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Chilean students and teachers stike against LGE [UPDATED]

The Chilean student movement, which recently has been no stranger to fighting the government (and winning), has over the past month been organizing and demonstrating against the proposed General Education Law (LGE), a sweeping piece of legislation that will fundamentally change the way education is structured in Chile.

News Roundup: 5/1/07 MAY DAY

Happy International Worker's Day, everyone! Go listen to The Internationale in the language of your choice to celebrate. On this most auspicious of radical holidays, one can't help but feel disheartened by the headlines...
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The Santiago Times: CHILE’S STUDENT MOVEMENT CRUMBLES AS LEADING SCHOOLS PULL OUT

In a sad turn of events, it looks like the Chilean student movement, that just one year ago was a beacon of inspiration to students the world over, has become little more than a hollow shell of its former self.

While the student movement looked to be losing momentum at the start of last year, it was in February that it really started to fall apart. Students were divided over whether to protest issues that were not strictly related to education – specifically, the poor management of the Transantiago. Regional representatives were particularly angered by the decision to protest, saying the decision was made without their consultation. [Full article here]

One can only hope that a) this is just an organizational hiccup, and/or b) the center-right Santiago Times is intentionally painting a bleak picture for political reasons. Hopefully there will be more to come on this.

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Looking back at Kent State

This week (specifically this Friday) marks the 37th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. However long ago it may have been, a new twist on the events of that day has come to light. A student then at KSU, was audio recording the protest, and it is claimed that an order to shoot was given (the FBI investigation into the event didn't come to a conclusion as to whether the order was given, or even who shot first).

"We think this is a troubling piece of evidence that was somehow overlooked," said Canfora, who planned to release CD copies of the recording Tuesday at a news conference at Kent State, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Cleveland. "We're not seeking revenge or a new prosecution of guardsmen, we just want the truth."

Canfora said he could not identify the voice on the tape or say for certain that it belongs to a guardsman. The government should analyze the recording using new technology, he said.

Mark Wayda, spokesman for the Ohio National Guard, said Sunday he was unaware of the tape and declined to comment." [Full article here]

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Israeli students and teachers continue the fight

Students and teachers continue to strike and protest in opposition to the government-sponsored Shochat Committee on Higher Education's proposals to change education policy. Today, protests ended in violence, with police charging and injuring several students.

Student Union head Itai Shonstein said that 10,000 students attended the protest. “We will continue the struggle, continue to close down campuses, until we reach our goal,” he said. “The Prime Minister must come down from his ivory tower and meet with us immediately. If he doesn’t, we will set the whole country aflame.”

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) called upon Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to launch an immediate investigation into the police violence used to disburse the demonstrators.

MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must get involved in diffusing the crisis before student strike measures escalate out of control.

The student struggle has led University administrations to consider canceling the current semester, as students have been boycotting classes for half a month already. A committee of university heads has already decided to lengthen the current semester.[Full article here]

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No news is bad news for all of us: The NewStandard closes its doors for good

One of my favorite sources for investigative journalism, The NewStandard, has sadly ceased publication. It was a collectively-run organization, which relied on donations and accepted no advertising money. Perhaps even more inspiring, their collective was run democratically, with balanced-job complexes.

The NewStandard was a unique online newspaper founded on the belief that the dominant model and methods of profit-focused news journalism have failed the public interest. Managed by a collective of journalists and published by a reader-funded, non-hierarchical nonprofit organization, TNS was committed to bold, hard-hitting daily news coverage, providing a vetted forum for the voices and issues often ignored in the establishment news arena.

Thankfully, all of TNS' articles are still available online here. They did fantastic work, and it's a shame to see them go.

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