Senn H.S. Students Continue to Rally Against Injustice
Twenty students from Senn H.S. participated in the lively march and rally on Saturday March 14th in Little Village and Pilsen on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The students joined in with people of all ages and nationalities to:
● oppose the illegal and unjust U.S. government’s occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan,
● oppose U.S. attacks on Pakistan,
● oppose the occupation of Palestinian land,
● oppose the injustice of the immigration raids and deportations and break up of families.
One of Senn’s sophomores expressed his view of the U.S. in Iraq this way: “I think this war is illegal. First it was all about the lies with the weapons of mass destruction, then it was about terrorists, then it was about Saddam. But I think it is all about the oil in Iraq. The U.S knew there were no weapons of mass destruction or terrorists in Iraq, but America is trying to push their values on everyone else. Not everyone we try to ‘help’ wants our help. We really shouldn’t try and force them and that’s what we do a lot of the time. We ‘help’ people and then want them to change their rules to follow our example.”
Senn High School students have a very good record of opposing injustice–
● opposing the government’s forcing the naval academy into the Senn H.S building over student, parent, teacher, and other community opposition.
● opposing ongoing to attempts to break up Senn High School,
● opposing unjust U.S. wars,
● supporting immigrants’ rights.
Last year Senn High School students took part in the May 1st May Day march for workers’ and immigrants’ rights. There is another action coming up this year Friday, May 1st.
Once again we encourage participation– Friday, May 1, rally at 10 a.m. at Union Park, Ashland and Lake, with a march beginning at noon and heading downtown to Federal Plaza for a rally there. For more information, call 250.3225
Join Senn Strategic Planning
Student voices are particularly important in building a plan for their school. The Senn Strategic Planning Committee– students, parents, faculty and other people from the community– continues to meet and work on the long range plan for Senn. .
This committee projects a growing student enrollment with increased class offerings. It includes stronger student voice and participation, and an ongoing assessment of Senn High School’s needs to better reach and enrich all students. The Senn Green Initiative is gaining community support and involvement including elected officials, local businesses, Loyola University, the ECC (Edgewater Community Council) and the Art Institute.
The next Senn Strategic Planning meeting is Saturday, April 18 at 9 a.m. in Room 115. All are welcome. Your voice and vision is needed.
Senn H.S. People Take Part In the Protests against School Closings
Jesse Sharkey, a Senn High School teacher, member of the Chicago Teachers Union and union delegate from Senn High School, describes how a new coalition challenged the plans of Mayor Daley and his Board of Education to close or reorganize almost two dozen schools:
“Hundreds of parents, teachers, community activists and students [including protesters from Senn High School] held an angry picket in front of the Chicago Board of Education (CBOE) offices on February 25 in a last attempt to influence the vote on the future of 16 public schools. The event marked the third large protest by activists during this round of attacks by the Board. Like they have each year in the past, the CBOE voted unanimously to close, consolidate, phase out or ‘turn around’ the targeted schools. But shortly before the Feb. meeting, the board announced reprieves for six schools originally on its hit list…
“In January a hearing attended by 500 people linked the attacks on public schools to the city’s Renaissance 2010 plan–a blueprint for school privatization and union-busting. The protest changed the mood in the city, and for the first time put Mayor Richard Daley and his allies on the defensive. For example, when Ron Huberman, a career cop and former head of the Chicago Transit Authority, was named to replace Schools CEO Arne Duncan after he was drafted to be President Obama’s Education Secretary, Huberman was booed in board chambers. The removal of six schools from the chopping block marks the first time that the board has backtracked on its announced plans since Renaissance 2010 school closings were implemented….
“The 16 schools and the activists who made this issue a dinner-table conversation throughout Chicago will keep fighting. A piece of legislation sponsored by Illinois state Rep. Cynthia Soto that would put a moratorium on school closings and reorganizations has made its way out of committee.”
Students Oppose the Military Line of Clothing at Sears
A number of high school and other young people in Chicago have decided to oppose Sears’ new military line of clothing by mounting a peace fashion show.
Ruby Avina from Kelly High School told her school, “The fashion show is our answer to military-related clothing, whether it’s the camo or the boots, hats, and army jackets. Most people when they wear it don’t even know they are promoting war.”
The participants are preparing to tell Sears what they think of their new clothing line with postcards saying “We believe that your new ‘1st Infantry Division’ clothing collection helps to promote the militarization of society and glosses over the reality of war and violence to make it ‘in style.’ Put an end to the sales of military-inspired clothing.”
Because the U.S. government has been having trouble recruiting enough young people into the military for their wars of aggression and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, they have been hatching up all sorts of methods to try to encourage young people to think the military is cool. The Sears method, along with promotion of GI Joe and other war toys, are advertising campaigns to lure young people into joining the military and to market acceptability for U.S. war.
We congratulate the young people who see through the deceitful lies and stand up to say, “No More!”
Is the U.S. Really Ending Its Iraq War & Occupation?
Many students and others think they can relax about U.S. occupation in Iraq, that it will be over soon. But what are the facts about the plans for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq?
• The withdrawal of the largest number of U.S. troops from Iraq will not take place until the end of August of 2010.
• Up to 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq at least through August 2011. These will be combat troops. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell has said this (http://www. msnbc.msn. com/id/29395816/). • Tens of thousands of U.S. troops may stay in Iraq after August 2011. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters this on February 27.
All of this is in the context of the U.S. illegal invasion of Iraq six years ago. International law (such as the UN Charter, which the U.S. signed) prohibits one country attacking another without being attacked first. Iraq did not attack the U.S. Students– don’t be fooled if recruiters tell you the Iraq war is over. And don’t forget more troops are now being sent to Afghanistan.