February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012

Students Not Scores! Activism at McKeldin Square. Photo By: Iris Kirsch. (Note: EDS and the ISO are unaffiliated.)

To Teachers, Students, Parents, and citizens:

As teachers, and as activists for social justice, Educators for Democratic Schools is proudly in solidarity with all teachers, parents and students who are standing up to the madness of standardized testing

Southwest Baltimore. Photo By: The Baltimore Sun

On January 14th, 2013, Indyreader posted an announcement from editor Corey Reidy, that our allies at The United Workers (UW) were facing eviction from their offices in Southwest Baltimore due to development by the University of Baltimore system. We stated: 

Clients form a line in the rear parking lot of the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center shelter waiting to get a bed. Photo by Dan Staples.

Actions speak louder than words. The words say “75 journeys home” for people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore. But what do the actions say? You might assume, as we did, that 75 journeys home means that the city has allocated new funding for 75 new apartments. You might think that funding for new housing vouchers is great news. However, at last count, over 4,000 people sleep on Baltimore’s streets each night. “75 Journeys Home” is less than 2% of the people who desperately need housing, but better than nothing.

Computer-generated image of the future 25th Street Station. (source: 25thstreetstation.com)

On January 22, the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out the last remaining legal case brought against the planned development known as 25th Street Station. Like most previous attempts by critics of the project—a handful of community and business groups—the recent ruling never addressed the real issue behind the entire controversy: whether or not local businesses would suffer from the appearance of a retail giant like Walmart.

Image Source: http://crooksandliars.com

Of course who can blame Republican candidate hopefuls from distancing themselves from a party whose pointy white hood is showing. It’s embarrassing as well as downright unelectable in the 21st century. And with this new debate on the Second Amendment and white men in camouflage cargo pants (tricky) hunkered down in the wilderness with their assault rifles selling wolf tickets to the government, well, it smacks a little of the Civil War. What with meddling in women’s underwear with ultrasound abortion legislation and insulting people of just about every color, the optics for Republicans are not good.

Veterans protest the deployment of traumatized soldiers. (Source: underthehoodcafe.org)

In financial terms, the Veterans Administration (VA) and commercial insurance companies are totally different. One, a government funded institution, cares for all recently returned and disabled veterans. The other, a market-based approach, offers only the services patients can afford. Nevertheless, patients in both systems are angry. They aren’t getting the services they need. I spoke with veterans and civilians about their experiences in these bureaucracies and discovered strikingly similar barriers to health care.

What do you think is going on in this photograph? “Detective room, Police Department,” Hughes Company Photograph Collection, unknown photographer (possibly James W. Scott), ca.1910, MdHS, PP8-585 / Z9.584.PP8

The past creates our present. The struggle for media justice is undergone not only to inform us today but also so that our voices can inform tomorrows. But, while they say a picture is worth a thousand words, what if your voice doesn't actually speak for a reality that was? Our friends, over at the Maryland Historical Society, are in a constant process of uncovering and preserving what has been of our local history. They maintain a blog, underbelly, that logs these adventures. We give you their latest exploration into understanding the past -- since, well, it's fascinating -- and because we can build sound future societies if we don't know the foundation(s) we build upon.

Photo By: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse

On December 19th, 2012, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse showed that poetry is one of the most tried and true forms of social justice making and sharing. It was described thus: