Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gonzalez, Schmidt (and Scott) at PS 123

UPDATED: More GEM commentary on video clips from PS 123 protests — Councilman Tony Avella here and Manhattan Borugh Prez Scott Stringer here.

A word about the second PS 123 protest against the sneak attack on the school by Moskowitz's Harlem Success Academy.

GEM was there, and here's how Ednotes reports it:
Gem started receiving calls on Thursday evening from PS 123 parents and teachers that the DOE had ruled in favor of Eva Moskowitz and the movers and painters were coming Friday morning. They asked us to be there and we were. That all press reports ignored our strong presence is not surprising.
Here's the link to Scott's 6-min. video of the event.
He recorded what GEM's Angel Gonzalez (above right) had to say about the disparate treatment given to charter and public schools. He calls for politicians to take a stand against privatization. It's happening at 123, but also at 241, 160, and throughout the city.

The video clip also has a few minutes of George Schmidt, editor of the Chicago teacher's union paper Substance.

Schmidt was in the belly of the beast during Obama's rise to power and had to say this about a president who's not playing well with his progressive base these days:
"He's a very nice man. He's also a ruthless, neo-liberal plutocratic ... empire builder.

"And what he gave to public education, as soon as he had the power of the presidency, was Arnie Duncan, who's gonna put the Chicago plan across the USA if he is not stopped.

"A key to stopping him and that plan has got to be to stop the unions from selling out . . .

Arnie Duncan's agenda in Chicago is to destroy public schools just like you're witnessing here, only in Chicago it's much further along, because our opposition wasn't able to get organized in time."

Will ours be? GEM hopes so, and is organizing.

ICE, TJC, and all the other sub-groups in the membership hope so too, because they see a union autocracy collaborating big time. They've already given the mayor, the chancellor and who knows who else at State the keys to the front door.

See Ednotes for upcoming videos and commentary. He's got footage of Scott Stringer, who just replaced Patrick Sullivan (the only person on the now defunct PEP to stand up to BloomKlein) with another rubber-stamper, and Councilman Tony Avella, who might have been our best mayoral choice against the privatization of our schools, but who probably won't be able to wrest Democratic controllers away from Bill Thompson.

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