Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CAN Wins Iraq Student Project Demand

Check out this article in the Wisconsin Badger Herald. Students at UW-Madison have succeeded in allowing students to make a $1/semester contribution to fund 5 Iraqi students to attend the school. Students have to "opt-out" to remove their dollar contribution. Here's an excerpt:

"Campus Antiwar Network members and several others have collected a total of 2,350 signatures from the student body and filed a proposal to add the Iraqi Student Project to the Associated Students of Madison spring 2008 ballot.

The ISP was founded in the summer of 2007 and modeled after the Bosnian Student Project, in which from 1993 to 1996, 150 Bosnian students came to U.S. colleges with tuition waived, according to CAN member and UW freshman Jenny Wustmann.

Middle East-based recruiters would work with Iraqi natives in Iraq, Syria and Jordan to identify, test and screen students. The students would be recommended based on academic records, language abilities, economic need and likelihood of success.

If the initiative were approved, each UW student would donate $1 per semester, including summer sessions, and the money would be refundable per written request within 45 days of the first day of class."

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ANSWER Film Showing: Bastards of the Party

Film Showing: "Bastards of the Party"
The rise of the Bloodz and Cripz

This Friday, February 29, 7pm
2295 Adam Clayton Powell (on 135th Street)
2/3 or B/C to 135th Street

Through reading and talking to peers and older members of the community, Sloan, a Blood member since age 12, discovered that "gangs" first appeared in Los Angeles in the late 1940's, when Black people started to move from the south into the predominantely white Los Angeles area.

"Bastards of the Party" traces the timeline from the 'great slave migration' to the rise and demise of both the Black Panther Party and the U.S. Organization in the mid-1960's, to the formation of what is currently the culture of street organizations across America.

The documentary also chronicles the role of the LAPD and FBI organizations in repressing the legitimate aspirations of the "gangs." During his tenure from 1950 to 1966, Chief Parker bolstered the ranks of the LAPD with white recruits from the south, who brought their racist attitudes to Los Angeles. This recruitment policy laid the groundwork for the volatile relationship between the Black community and law enforcement that continues until this day.

$7 donation suggested. No one turned away for lack of funds.

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Upcoming Human Rights Events

Thursday: 2/28

What: Counterterrorism and Human Rights ? A panel discussion and report launch addressing the prospects for implementing human rights into national and regional counter-terrorism efforts, focusing on two recent reports by the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation

When: 2/28, 6:30pm
Where: Room 101, Jerome Greene Hall

What: Human Rights Advocacy through Film: a discussion with Violeta
Krasnic from Witness (
When: 2/28, 6:30pm
Where: 207 Milbank
*Light Dinner to be served

Saturday, 3/1

What: The State of Democracy: Gender and Political Participation: A Scholar and Feminist Conference event with a keynote address by Lani Guinier, civil rights lawyer and legal scholar. Other speakers include: NY State Senator Liz Krueger, ACLU Voting Rights Project council member Nancy Abudu and more.
When: 3/1, 10:00am ? 3:00pm
Where: Barnard College Center for Research on Women
*RSVP online at

Monday, 3/3

What: The Crisis of the Nation-State ? Lebanon, Israel and Palestine: A brown-bag lecture with Nubar Hovsepian, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Chapman University. Talk addresses questions: Why is confessionalism so resilient? How might we assess the weakness of the state in relation to the nation?
When: 3/3, 12:30-2:00pm
Where: 1118 IAB
*For more information, email Maysaa at

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Upcoming Events

Camden 28 Screening, followed by discussion with Alex Gourevitch.
Tuesday, February 26th, 501 Hamilton, 8:00pm.

How far would you go to stop a war? The Camden 28 recalls a 1971 raid on a Camden, N.J., draft board office by "Catholic Left" activists protesting the Vietnam War and its effects on urban America. Arrested on site in a clearly planned sting, the protesters included four Catholic priests, a Lutheran minister, and 23 others. Thirty-five years later, the participants take stock of the motives, fears, and costs of their activism — and its relevance to America today. Sponsored by the College Dems.

Campaign for Cheaper Birth Control! Thursday, February 28th, 10am-4pm. Lerner Ramps. Help educate students about their options for affordable birth control and demand action from Congress! Sponsored by CCSC, Take Back the Night, ACLU, and Students for Choice, College Dems.

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Open Meeting on Core Curriculum

Check out the discussion of the Core Curriculum in the context of Gramsci's writing on culture in the last el participante. Although radicals and activists need to establish their own "Core" of self-education and research, it is important that we are engaged in the process of defining one of Columbia's most distinctive institutions. The core need not be a homage to dead, white reactionaries. It has the potential of serving as a space in which to criticize the fundamental assumptions of Western thought in terms of the sexual division of labor, patriarchy, racism, imperialism, capitalism, and private property. Let's make sure the left is present, intelligent, and articulate. Check out the Gramsci selection in the last issue of el particiapante.

Hosted by the Student Reps on the Committee on the Core

GOT IDEAS ABOUT THE CORE CURRICULUM? Come join us for an open discussion on your experiences, opinions, and questions about the Core Curriculum - learn about the mechanisms of change, the way curricula are developed and updated, and how you can get your voice heard. Don't just be a passive participant in your education - be proactive about the core curriculum that you want.

All CC and SEAS students are invited to talk and evaluate in a safe environment, open to all points of view. The ideas and opinions generated from this conversation will not only stimulate debate on our Core, but will also be taken and represented to the Committee on the Core, a body that includes the chair of each Core class. If you have any questions, please contact us at If you cannot make it on the 27th but are interested in future discussions, send us your email to be added to the mailing list.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

1968 Student Planning Meeting

Tuesday, 9pm in 301 Hamilton

Flyer to be posted soon.

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PSL Socialism Conference

New York City "Why Socialism?" Conference

Saturday, March 1st, 20089am-5pm
Thurgood Marshall Academy(135th St. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.) Take the 2/3 or B/C trains to 135th St.

Click here to pre-register Registration fee: $10

Conference topics include:
What is socialism?
The crimes of capitalism
The electoral sham and the farce of phony democracy
Housing is a right! Fight gentrification!
Ending racism from Jena, LA to NYC
Fighting sexism and women's oppression
The examples of Cuba and Venezuela

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CAN East Coast Conference

The Campus Antiwar Network's East Coast Conference
April 4-6th
Hunter College, New York City

Come one, come all! As we enter our 6th year in the occupation of Iraq, our leaders refuse to present an exit strategy or even a truthful representation of what's happening on the ground. Though we keep being told violence is down, US air strikes are up, and in 2007 sectarian killings "ethnically cleansed" Baghdad, turning it from 65% Sunni to 75% Shia. A poll conducted by the British Ministry of Defense found that 82% of Iraqis are "strongly opposed" to the occupation, and "less than 1% of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security." Resistance to the war has emerged on three fronts: Iraqi civilians defending their country against foreign invasion and continued devastation, enlisted US troops refusing to participate in an illegal and bloodthirsty war, and American civilians (particularly the student movement, who feel that effect of the war daily-- as military recruiters continue to haunt our campuses and tuition is raised as the cost of the war depletes funds for education). As of yet, the US government has refused to recognize these forces of resistance as legitimate, but with continued and heightened pressure in the form of independent, grassroots activism, we can hope to create the change we wish to see.

Join us, the Campus Antiwar Network's Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, for our spring regional conference on the US War on Terror and our student movement. Students from campuses across the East Coast will be convening to share their organizing experiences. Together, through workshops and plenaries, we'll try to address some of the issues facing the antiwar movement today, educating ourselves as well as combining efforts to create long and short-term strategies to end the war.

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Whither the Cuban Revolution?

It will hardly be news to anyone. Fidel Castro has stepped as President of Cuba, having led the country since the revolution in 1959. One of the most remarkable leaders, revolutionaries, and patriots of the 20th century, the meaning and implications of Castro's retirement remain uncertain. Will Cuba follow the Chinese path towards authoritarian capitalist development? Will the Cuban people be able to defend the gains of the revolution? How much pressure will the United States place on Cuba in the coming years? These are questions the left needs to answer as we continue the struggle for liberation from imperialism and strive for alternatives to capitalism. Here are excerpts from Castro's farewell letter:

"Dear compatriots,

I promised you on 15 February that in my next reflections I would touch on a subject of interest for many compatriots. This time that reflection takes the form of a message...

I held the honourable position of president for a period of many years... Before that I had held the post of prime minister for nearly 18 years. I always exercised the necessary prerogatives to carry forward our revolutionary work with the support of the vast majority of the people.

Knowing about my critical state of health, many people overseas thought that my provisional resignation from the post of president of the Council of State on 31 July 2006, leaving it in the hands of the First Vice-President, Raul Castro, was definitive. Raul himself, who also holds the post of minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces on his own merit, and my other comrades in the party leadership and the state, were reluctant to think of me removed from my posts despite my precarious state of health...

Preparing the people for my psychological and political absence was my primary obligation after so many years of struggle. I never ceased to say that we were dealing with a recuperation that was "not free from risk". My desire was always to carry out my duties until my final breath. That is what I have to offer.

To my close compatriots, who did me the immense honour in recent days of electing me as a member of parliament, I tell you that I will not aspire to or accept - I repeat - I will not aspire to or accept the post of president of the Council of State and commander-in-chief.

The path will always be difficult and will require the intelligent strength of all of us... Always prepare for the worst scenario. 'Be as prudent in success as you stand firm in adversity' is a principle that must not be forgotten. The adversary we must defeat is extremely strong, but we have kept him at bay for half a century.

I do not bid you farewell. My only wish is to fight as a soldier of ideas. I will continue to write under the title 'Reflections of comrade Fidel'. It will be another weapon in the arsenal on which you will be able to count. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I will be careful."

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Grassroots Media Conference

Fifth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference March 2, 2008 at Hunter College

For the past four years, we've explored the political dimensions of media and how it shapes our lives. In developing relationships between community and media organizations, the NYC Grassroots Media Coalition is working to re-imagine issues of access to, control of, and power over our media system. That means defining our struggle as a struggle for Media Justice.

Join us at the 2008 NYC Grassroots Media Conference as we seek to define our understanding of and relationship to Media Justice as a community, and explore how we can not only envision an ideal world, but make this vision a reality.

For more information about the conference, click here.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PSL Public Meeting on Black History

Friday, February 22, 7pm
2295 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (135th St.)
2/3 or B/C to 135th Street

Socialism and Black liberation
For revolutionaries of all nationalities in the United States, the Black liberation struggle has special significance. U.S. capitalism was founded on the brutal institution of slavery, putting the question of African American national liberation at the center of the U.S. class struggle. To this day, African Americans face oppression above and beyond what all workers face; exploited by their bosses and the state - shown in any statistic of social well-being.

Come hear a presentation on why revolutionary socialists put the struggles of the Black community - Katrina, Jena, Mumia and all other prisoners, reparations - at the center of any program for social change.

Remembering the African Blood Brotherhood
In many ways the political forerunners of the Black Panther Party, the African Blood Brotherhood advocated armed self-defense as early as 1918. Founded by Cyril Briggs, the ABB and its newspaper 'The Crusader' had an important influence far outside its thousands of members in Harlem. It became the first expression of Black communism in the United States.

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Vigil for Gaza

7:30pm Wednesday 2/20

Gaza is under siege. An Israeli policy of collective punishment has cut off the entry of food, fuel, electricity, and other essential supplies. In a blockade that has now lasted 8 months, 80% of Gazans are living below the poverty line, and more than 40 have died in hospitals due to a lack of medical supplies. Come to a candlelight vigil for Gaza at the Sundial at 7:30pm this Wednesday to take a stand against this suffering, and our government's complicity in it.

Sponsored by Students for Justice in the Middle East, which meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7:00pm in 522D Kent. SJME is just getting restarted - if you are interested in taking action around Palestinian rights or other issues in the region, they would love to see you at our next meeting.

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Manhattanville Expansion Talk and Discussion

Wednesday, February 20th, 9pm. Satow Room in Lerner Hall.

Community Board member Will Simpkins and City Councilman Tony Avella will present information on Manhattanville Expansion.

Sponsored by SCEG

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The Language of Race in America

You are invited to attend a Kraft Program on the Language of Race in America on February 20 at 5:30 p.m. The panel discussion, moderated by President Lee C. Bollinger, will explore what is not being said in today's society about race and the future of diversity. The program is
sponsored by The Kraft Family Fund for Interfaith and Intercultural Awareness.

Panelists include:
Kimberle Crenshaw, Professor of Law, Columbia University and UCLA

Ira I. Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University;

Robert G. O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University and Founder of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies;

Sandhya R. Shukla, Conrad Lung Associate Professor of Asian-American Studies, Columbia University

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Rotunda, Low Memorial Library
Columbia University in the City of New York


To register and for more information, please visit

Questions? Please contact the Office of University Programs and Events

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ICED: Game for Highschool Students on Immigration

After the event about immigration in Prince William County, which was a great success despite the fact the guests were unable to make it, I thought it might be worthwhile to share this video game. It is called ICED: I Can End Deportation, a play on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department, and was developed by a collaboration between Breakthrough, NYC teachers and students. Check out and play the game here.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

TODAY, 4pm Lerner C555: The Face of Immigration

Today, Friday, February 15th, 4-6pm
Lerner C555

Are Latinos the new scapegoat?

The Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) is having an event February 15th from 4-6pm in C555 Lerner called "The Face of Immigration". We have invited a teacher from Prince William County VA and his students to speak about how racism and xenophobia have affected their lives.
Illegal immigration has become a volatile issue in their community, with the passage of some harsh legislation aimed at barring illegal immigrants from public services as well as increased police enforcement.

Hosted by: SOL, USCC,
Zamana, CQA, VSA, SPeaK, BSO, LUCHA, Chicano Caucus, MSA, AAA

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Event Thursday: Gaza the Biggest Prison in the World?

In the last el participante, Tina Musa directed our attention towards the current crisis in Gaza. The Arab Student Association has organized an outstanding panel moderated by Nadia Abu el-Haj.

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Department of History

Idith Zertal, Professor of Contemporary History, Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland

Andrew Whitley, Director of the Representative Office, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Laila al-Haddad, Journalist, Al-Jazeera and The Guardian Unlimited

Thursday, February 14th, 2008
5:30-7:30 PM
702 Hamilton Hall
Columbia University

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