Chile’s Social Earthquake

•March 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

By Roger Burbach

Chile is experiencing a social earthquake in the aftermath of the 8.8 magnitude quake that struck the country on February 27. “The fault lines of the Chilean Economic Miracle have been exposed,” says Elias Padilla, an anthropology professor at the Academic University of Christian Humanism in Santiago. “The free market, neo-liberal economic model that Chile has followed since the Pinochet dictatorship has feet of mud.”

Chile is one of the most inequitable societies in the world. Today, 14 percent of the population lives in abject poverty. The top 20 percent captures 50 percent of the national income, while the bottom 20 percent earns only 5 percent. In a 2005 World Bank survey of 124 countries, Chile ranked twelfth in the list of countries with the worst distribution of income.

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Feministas denuncian amenazas a muerte por parte de golpistas

•March 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

El Libertador –

Por: Dina Meza

El Colectivo de Mujeres Universitarias es una organización de mujeres que mantiene un papel beligerante en el país en especial desde el 28 de junio de 2009 cuando se perpetró el golpe de Estado, además de defender los derechos de la comunidad Lésbica-gay-transexual-bisexual del país.

“Después de que asesinaron a Walter Tróchez y a Renán Fajardo, he sentido más persecución por medio de carros desconocidos, sin placas y vidrios polarizados, además de mujeres extrañas que llaman diciendo que quieren actualizar los datos de tarjetas de crédito y solicitan mis datos personales, pero cuando me niego a proporcionarlos se molestan mucho”, describió Blanca Dole.

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Frente de Resistencia en Honduras convocará consulta para Asamblea Constituyente

•March 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

TeleSUR – El Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular en Honduras (FNPR) anunció a través de un comunicado que realizará una consulta a la población para organizar una asamblea nacional constituyente en la búsqueda de la refundación de la nación.

La fecha pautada para la consulta popular será el 28 de junio, día en que se cumple un año del golpe de Estado que expulsó del poder al ex presidente Manuel Zelaya.

Ese día se celebraría una encuesta nacional promovida por el gobernante hondureño para que en las elecciones que se realizaron en noviembre se abriera una cuarta urna  para aprobar la instalación de una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente. Sin embargo, la revuelta militar, la iglesia, la empresa privada y las toldas políticas tradicionales lograron frustrar la acción democrática.

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San Francisco March Against Education Budget Cuts

•March 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Cesar Chavez Elementary School parent and student get ready to march in the day's protest

By Vanessa Bohm

The voices of elementary school children chanting with excitement caught the attention of business owners, employees, and store customers, who stepped outside to see the commotion as children walked down Mission Street in San Francisco’s Mission District on Thursday, March 4th. They and their parents were heading towards the heart of the historically Latino neighborhood to meet other elementary, middle, and high schoolers, college and university students, for a state-wide day of action against budget cuts that have heavily impacted educational institutions in California.

Child carries sign as they walk down Mission Street in San Francisco

Students held up signs reading “S.O.S. – Save Our Schools” and “Books Not Bars” as they weaved through the city’s streets on their way to San Francisco’s City Hall, where the main rally was to take place and where protesters hoped to make an impression on city officials with a sizeable show of discontent around reductions in education spending.

Teachers, unions, and community-based organizations also joined students and parents to demand alternative solutions to fund the state’s substantial budget deficit of over 20 billion dollars. Some of the suggestions included new revenue sources and the increasing of taxes for the wealthy at a local level, while others called for an end to the nation’s military spending.

Community-based organization La Raza Centro Legal marches in solidarity against budget cuts to education

Over 5,000 people by some estimates and nearly 10,000 by others participated in the San Francisco march to reverse budget cuts that have led to reduced educational services, classes, faculty pay, and tuition hikes by 32% in schools across California.

Protester holds up sign reading "Save Our Future"

A strong presence of Latino community members was evident as chants and rally cries were echoed in both English and Spanish. The familiar Spanish chant of “El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido” or “The people united will never be defeated” was repeated frequently throughout the march. Feeling the weight of budget cuts to social services and education, Latinos have mobilized against reductions in spending arguing that the Latino community and other communities of color, along with low-income families, are disproportionately affected by the cuts.

Thursday’s march was the biggest gathering of protestors San Francisco has seen in the last several years and hopes were high that the strong turnout was a sign of a burgeoning movement against the effects of the state’s economic crisis on education. Some also hoped that the mobilizing issue of education would also open the door to include struggles around other social justices issues. Continue reading ‘San Francisco March Against Education Budget Cuts’