Petition: Sign the Regent Reform petition

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,

We are writing to have our voices heard and call people to action to defend public education. Our futures are being mortgaged in order to maintain bloated administrative salaries and further privatize critical social services across this state, country, and around the world.

In the past decade alone the UC has seen a 342.2% increase in tuition and fees. This trend directly corresponds with a period of exorbitant administrative growth and devastating cuts to instruction, support services and staff, and other critical UC programs. On December 13, 2011 Governor Jerry Brown announced another $100 million in cuts to the UC system, which brings the total to $750 million this fiscal year alone.

The annual fees for attending a UC were $3,859 in 2001-2002; now they are $13,218, and estimated to increase substantially within the next four years. This trend runs completely contradictory to the 1960 CA Master Plan which calls for tuition-free public higher education in this state. Quality, accessible public higher education is a cornerstone for establishing social and economic equality on local to global levels and as such demands our active support and protection.

Our public institutions of higher education are being actively privatized and glutted by regents, trustees and administrators who are deeply invested in large private business interests. These people and the interests they represent want to continue profiting from a drive to remake our public institutions in the image of private-for-profit models.

We are asking that all of us continue to take a stand and fight back to defend our public institutions against the betrayal of many of those charged with their protection. As the students, faculty, and staff who run California’s public colleges and universities, it is our responsibility to assert every day that these are OUR SCHOOLS and that we are not powerless to further the mission of maintaining affordable, accessible and quality public higher education not only in this state, but around the world. An accessible educational experience is important for people everywhere to be able to obtain if they so choose that we might construct a more equitable, just and peaceful world for everyone.

The UC regents are invested with the responsibility of “managing” the UC system. They have insistently refused to engage in constructive dialogue with students, faculty and staff on critical issues that have been repeatedly brought to their attention. Some of them are personal friends and/or business partners of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or other influential politicians and that is precisely how they obtained their initial appointment as regents. A vast majority of the current regents have no professional background in public education and a corresponding majority of them maintain direct ties to business interests that seek to develop financially profitable relationships with the UC and other public institutions.

Banks and other corporations get bailed out and we get sold out, time and again. The regents’ silence in Sacramento fits the destructive model of privatization that they have in mind for the UC. As part of this agenda, it also fits their interests to raise the salaries of administrators even as they tell the rest of us that we need to “continue making sacrifices.”

We are the instruments of change and the power to create it lies in our hands. Enough is enough. We will let our voices be heard and continue to demand that the UC regents and administrators be held accountable. Please join us for a day of non-violent protest at the regents’ next meeting, which is scheduled to take place at UC Riverside on January 17-19, 2012. A day of mass mobilization to defend public education is being called for Thursday, January 19, 2012 at UC Riverside. Come join us as we continue the fight to defend and maintain quality and accessible public education not only in this state but around the world.

Concerned Students, Faculty, Staff and Community Members of UC Riverside
Please click the link & sign the Regent Reform petition:

Take Action: Death Threats Against Human Rights Defender Lilya Shibanova

On 11 December 2011, the words “Shibanova, die” were discovered daubed on the apartment door of Ms Lilya Shibanova, head of election monitoring organisation NGO for Democratic Rights and Liberties named Golos. Golos is a Russian non-profit organisation which was founded in 2000 for the protection of voters’ rights and the development of civil society. Front Line believes that Golos is particularly targeted because it is one of the main Russian sources of information on the numerous human rights and procedural violations which have been carried out during the election campaign and the parliamentary elections. Front Line further believes that the death threats against Lilya Shibanova are directly related to her legitimate work in the defence of human rights and is seriously concerned for her physical and psychological integrity and security.

Take Action!

Petition: End Breast Ironing in Cameroon

To prevent sexual assault and teen pregnancy, Cameroonian mothers are ironing their daughters’ breasts with hot stones in an attempt to make them less physically attractive. The ritual affects a quarter of all women in Cameroon and as soon as they show signs of puberty, sometimes as young as nine. The possible damage of this practice can be severe, including bruises, deformities, abscesses, and even the disappearance of one or both breasts. Urge UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to speak out against breast ironing and to advocate for adequate sex education in Cameroon.

Sign the petition:

Nobel Women’s Initiative: International Campaign To Stop Rape And Gender Violence In Conflict

“Because we envision a world without war, rape and gender violence where women and men are equal; because rape and gender violence destroy individuals and families, entire communities and the fabric of society;…We invite organizations and individuals to actively join the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict.”

Because we envision a world without war, rape and gender violence where women and men are equal;

Because rape and gender violence destroy individuals and families, entire communities and the fabric of society;

Because rape and gender violence have increasingly become a deliberate tactic of terror in war and other conflict situations.

Because in recent years alone, massive numbers of women – and sometimes men and boys – have sufferednot only the physical trauma of rape and gender violence in war and other conflict situations, but also the shame and stigma that often leaves survivors suffering in silence;

Because perpetrators of rape and gender violence go unpunished and impunity is the order of the day;

Because national, regional and international commitments to end rape and gender violence in war and other conflict situations are either seriously inadequate or are not being enforced; and

Because women and girls, men and boys across the world demand and expect justice.

We call for:

  • Powerful and urgent leadership on the local, national, regional and international levelsto prevent and stop rape and gender violence in war and conflict situations;
  • A dramatic increase in resources for prevention and protection and for psychosocial and physical healing for survivors, their families and communities including concerted efforts to end stigma of survivors;
  • Justice for victims, including prosecution of perpetrators at national, regional and international levels, and comprehensive reparation for survivors…”

Join the Campaign!

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