Daily Mail (UK): “Reclaiming the banks: Activists turn British banks into creches, classrooms and launderettes in protest over public service cuts”
“Reclaiming the banks: Activists turn British banks into creches, classrooms and launderettes in protest over public service cuts”
Daily Mail [UK], Feb. 26, 2011 [link]
Activists stormed more than 40 banks across Britain in protest over executive bonuses and public service cuts – and turned them into a variety of ad hoc walk-in centres.
UK Uncut said demonstrators set up creches, laundries, school classrooms, libraries, homeless shelters, drama clubs, walk-in clinics, youth centres, job centres and leisure centres at branches of RBS, NatWest and Lloyds.
At 10am in Camden, north London, demonstrators invaded a NatWest and set up a creche where children played, practiced musical instruments while parents caught up.
Playcentre: In Camden, north London, demonstrators invaded a NatWest and set up a creche where children played, practiced musical instruments while parents caught up Read more…
I’m taking a break from posting for a while. Check the index on the right-hand side for a list of all 150 or so posts.
If you want to take over or take a different direction, email email@example.com.
“Crisis in Care: Interview with an anarchist support worker”
Jan. 31, 2011 [link]
The Fargate Speaker talks to a local support worker about the problems in social care as a result of the recession and the proposed austerity measures.
I work as a support worker for a private company that provides social care for people in Sheffield for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. The company I work operates across the city. According to government officials, cuts to public spending will not harm front line services, workers, or service users. The reality of the situation is that working conditions are getting worse, day services are closing down, and those paying for the support services are being excluded from any of the decisions relating to care they supposedly direct and influence. Read more…
UT Latin American Studies student Elizabeth O’Brien holds up her 21-month-old daughter Graciela O’Brien to Richard Flores, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UT, at Gebauer Hall on Wednesday Dec. 1, 2010. O’Brien was one of scores of students protesting proposed budget cuts in the College of Liberal Arts. When Flores said he didn’t oppose the budget cuts, O’Brien told him to tell that to her daughter’s face.
[The Statesman, 12/1/2010]
“Parents anguish over child care cuts”
Rick Radin, Contra Costa Times [10/19/2010]
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s elimination of a child care subsidy, benefiting 8,000 children in the Bay Area and more than 57,000 statewide, has parents and providers upset and worried.
The loss of the subsidy will cost low-income parents hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars a month, depending on how many children they have who were covered by the subsidy.
The program, known as CalWORKs Stage 3, gives continuing child care subsidies to parents who have been out of the CalWORKs welfare-to-work program for job training and education for at least two years.
California will end Stage 3 payments Nov. 1, but child care providers haven’t been paid since July 1 because of the delay in settling the state budget. The state has promised that it will make up the back payments.
Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, announced a proposal this week that would go around the governor and restore funding until a new chief executive takes office in January.
Schwarzenegger killed the program in one of several line-item vetoes after completing a budget deal with the Legislature earlier this month. Eliminating the child care subsidy is intended to save the state about $256 million a year.
About 1,700 children in Contra Costa County and 2,200 in Alameda County will lose their subsidies, according to the Contra Costa Childcare Council, the county’s largest child care network.
Elimination of the program will leave parents who rely on help to stay in the work force with few, if any, options, said council Director Kate Ertz-Berger.
It also may cause children to be yanked from providers with whom they are prospering to face an unknown future with lower-cost providers or even less-stable arrangements, Ertz-Berger said.
Alternatively, some parents may choose to quit their jobs to stay home with their children and apply for county welfare, she said.
“The bottom line is families will be devastated,” Ertz-Berger said. “Children will lose the ability to prepare for school.”
Elimination of the program was part of $962 million in cuts the governor made to restore a state “rainy day” fund to a $1.3 billion balance, said H.D. Palmer, deputy director of the state Department of Finance.
About $1.7 billion in other categories of child care subsidies are still available, Palmer said.
“The reserve (fund) was unacceptably low,” he said. “Not to single out child care, but the reserve was not sufficient.” Read more…
“Protests draw attention to halt in Kidango funding”
Sean Maher, Oakland Tribune [9/29/2010]
OAKLAND — Parents of about 2,000 Bay Area children found themselves temporarily without child care service Wednesday as a major local provider closed up shop to demand Sacramento lawmakers to finalize and pass the state budget, which is three months late.
Kidango, a nonprofit with child services in 42 locations across the Bay Area, closed all its doors for a day to stage a protest that drew hundreds of parents and their children to a march through Fremont and into to Oakland via BART for a rally at the Elihu M. Harris State Building and City Hall.
California gives the nonprofit about $800,000 a month to aid its operating budget — about $35 per day for each child in its care — but has not sent any money since July 1, when the state’s last budget expired. The 91 days that have passed are a record for the most populous U.S. state.
Kidango organizers said they’re weary of struggling every year to protect state funding for child services, but that this year has been the worst yet since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed in May to cut child welfare services funding entirely.
“California has been funding child services since World War II, when women had to enter the work force, and never has a governor suggested this funding be eliminated,” Kidango regional director Jennifer Cambra said.
“Of course, it was probably just a bargaining chip to get Democrats negotiating,” Cambra said, “but it was audacious.” Read more…
Solidarity with the Whittier Parents sit-in – stop the demolition of the field house!!
The Whittier Parents’ Committee is staging a sit-in to fight against the demolition of the Whittier Dual Language School’s field house, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. The sit-in has been widely reported as the struggle of a community against the blind austerity cuts instituted by a cash-strapped school board. But in fact this struggle brings to light larger and more contentious issues in Chicago and nationally: control over Tax Increment Funding and the top-down reshaping of public education.
The Whittier Parents’ Committee has been organizing for seven years to push Pilsen alderman Daniel Solis to allocate some of the estimated $1 billion in Mayor Daley’s TIF coffers to their school for a school expansion – he finally agreed to give $1.4million of TIF funds for school renovation. Cynically, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has earmarked a part of this money for the destruction of the school’s field house, which has been used for years as a center for community organizing and services. This would directly undermine the ability of the Whittier community to organize and struggle for educational rights. Parents are demanding to be part of the decision-making process.
CPS has been conducting an extreme makeover of public education: privatization, demolitions, school closures and turnarounds, massive firings of seasoned teachers have been part of the large-scale redesign of public education. Public funds are being used to renovate schools that are privatized, while low income neighborhood schools are being starved of the most basic resources. The fight over the survival of this little field house is an important one in the larger struggles around educational rights, community self-determination and control over public land and institutions.
We support the demands of the Whittier Parents’ Committee!
1. Do not demolish the field house – use the same $354,000 allocated to demolish the field house to remodel the building and expand the programs offered, including a school library
2. Work with parents and the local community instead of imposing a top-down vision for the school