Friday, April 29, 2011

Glenn Beck's Minions .... Destroying Academic Careers, the Cold War Returns ...

People have posted videos of this semester's UMKC/UMCL labor studies classes all over the internet. They were initially posted on a site called by someone named Breitbart. These videos are heavily edited and do not reflect the context in which certain things were said. UMSL has announced that they will not rehire Don Giljum to teach labor studies next semester. There are rumors that the Labor Studies Program will be shut down and Judy may be let go as well. The videos are being used to fuel an argument that educational funding should be cut and that unions are violent and Missouri should be a right to work state.
In addition, the sanctity of the classroom has been violated. The classroom is supposed to be a safe environment where students can ask questions and try to understand complex issues. Not only is it reprehensible that the learning experience has been violated in general, the video clips do not reflect the months of classes that led to the development of a rapport and the feeling that students and instructors could talk about theories, take up various roles, and champion different arguments to see how they play out, without any fear that anyone would misunderstand their motives or assault their character. Outside of this context, these conversations are viewed by many people as an actual endorsement of and possible plan for violence.

Students need a safe learning environment where they can talk without having to worry about ending up on the nightly news or being otherwise attacked and Don's firing, based on poorly edited videos, was entirely unjust.

The videos are here and I expect they will be posting more of them after they do some more editing...

A KC Star rebuttal is here...
Guess which side is getting more attention.
Don, Judy, and the students at both UMKC and UMSL need your help. Please call and write to anyone who you think may be able to assist. Help us demand that students be provided a safe environment in which to learn and that Don Gilgum be reinstated. The university is not helping. They will be sending security to our class this Saturday, otherwise none of us have received any assistance or offers to remove the videos (which are university property) from any web sites and thereby protect its students from intimidation. Calls and letters to any sympathetic organizations, especially those dealing with academic freedom, calls to the university demanding that we be protected, notes of support on the various web sites hosting these videos, calls and letters to newspapers, and any other offers of support are greatly appreciated.
Governor Jay Nixon's office 573-751-3222 (I think the tea party did a call-in campaign to his office today over this)
Kansas City Mayor 816-513-3500
If you are not feeling brave enough to call and pressure someone to help, just call and ask if they have any information about what is going on. Just ask whatever questions naturally arise for you. Any amount of support is appreciated.
Those of you who are not directly at risk by being involved in this situation, please feel free to post requests for support on the internet, make call-in events or whatever on facebook, whatever you can think of to help put a stop to this. We have discussed this and decided that trying to avoid drawing attention to the videos is a lost cause, it is spreading by the minute. Those who would like to see us hang already know about the videos. Please do not name any students that you may recognize in the videos and please do not mention my name as a source of information. Make this your own fight, because it is.
I expect support from unions (because this is being tied in with the right to work campaign), educators (because it is being tied in with education funding), and everyone who believes that students should be able to fearlessly and respectfully talk about everything under the sun, because that is how we learn from each other.

KC IWW contact info is at the bottom of this email.
Upcoming Events in Chronological Order:
****IWW Meeting
Tuesday April 26, 5:00pm-6:30pm, Muddy's Coffee House, 318 E. 51st, Kansas City, MO, 816-756-3121

**** KC Labor's May Day event
Sunday, May 1st, 1:30pm, North Kansas City Public Library, 2251 Howell Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116, Library phone: 816-221-3360, KC Labor phone: 816-753-1672
**** Jobs With Justice KC Organizing Committee (OC) Meeting
Tuesday, May 3, 6:30-8pm, Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Road, KCMO, 64111
Join Kansas City JwJ activists and leaders in planning and discussing current campaigns. Agenda items to be announced at a later date. Email Kansas City Organizer Jennifer Gormley to be put on the OC list.

**** National Work Stoppage
Thursday, May 5 at 8:00am - May 9 at 11:30pm, Washingtion DC Capitol building if you can make it there (transportation is in the process of being arranged). If you can't make it to DC, protest wherever you happen to be. This event will appear on shortly. Keep posted!

**** The People's Movement Respect, Rebuild, & Restore Friday Night Service
Friday, May 6, 6:30pm, St. Paul Baptist Church, 3832 Paseo, KCMO.
Speakers, dancers, rappers, choirs, musicians, poets, etc. Everyone is encouraged to share in these programs.

****SDS/IWW Movie Night
Tuesday, May 10th, 7:00pm. We will be showing “Wobblies” on UMKC campus. Fred will let us know which room it will be in. Food will be provided.

****Missouri Rural Crisis Center Fundraiser
Sunday, May 15, 7:00pm, All Souls UU Church, 4501 Walnut, KCMO, 64111
Admission is $15 at the door. Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) is hosting a concert fundraiser at All Souls UU Church featuring "Rosy's Bar and Grill". "Rosy's Bar and Grill" is a Kansas City folk music tradition, delighting audiences with striking vocals and engaging acoustic arrangements since 1977. For more information, call Tim Gibbons at 573-449-1336.

****MASW KC Chapter's Annual Dinner
Thursday, May 19, 5:30-8pm, in Founders Hall, at Grace and Trinity Holy Cathedral, 415 W 13th Street (13th and Broadway), KCMO, 64105
Admission is $25 per person. Please RSVP by May 16th. Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW) Kansas City Chapter invites you to attend its 2011 Annual Dinner & Awards Presentation. The keynote speaker will be Theresa Garza Ruiz, Jackson County Legislator. There will also be a silent auction and music performances. To RSVP, or get more information, call Keren Lowenstein at 816-585-5159.

**** The People's Movment State of Emergency Economic Summit
Saturday, June 18, 3:00pm, Faith Deliverance C.O.G.I.C., Historical Barker Temple, 1709 Highland, KCMO.
Planning meeting to rebuild communities together and establish an economic base in the inner city.
Kansas City IWW Contact Info:
Phone: 816-875-6060
Facebook: KansasCity IWW
IWW Web Site:

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