Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2018-05-01T13:01:25-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

“I Was Absolutely Afraid”: Indigenous Elder on “Mob Mentality” of MAGA Hat-Wearing Students in D.C. | Democracy Now!

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jan 22, 2019 03:55 PM
"We thought, there at the march, that the best thing to do was to ignore the Black Israelites the best we could and to pray for them or for their actions there on the Mall. We really didn’t understand their presence there and harassing us, but we just went ahead on with our rally. Then things started escalating between the Black Israelites and the [white] youth. When it got to about 200 youth, and the screaming and the hollerings ... I was absolutely afraid. There was a group of over 200 young angry white men who were displaying mob mentality. And they were facing down just four black individuals. And it was coming to a point where just a snap of the finger could have caused them kids to descend on those four individuals. ... I wasn’t focusing on anybody except taking the youth out of there, the indigenous youth that was with me, out of that situation. And that’s when Mr. Sandmann stood in front of me and blocked my—blocked my path"

Did Doug Ford consult any students for his “For the Students” plan? | Michael Bueckert

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 18, 2019 08:12 PM
"With the entire college and university sector united against Ford’s initiative, the question is: did they even consult any students on this “For the Students” plan? When asked directly about this following her press conference, and then later on CBC’s Power and Politics, Minister Merrilee Fullerton was unable to name a single student or student organization that she had consulted."

How Ontario's plan weakens student power | Nora Loreto

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 18, 2019 10:38 AM
"Doug Ford knows that a united and effective student movement can topple a government, like they did in 2012 in Quebec. Ford knows that students can stop bad policy, as students at Ryerson stopped their institution from implementing a new free speech policy. A movement that has space, resources, legitimacy, history and stable funding is a threat to Ford. He’s working hard to eliminate the threat. Unsurprisingly, the politician has chosen to eliminate a threat through an attack on free association and a free press. "

Ford's cynical politics and higher education | Graham Cox

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 18, 2019 12:04 PM
The announcement on post-secondary education by the Ford government was a showcase of the new cynical politics of the right-wing. It was painful to watch. The minister, looking as excited as a drowned cat, delivered an announcement of massive and destructive change to higher education in this province using an ugly caricature of Orwellian language.

A bad day for students: funding cut disguised as tuition cut, will cost students more and hurt Universities | CUPE Ontario

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 17, 2019 09:37 PM
“These cuts were made without consultation with the University sector, and will have damaging impacts for students for a long time to come”, said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “Doug Ford’s insiders have attempted to cover up a devastating attack on students with a paper-thin discount on tuition that will cost students more in the long run”.

Ford’s Reckless Post-Secondary Education Scheme Will Ensure Only the Rich Can Afford an Education, says OFL

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 17, 2019 03:34 PM
“The introduction of the ‘Student Choice Initiative’ is an attack on the democracy and autonomy of student unions, which are not-for-profit organizations founded by and for students,” said OFL Executive Vice-President, Ahmad Gaied. Services and representation provided by student unions are paid for by dues that are democratically set by members. These critical services include the coordination of health and dental plans, transit passes, food banks, sexual violence support centres, and academic support and advocacy services. There should be no government interference in students’ democratic decision making. These reforms stifle students’ ability to mobilize and organize on campuses. It reduces political debate and speech on campus as student unions are a necessary platform of engagement for students.

Unifor signals deep concern over PC cuts to colleges, universities | Unifor

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 17, 2019 03:33 PM
"Ontario's colleges and universities need increased investment to deliver high quality, public post secondary education. The PC's slight of hand won't work here. Today's announcement is a cut, plain and simple," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. Unifor is in support of fully-accessible, public post-secondary education. The union is also concerned that the announcement includes a direct attack on students' unions. "Students' unions are democratic, independent organizations that provide vital services and advocacy for all members," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "We have seen Ford's strategy at work before: if you don't like your opposition then silence it. This autocratic attack on students is cynical and obvious."

Reckless government announcement threatens education quality and students’ rights | OCUFA

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 17, 2019 03:28 PM
Without increased public funding for Ontario’s universities and colleges, the Progressive Conservative Government’s announced tuition fee reduction is nothing more than an ill-conceived political gimmick designed to distract Ontarians from damaging cuts to the province’s already under-funded postsecondary education system. OCUFA is generally in favour of tuition fee reductions but not at the expense of core funding and sound student financial aid policy. OCUFA is concerned that the fee reduction, OSAP cuts, and changes to ancillary fees were announced without consulting any stakeholders at the province’s universities or colleges. This demonstrates a government pursuing a political agenda, not one interested in good public policy or helping students.

Doug Ford: WE are the Students | Canadian Federation of Students

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 17, 2019 03:12 PM
Today’s announcement is a devastating one for students and workers in the post-secondary sector in the province of Ontario. The announced “Student Choice Initiative” is a transparent attempt to bankrupt students’ unions in the province who are the most critical of sector underfunding and cuts to needs-based grants. The 10% tuition fee reduction is nothing more than a red herring. The proposed cuts to OSAP will harm those students most in need. Moreover, without an increase to operating funds for institutions, this tuition fee reduction will most likely come at the hands of cuts to campus workers and services. Students and workers in the province of Ontario will fight this announcement. This government does not represent students. Students were not consulted in this process. The Ford government is looking to dismantle public post-secondary education and is attempting to eliminate the opposition to do it. #WeAreTheStudents
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