U Students Ask: Whose University?: 'Whose University' writes: As the new [President Eric] Kaler administration prepares to take office at the University of Minnesota, hundreds of students and educators from institutions across the state will be attending a “Day of Education” on April 20, 2011, at Coffman Memorial Union on the East Bank. This event is organized by the Whose University? Campaign--a student-led coalition that has grown dramatically in recent months. The group has a series of poignant questions about ‘who’ public education actually serves and ‘who’ is excluded. ... The event highlights the ways that UMTC remains embedded in larger communities and social disparities within Minnesota. The group hopes to encourage the incoming Kaler administration to take stock of whose voices are being heard and silenced as the U of M reassesses its ten year plan. This also includes examining the impacts of the well-publicized goal to become a top research university in the country.
Read on below for: Hmong Community Protests Racist Song, May 1 International Worker's Day March Approaches, Launch of New MN Activist Resource, Beehive Design Collective Comes to the TC, Proposed MN Law Would Criminalize Exposing Animal Cruelty
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Hmong Community Responds to Racist Song: 200 protesters gathered
outside radio station KDWB's headquarters on the border of Minneapolis and St. Louis Park last Friday, April 15 demanding that the station and its owner, media giant Clear Channel, establish clear policies against racist commentary and programming. Last month, the station's "Dave Ryan in the Morning Show" aired a racist parody song
, which it titled "30 Hmong in a House," leading major advertisers HealthPartners, AT&T and Blue Cross of Minnesota to take their business elsewhere. The station issued an apology, but anti-racist activists say it means very little without any action to back it up.
The racist song led St. Paul Public Schools to implement a "no radio" policy on their school buses, reported KFAI
. One driver said that the measure ends up "punishing students and radio stations with good broadcasting for the crimes of one radio station"--KDWB.
The protest was organized by TakeAction Minnesota's Hmong Organizing Program, which also this week won a victory by getting Hmong history lesson added to the St. Paul Public Schools curriculum, reported the Asian American Press
. Minneapolis--St. Paul has the highest concentrated Hmong population of any metro area in the United States.
Organizing for May 1 Marches Ahead:
With May 1 less than two weeks away, organizing for the International Workers Day march is kicking into high gear
. The May 1 Coalition writes on their website
, "This year is the 125th anniversary of International Workers Day on May 1st. We’re marking the occasion by having a big march of unions, workers, immigrants, students, community groups and religious groups all joining together to say NO to the anti-worker attacks at the legislature. ... As the legislature goes into its final weeks, our march on May 1 will send a clear message of NO MORE ATTACKS. We’re demanding justice for workers, freedom to organize, legalization and full equality."
The march will begin at 4pm at the St. Paul Cathedral, and conclude with a rally at the Capitol. The Coalition is currently seeking donations, endorsements, and for supporters to help spread the word. In 2006, an April immigrant rights march following the same route drew over 40,000 people from all over Minnesota.
Since May 1 falls on a Sunday in 2011, the annual march is the same day as the Heart of the Beast MayDay Parade
and festival in Powderhorn Park earlier in the afternoon. Some of the other May Day events around the country can be found here
: A new resource for anyone looking to get involved in progressive and radical social movements in the Twin Cities has launched. Performing artist, activist and National Poetry Slam champion Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre founded MNActivist.com
, a website making its debut late last month. The new site was announced along with the release of "Conscious is Not Enough (2011
)", a free remixed collection of songs originally written during the 2008 election to emphasize the importance of community building and organizing for justice in addition to just voting.
MNActivist.com's mission is "to help plug people into existing organizations that are doing good work," and includes a database of local groups, activist resources and tips, and inspiration. It's also more than a website - the organizers plan to utilize existing networks in the arts, youth and activist communities to build capacity, and already have a long list of artists
who've agreed to promote the project and the idea of activist involvement beyond elections at their shows.
Bees Swarm Minneapolis
: The Beehive Design Collective
is coming to Minneapolis again this spring. The Beehive's newest graphic story, "The True Cost of Coal," is the result of over two years of collaborative research with organizations fighting mountaintop removal in Appalachia. The collective uses a giant portable mural, telling the story of mountaintop removal, as a lens through which to understand the historical and contemporary story of energy, resource extraction, and American empire accelerating throughout the world.
The Beehive will be presenting The True Cost of Coal
on Thursday, April 21 at the University of Minnesota. They'll also be showing their posters about globalization in the Americas in a presentation called Dismantling Monoculture
, on Wednesday, April 27 at Walker Church in south Minneapolis. In addition, the Beehive will be participants in Creating Movements: A Day of Art and Action
, an afternoon of discussion and workshops about the role of arts in social justice movements on Sunday, April 24, at the Sisters' Camelot warehouse in the Seward neighborhood. The events are organized by Minneapolis Autonomous Radical Space
Click the links above for full event details.
Proposed MN Law Would Prohibit Documenting Animal Suffering
- A new bill recently introduced in the Minnesota legislature would criminalize investigators who seek to expose and halt animal cruelty. HF1369
is authored by Republican Representative Rod Hamilton, who is a member and past president of Minnesota Pork Producers, and co-authored by five other representatives.
Green Scare journalist Will Potter writes, "Among its provisions, the bill targets anyone who documents an “image or sound” of animal suffering in a sweeping list of “animal facilities,” including factory farms, animal experimentation labs, and puppy mills. But House File No. 1369 doesn’t stop there. The bill, introduced by six Republicans, also includes a number of other provisions that have popped up in “eco-terrorism” bills and “animal enterprise terrorism” laws over the years." Read more at Green is the New Red
or at the MN Progressive Project
Similar bills are being considered in Florida
and in Iowa, where last year prosecutors failed to bring Minneapolis activist Scott DeMuth to trial on an historic ALF action that targeted animal cruelty at University of Iowa research labs. DeMuth has finished his second month of a six month jail sentence
, the result of a plea bargain in the case in which he plead guilty to a Minnesota animal liberation action.