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See you at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School today, Thursday, November 20, for a 6:30pm dinner and 7:00 class. We’ll be continuing the discussion on education, school, knowledge, philosophy, and power. We will also begin formulating our own plan and program to offer as an alternative to the education system (or what we would like to change about it). Students are encouraged to come a talk about different models of education to the table and what can learn from them. Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring some ideas for some great discussion! The Freedom School is located at Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street in Utica, NY.

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Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements

A book talk by editors Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein of the new book Until the Rulers Obey.Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School (500 Plant Street in Utica at Cornerstone Community Church)
When: Friday. October 3 at 7:00pm

Sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Freedom School, CNY Citizen Action, and others.

Ross and Rein will give an overview of social movements in Latin America – what they are, their history and current struggles – and dialogue with the audience on the lessons these movements have to offer to people here in the U.S. engaged in working for a better world.

Here is a bit of information about the book itself:

Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements includes interviews with more than 70 organizers, activists and scholars from 15 countries, Mexico to Argentina. The movements they’re part of helped bring new governments to power after decades of austerity and dictatorship. They’ve mobilized on a broad range of issues, fighting against mines and agribusiness and for housing and land; for rights as women, workers, LGBT and indigenous people; for the survival of their communities and our planet. Their organizing runs the gamut of nonviolent social change strategies, from land occupation to electoral participation to creating alternative communities.

Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein say, “This is the book we’ve been waiting for. Anyone interested in the explosion of social movements in Latin America—and the complex interplay between those forces and the ‘Pink Tide’ governments—should inhale this book immediately.”

Until the Rulers Obey is a profoundly necessary book. Little has been published about Latin America in the way of an overview from 1989 to the present, even less in the voices of the protagonists themselves. The great experiments of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s failed, but new and in many cases less dogmatic approaches to social justice have taken root in a number of countries south of the border. This book explores those efforts, often in the words of the change-makers themselves. Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein have done us a great service. Read this book for access to what the U.S. corporate media still doesn’t want us to know.”
—Margaret Randall, author of Sandino’s Daughters Revisited, When I Look Into the Mirror and See You, and Che on My Mind
For more information, please call 732-2382 or email maslauskas84@gmail.com

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A coalition of local groups will be sponsoring the “Fight for Fifteen” May Day Vigil for Fair and Living Wages on Thursday, May 1 between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the public sidewalk on 100 block North Genesee Street (across the street from the Hess Gas Station), Utica.

“We are holding this event to press for a higher minimum wage, improved wages for food service, child care, and hospitality workers, and living wages for all workers,” said Brendan Dunn, one of the organizers for the event.  “We are joining with countless people across the country to demand a $15/hour minimum wage. This is a new movement that has gained considerable momentum in Seattle and has its roots in the recent upsurge of fast food worker organizing. May Day is internationally recognized as Labor Day and has its roots in the US. In recent years it has been revived by the immigrant rights and labor movements.”

Over three million workers in New York–37 percent of the state’s labor force–work in low-wage jobs that pay less than $15 per hour, according to a 2014 report by the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute. Census data show that workers of color in New York are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage jobs, with 49 percent of Hispanic workers and 48 percent of black workers throughout the state holding jobs that pay less than $15 per hour.

Two out of three (66 percent) small business owners in New York think cities and counties should have the authority to set their own minimum wage rates above the state level, according to a new poll released by Small Business Majority. The poll signals broad levels of support among small businesses for legislation introduced this year (S. 6516/A. 9036) by State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Karim Camara that would grant localities in New York the authority to set their own minimum wage rates.

The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found that 77 percent of small business owners in New York support setting the minimum wage above the state’s current rate of $8 per hour, as well as indexing the minimum wage to rise each year with the cost of living. The respondents were predominately Republican–with 45 percent of small business owners identifying as Republican, 40 percent as Democrat and 15 percent as independent or other.

The event is free and open to the public.  Local co-sponsors include Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., IWW, Mohawk Valley Freedom School, Occupy Utica, and MoveOn.   For more information or transportation, please contact John Furman 315-725-0974, cnycitizenaction@gmail.com/Brendan Dunn 315-240-3149,maslauskas84@gmail.com.

For event details, please refer to http://cnycitizenaction.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/598887090224476/ .  Follow events on  ‪#FightFor15 ‪#15Now  #FightFor15CNY.

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Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Union/Workplace Organizer Training

Saturday, March 29
10am-5pm (9:30am for breakfast)

Sunday, March 30
10am-4pm (9:30am for breakfast)

At Cornerstone Community Church
500 Plant St., Utica, NY 13501

Do you have a job? Will you have a job in the future? Are you a worker? Do you want higher wages and more benefits? Do you want to fight injustice at work? Do you want more rights, power and a voice at your work?

If the answers to any of these questions are YES, then you should consider organizing at work and joining the one union open to all workers, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). This training will show you how to organize at work and form a union. The IWW labor union is looking to form in Utica and excited to organize the unorganized. The union has an exciting history and formed at a time in US history when other unions were mostly concerned with organizing white, male, skilled workers. The IWW opened its doors to workers of all races, industrial and farm workers, immigrants, and women.

Local activists decided to have the training in light of the need to reach out to workers who are not in unions and to create a culture of grassroots labor organizing locally. It is being done through the newly formed Mohawk Valley Freedom School and is cosponsored by CNY Citizen Action.

You don’t have to be a member of the union to come to the training. The training is completely free and open to the public, including unemployed workers. As long  as people do not have the power to hire or fire anyone they are welcome to come. Organizing materials, information, and breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

Two experienced union organizers, will give the nuts and bolts of organizing at work, how to set up a workplace organizing committee, the AEIOUs of organizing, go over labor law, how to make demands on the boss, and build grassroots power at work. This is a very interactive training that includes role plays and active participation. The training will also go over social charting, mapping, contracts vs. solidarity unionism, and a history of the IWW.

It is an exciting moment in US history to get involved with social movements and stand up for dignity and justice. One way you can do that is at work by organizing with the IWW. We hope you join us in this exciting movement.

Please RSVP to the event by emailing mvfreedomschool@gmail.com or calling 315 240-3149.

More information about the IWW can be found at http://www.iww.org

Also, feel free to learn more about the IWW from scholar and activist Noam Chomsky. He also happens to be a member of the IWW.