BRRN Blog

Now More Than Ever: Lessons for Rebuilding the Student Movement in the U.S. Today

By Pablo

As I seriously consider the prospect of seeking economic asylum from the “Great Recession” in the university, I find myself ruminating more frequently on my experience as a student organizer. The group I helped found at my university, a chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), is no longer there; even though I only graduated two years ago. It has vanished without a trace; the only sign alerting to our short-lived existence is an infrequently updated student organization website that still list’s our student group’s name as an active organization. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the group fell apart after the graduation of a few core members. Despite learning many important lessons near the end of my time as a student organizer, their late implementation greatly hindered our chances of success; as such I think our demise as a group was inevitable. This is a fate suffered by many student organizations in the U.S. The student organizing landscaped is littered with the corpses of militant sounding acronyms, cancelled domain names, and list serves that were deleted due to inactivity. Yet, this dump site could be rehabilitated, and there are plenty of good reasons as to why it must be. In the following analysis I intend to discuss my own experience and trajectory as a student organizer, lay out what I think are the most important lessons, and outline what I believe students need to be doing in order to build a powerful and combative student movement.

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Options and limitations in workplace organizing

“We have met with management and the commissioners, and nothing changed. We have taken action and held demonstrations, and got nothing. Now we try the lawyers to see if we can win”. Another driver speaks up “That’s not true, when we had a strike they had to listen to us” The speaker replies “maybe for […]

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Translating between two worlds: the contradictions of healthcare

When someone is training to become a nurse, generally speaking, they are taught that nurses stand between two worlds. Nurses are intermediaries between those who analyze and decide on treatments and those who get treated, in one way or another. Or anyway that is how things are supposed to work (the practice doesn’t work out […]

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The M Circle

Si tuviera que describir las circunstancias bajo las que conocí al viejo Nibaldo, más bien tendría que decir con sinceridad que nunca lo conocí. Aquel encuentro, palabras dispersas, comentarios risueños que emitía con su bigotón de hombre antiguo y su dentadura dilapidada. Pude saber algo de su vida a través de las historias que le gustaba […]

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Sobre “La Batalla de Chile”

Había visto algunos fragmentos del documental La Batalla de Chile de Patricio Guzmán durante mi estadía por aquellas tierras, pero fue solamente hace unos días, que por sugerencia de un amigo volví a reencontrarme con esas imágenes. Se me erizaban los pelos, y me entraban ganas incontenibles de llorar, mientras volvía a sumergirme en los […]

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Why Working People are The Solution to Our Economic Crisis

Power gets what it wants.  This is the reason that Wall Street – the cause of the crisis- is booming; but working people are facing double-digit unemployment, hour cuts, increased work load on the job, less resources to work with, raising costs on benefits, cuts to public services and an all-around increase of vulnerability to […]

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Struggle in Iran- A MAS event with Abdi speaking

On November 19th, MAS hosted a public talk and discussion on the struggle and social movements in Iran. The event occured in Miami at FIU-North, and the recording has been uploaded here.

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Mass Action Sept 24 with Unite Here

From UNITE-HERE: COME WITNESS THE ACTION AND RALLY IN SUPPORT. MEET THURSDAY, SEPT 24 AT 4 PM AT WATER TOWER PARK. Hundreds to be arrested in civil disobedience action Fighting layoffs and cuts, hospitality workers take a stand, saying big corporations like Chicago-based Hyatt have gone too far. WHAT:           Civil disobedience action with hundreds […]

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Teamsters Local 743 on Strike

From our TDU local: Dear Sisters and Brothers from the Friend Family support list, Workers at SK Hand Tools in Chicago (3535 W. 47th St.) and McCook (9500 W. 55th St.) voted unanimously to STRIKE as of Tuesday, August 25, 2009!  Please forward this e-mail to friends and allies. Strike support will be needed on […]

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Press Release for Picket in Solidarity with Haitian Minimum Wage Struggles

Miami, FL– A group of community residents will gather in front of the Haitian Consulate of Miami on Wednesday, August 19th, from 12-2pm to support workers in Haiti who are fighting for a minimum wage of 200 gourdes a day (5 USD).

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