april 12 2011 has been chosen as the day of action on military spending in concordance with the annual report on global military expenditure.
some folks, NGOs here have decided partake on that day. but i have not received any confirmation.
i have been trying to draw attention about this issue and day of action on facebook but i think i have been mostly unsuccsessful. to some extend it make me feel nobody really gives a shit, on the other hand, facebook is probably not the best platform of communication.
eventhough the actual proposed day for action is not that important, i say it because there is no reason to fixate a day, any day is possible for action, protest, revolt, direction action.
anyway, i want to share a recent course of event that strikes my attention. and i am going to insert the press statement below:
Press release from KLF Paris
Sunday, March 27, 2011
For Immediate Release
Knowledge Liberation Front – Paris
[ version française ]
On March 24th, 25th, and 26th, students and precarious workers organized hundreds of common initiatives and mobilizations throughout Europe against the austerity measures being imposed upon them by the power of banks and financial institutions in direct collaboration with national governments. Hundreds of teach-ins, mass demonstrations and reappropriations of socially produced knowledge, wealth and spaces took place in over 40 cities throughout the continent, from Russia to The British Isles.
In Paris, the Knowledge Liberation Front and UnCut France organized two rallies in the heart of the city to protest these cuts and to reclaim common spaces to foster autonomous social cooperation between students, migrants and precarious workers. When the participants attempted to march together to Hôtel de Ville, the seat of the City government, police immediately blocked them in an attempt to stifle their voices and silence their protest.
Despite threats of arrest and prosecution for having simply gathered together, the demonstration spontaneously recomposed at Hôtel de Ville to denounce this repression and to support the Coordination des Intermittents et Précaires (CIP) in their fight against the expulsion from their autonomous social center. The City answered immediately: police in full riot gear quickly surrounded the demonstration and several participants were violently attacked.
In the end, 22 people were loaded on armored vans and taken to the underground basement of a police station where they were identified and held for nearly 4 hours.
The Knowledge Liberation Front hereby condemns this police state and the limitation of our simple right to assembly and freedom of expression. The interests of the City of Paris are clearly invested in protecting banks and financial institutions rather than in the concerns and wellbeing of its citizens.
A new social consciousness has awakened in Europe, quickened by the revolutionary wind blowing in from the North African struggles and bolstered by the transnational network of grassroots organizations. Facing the deep cuts in education and social welfare, made to restructure the political economy in order to exploit social production and to enact a financial governance based on precariousness and social poverty, this new awareness of our common struggle will not be intimidated.
These 3 days were only the beginning of a widespread uprising against the arrogance of state and financial power. This revolt against austerity and expropriation will continue to reclaim spaces and socially produced wealth throughout Europe and the world: and make no mistake, even the heavily guarded public squares of Paris will not be immune to this insurrection.
the reason why i have chosen this issue with issues of military spending is because bugdet cuts in education, welfare, healthcare system, job security, and so on are often budject increase in military, “defence”, and “security”.
well, in the malaysian context, it is definately the case. i really hope student groups picks issue as such and connect it with issues and struggles they relate too.. but again, it is an issue that affects everyone.
in responce and in solidarity to the events in europe, students and non-student in the united states did something quite interesting:
University of Minnesota Student Walkout, Rally, March and Assembly
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Outrage over Soaring Tuition Boils Over with Student Walkout at University of Minnesota
Wisconsin Labor Unrest Inspires Action
Rally and March: 11:30am Monday, March 28th, Coffman Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities East Bank
MINNEAPOLIS- On Monday, March 28th, students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus will walk out of class at 11:30 am for a rally and march at Coffman Memorial Union. Students are outraged over soaring tuition, budget cuts, sky-rocketing administrative salaries, mounting student debt, attacks on cultural-diversity groups on campus, and blatant disregard for workers’ rights across the nation. In light of recent student and worker uprisings around the world, students in the Twin Cities are no longer willing to bear the burdens of the economic crisis while the rich only get richer. Inspired by the actions of students at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Madison, and other campuses around the state, U of M students are standing up against injustices in their own state and their own university.
In-state tuition at the Twin Cities campus has increased 150% over the past 10 years, but students are not receiving a better quality education for their money: class sizes are increasing, student-to-teacher ratios are rising, more classes are taught by contingent and part-time faculty instead of professors, and available financial aid is decreasing. “If more and more services are being cut, then where is my tuition money going?” asked undergraduate student Jacob Niewald. “From what I’ve seen at the University, the only people who are improving their economic standing are upper-administrators and star faculty.” Additionally, the Minnesota house just presented their version of a budget bill that would cut $161.9 million of state funding for the university, placing even more financial burden on students and workers in the University of Minnesota system.
These proposed cuts would also force the university to freeze wages for faculty and staff, a group that, according to graduate student Eli Meyerhoff, has already had to make too many concessions. “These are hard-working people with families to support and student loans to pay off. What will happen if they have their wages cut, their benefits decreased, or their jobs eliminated? The results of these attacks on the livelihoods of university workers will be felt by everyone, from students to faculty to the greater Minnesota community.”
It is for these reasons that students have decided that enough is enough. Together, members of the University of Minnesota community are walking out and marching in order to:
-Foster worker-student solidarity and unity
-Oppose increases in tuition, wage cuts and salary freezes for staff and faculty, and continued salary increases for upper-administration
-Call for a tuition freeze, across the board raises for university workers making less than $50,000 a year, and pay cuts for administrators making more than $200,000
-Stand in solidarity with students and workers everywhere, particularly with those involved in current struggles in Wisconsin and other states with similar bills, as well as in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and numerous others.
-Stand in solidarity with students in Milwaukee and support their ongoing occupation on the UWM campus
-Support the idea of a general strike in Wisconsin as the most effective means to stop Governor Scott Walker’s attack on students and working people in that state
lets begin our insurrection here! are we ready or are we too tired, scared?