Coalition are going to be there in solidarity, JOIN US! Hospitals work because nurses do. Better working environment for nurses and their patience!

To find out about the strike read Fight Back! 

To read about the nurses striking read the MNA website

See you at the Picket Line!

Email umnsds@gmail.com to find out how you can plug in!

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—– Join the Student movement! —–

The 2010 national convention for Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will be taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 22-24.

**If interested in going with UMN SDS please email umnsds@gmail.com to set up logistics!**

Coast to coast, SDS chapters and allies will arrive to build connections, campaigns, and political clarity in these times of economic crisis, environmental catastrophe, racist, anti-immigrant attacks, and continuing 
wars overseas. 

Through workshops and plenaries, SDS chapters will share their many rich experiences, including helping lead the national struggle for education rights, organizing protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, coordinating mass action against Arizona’s SB1070, and boycotting Israel. 

Rachel Matteson, of Milwaukee SDS, was one of the 16 arrested during UW-Milwaukee’s March 4th national day of action to defend education rights. She continues to help lead the education rights struggle, and says: “Milwaukee is succeeding in building a strong and committed chapter. We look forward to extending this unity and to the opportunity to learn from the many committed organizers in SDS, to share our experiences and to inspire a new wave of SDS to take up the struggle for revolutionary change.” 

SDS is a radical, multi-issue organization grounded in the principles of participatory democracy. With dozens of chapters nation-wide, we encourage newcomers to also attend. 


Fund Education, Not Occupation! 

—– Logistics —–

For questions, please contact: students4democraticsociety@gmail.com 

Housing: We will provide free housing.

Food: We are preparing to provide free meals (vegan friendly).

Cost: We have a limited amount of money available for reimbursements for low-income youth.

If you need other accommodations, please contact us.

—– Workshops —–

We are planning workshops on:

Education Rights
Flier Design

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On March 4th, campuses across the country erupted in protest as faculty, campus workers, and students joined together to say NO to the attacks on education. On that day, over twenty chapters of Students for a Democratic Society protested on their campuses. At the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, protesters were met with tear gas and police violence. 16 members of SDS were arrested, and are still fighting to get the charges dropped. At UCLA, SDS members took part in an occupation of the chancellor’s office. Likewise, at campuses such as Drexel, UI Chicago and Diablo Valley College SDSers participated in and led the fight against cutbacks and layoffs.

Students for a Democratic Society has been fighting back against cuts to education for years, leading struggles on campuses across the country. We believe education is a right, not a privilege. We believe that students should not have to suffer fee and tuition hikes so that top administrators can maintain their six-figure salaries. We believe faculty and campus workers should not be subject to mandatory furloughs to maintain wasteful and unbalanced budgets. We believe that ethnic, womens and LGBTQ programs are NOT expendable. We say, “chop from the top!”, that cuts should be made to top administrators with bloated salaries. We want student, worker, and faculty control over the university; the Board of Regents should not be in control of our futures and lives. We will not stand by and do nothing while the quality of and access to education is diminished, while our schools are privatized, and while K-12 public schools face similar attacks.

We did not cause the economic crisis. We watched Wall Street get billions of taxpayer bailouts, then post record profits. We see how billions are going to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Campus workers should not foot the bill nor should students be forced to drop
out because of spiraling tuition costs they cannot afford. Money should go towards jobs, welfare and education, not wars, military aid and occupations.

Finally, we see the actions that students are taking all over the world, such as the strike at the University of Puerto Rico that began April 21st, and that is still going strong despite repression from riot police. We are inspired by their courage and determination.

SDS is calling on students and youth to join with us as we plan for the National Day of Action on Oct. 7th. This is the day called for by students, faculty, and campus workers in California, where protests against tuition hikes, racism, and the privatization of the UC system schools erupted in
September of 2009, inspiring people across the country and the world. On this day we will say no to the budget cuts that threaten our access and the quality of our education. Campuses will protest, march, rally, strike, walkout or petition to show their support for those across the country and the world fighting to defend education, to send a clear message to administrators, legislators and government that we will not remain silent while education is under attack.

To get involved, contact SDS at students4democraticsociety@gmail.com

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On June 22-26, in Detroit, MI, SDS will join thousands of organizers and activists at the U.S. Social Forum to share our perspectives and strategies for social and economic justice. Members of SDS are traveling from across the country to discuss our experiences in building the student movement over the last four years.

SDS has been involved in many important battles since the 2007 USSF in Atlanta – from fighting to defend education as a right, to leading tens of thousands of students and youth in protesting against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. SDS has also been active in the struggle for immigrants rights, labor solidarity, support for the Palestinian liberation movement, and many other key issues that we have faced over the last few years.

So come hang out with SDS! We will sum up our experience in how to organize on our campuses and communities against U.S. empire abroad and repression and cutbacks here at home.

Join us at our two workshops:

Students in the Campus Anti-war Movement

SDS workshop addressing the need to continue building a student anti-war movement on campus in the post-Bush era. Thursday, Jun 24 2010 – 1:00pm. TWW: Fourier.

The Fight for Education Rights: March 4th and Beyond

Students and Youth discuss March 4th action for education rights and next steps. Jun 25 2010 – 1:00pm. Cobo Hall: D3-18.

Or stop by and hang out with us at our table:

SDS Meet-and-Greet

At the SDS Table at 6pm on Friday, we’ll likely be in the main hall.

Send us an e-mail to let us know you’re coming, or give a call if you want to meet up in Detroit!


Kas Schwerdtfeger, Milwaukee SDS, kas.psom [at] gmail.com | 262-893-2806 (Cell)

RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=133670369977803&ref=mf

For more information on SDS, check out http://www.studentsforademocraticsociety.org/.

To register for the USSF, visit http://www.ussf2010.org/register

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Students for a Democratic Society Condemns Freedom Flotilla Massacre

*For Immediate Release*

Students for a Democratic Society condemns in the strongest terms
Israel’s massacre and kidnapping of the activists of the Freedom
Flotilla on May 31 that was bringing humanitarian aid in solidarity
with the people in Gaza. This terroristic act of piracy on the high
seas by the Israeli military resulted in the deaths of at least nine
people and the wounding of many more. The surviving activists say that
they were beaten and tortured with electricity before being abducted
from international waters into Israeli territory, where they were
jailed on the absurd charge of illegally entering Israel.

Meanwhile, as the whole world responds to these events with shock and
outrage, the US government hasn’t skipped a beat in providing the
usual diplomatic, political and financial support for Israel’s war
crimes. This has played a critical role in enabling Israel to conduct
business as usual, as can be seen by the boarding and kidnapping of
another aid ship headed for Gaza, the MV Rachel Corrie only days after
the massacre.

SDS is mobilizing across the country to protest Israel’s criminal
aggression against the Freedom Flotilla as well as its occupation and
oppression of Palestine in general:

  • On June 1 and June 4, the UW-Milwaukee and UW-Waukesha SDS chapters,
    alongside MEChA, the Arab-American and Jewish communities brought out
    hundreds to protest at the Milwaukee Federal Building.
  • Chicago SDSers joined with a picket of more than 3000 at the Israeli
    consulate in Chicago on June 1.
  • On June 3, UNC-Chapel Hill SDS mobilized for a rally in Durham,
    North Carolina.
  • UNC-Asheville SDS called for an emergency protest on June 7.

SDS calls on students everywhere to join us in protest of Israel’s war
crimes and the United States government’s complicity in them. We are
calling for the following:

  • Release the activists with the MV Rachel Corrie
  • Lift the siege of Gaza
  • Dismantle the Jewish settlements in the West Bank
  • End all US aid to Israel
  • Campus divestment from businesses profiting from Israeli apartheid

For more information about Students for a Democratic Society, visit

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Given on June 1, 2010 by Anti-War Committee member Meredith Aby at a demonstrion at Senator Klobuchar’s office

We are here today to protest the outrageous acts of the Israeli military on Monday, May 31st to the Freedom Floatilla which was trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.  Israeli commandos boarded the ships in international water and killed at least 10 people for the “crime” of trying to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The Freedom Flotilla was a convoy of six ships carrying 700 activists, political leaders and journalists from over twenty countries.  They were taking around 10,000 tons of basic aid including food, educational supplies, medicines, and construction material to break the brutal and illegal Israeli blockade on Gaza.

Activists who were trying to bring humanitarian aid were taken hostage by the Israeli government.  Some of them have been released and they are speaking out against their attack.  Their reports include the following information:
*  They used concussion grenades, sound bombs and pellets against the ships. People were attacked by the Israeli navy by plastic bullets, electric shocks, and physical attacks.
*  Mihalis Grigoropoulos from Greece told Aljazeera, “We did not resist at all, we couldn’t even if we had wanted to. What could we have done against the commandos who climbed aboard?  The only thing some people tried was to delay them from getting to the bridge, forming a human shield. They were fired upon with plastic bullets and were stunned with electric devices.”

*  Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least ten people dead.  She told CNN “they started beating people. My head was smashed against the ground and they stepped on my head. They later cuffed me and put a bag over my head. They did that to everybody.”
*  Members of the media were even attacked and had their camera equipment purposely destroyed.

We are not alone in our anger.  Protests have already happened around the globe including in Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Australia, India, Canada, Greece, Egypt, France, Italy, Sweden, and Iraq.  And more protests are happening today.

We need to use these murders to highlight the issue these activists gave their very lives for – the need for Israel to stop the siege of Gaza.  Israel’s blockade is an example of the horrendous collective punishment it uses against the Palestinian people and specifically against the 1.5 million people living in Gaza.  Gaza is one of the poorest places in the world and to deny Palestinians access to the basic supplies its people need to survive – including food and medical supplies is downright criminal!  The blockade has also prevented Gaza from rebuilding after the devastating Israeli military offensive early last year.

I had the privilege of visiting Gaza on a human rights delegation in 2001.  I saw the remnants of apartment buildings Israel had bombed with military aid the US gave them where children under the age of 5 were killed in large numbers in the attempt to kill one suspected militant.  I saw refugee housing that had been used for over 50 years despite it’s inability to truly house any one.  I saw a population malnourished and starving for freedom.  Repeatedly Palestinians asked me to work here to change our government’s policy of unconditional support for Israel, and if we want peace and justice for Palestinians, an end to aid to Israel is essential!

We must use this bloody massacre as an opportunity to challenge the US unconditional support for Israel.  Israel has the ability to hold such a brutal occupation of Palestine because of the support of our country.  The US gives Israel more military aid than any other country in the world and US politicians compete over who can be its best friend.  The US repeatedly provides the diplomatic cover for Israel after it’s war crimes against Palestinians like the war on Gaza last year and after the war with Lebanon.  We need to demand that the US not use it’s power to block the anger the international community can and should be targeting towards the Israeli government. The White House has reacted cautiously since the bloody massacre and has only called for disclosure of all the facts.  This is not enough.  Obama should be outraged at this unprovoked attack in international waters of a humanitarian aid mission.  We need to demand that the US cut ties with Israel – including an end to aid!  We need to demand the US stop sending 3 billion dollars in military aid to Israel each year.  We cannot stand by as our tax dollars are used to cause this oppression and violence.

Please join with me in chanting:

The people of Gaza are under attack what do we do, stand up fight back!

The people of conscience are under attack what do we do, stand up fight back!

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