Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A look at Philly layoffs from Lisbon

At Lisbon University: "General Strike"

It's a strange feeling sitting here in Lisbon, reading about austerity in Philly.
Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the School District had begun mailing layoff notices to 3,783 employees, informing them they will lose their jobs July 1 because of the district’s financial crisis. The list includes 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals, and 1,202 noontime aides. -- Inquirer
Change the names of the cities and the school administrators and the same story can be read in papers here, or in Madrid, or in Athens. Why would anyone think this has anything to do with education reform?

Mass school closings along with thousands of teacher and staff firings are part a global crisis which the one-percenters are taking advantage of to reshape society. Their goal is nothing less than the erosion of public space (including public education) and public decision-making.

Here in Portugal, in Greece and Spain -- not to mention Turkey -- there are signs of sharp resistance. The unions in Portugal have called for a general strike on June 27th. What will the response be in Philly, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles?

It was Frederick Douglass who said it best:
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

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