Archive for March, 2008

DC Students Protest Ridiculous Lunch Policy

Posted in resistance, student power with tags on March 31, 2008 by Jasper Conner

On March 31st, 70 students from from Woodrow Wilson High School in NW DC participated in a walkout during the lunch period. Students were protesting a new policy of Chancellor Rhea. Rhea was a controversial choice for Chancellor of DC public schools considering her lack of experience, and the total absence of community input in her appointment by Mayor Fenty. Rhea has restricted lunch at Woodrow Wilson to the classroom in response to the arrest of students during a recent fight. The walkout, which last thirty minutes was not the only sign of resistance from students that day, as many wore black armbands to signify their discontent. Other students, such as Lena Solow, have been working on a policy to replace Rhea’s current restrictions, stating that “[they’re] not consulting parents, students or teachers”. The Mayor’s office has been repeatedly bungling education in the District, from the appointment of Rhea to the current plan to shut down 17 public schools, so although this ridiculous policy doesn’t come as a surprise, the resistance from students is certainly inspiring.

Some important notes:

Woodrow Wilson High School organizers of these amazing actions should get in touch with DC Students for a Democratic Society by leaving a comment or checking out our website at

Folks interested in getting involved in the local struggle to resist Fenty’s destructive education policies should join the Coalition to Save Our Neighborhood Schools.

You should also check out EmpowerDC, a local grassroots organization that does amazing work to resist gentrification, support local schools, and increase government accountability.


Stats and Quote were pulled from Dion Haynes’ WP articles, linked below.



Ohio Student Environmental Coalition takes action against Coal

Posted in climate justice, resistance with tags , on March 31, 2008 by Jasper Conner
Below is an article about a recent climate justice action in Columbus Ohio where students had a substantial win in the struggle against Coal plants that dominate the lives and lungs of Ohio citizens.

Mountain Justice Takes on King Coal in Columbus

How often do you get to witness a band of activists deploy a direct action and successfully pressure the CEO of a corporation into agreeing to their demands – before the police even arrive on the scene?

AMP HQ - Mountain Justice Comes Knocking

On Friday afternoon, student activists with Ohio Student Environmental Coalition and members of Mountain Justice occupied the lobby of American Municipal Power and forced an impromptu meeting with CEO Mark Gerken – who was not a happy camper.

AMP is planning to build a 1000 MW pulverized coal power plant in Meigs County, Ohio – one of the most impoverished counties in the state, with some of the highest lung cancer and premature death rates due industrial pollution in the country. There are already 4 coal power plants within 10 miles of Meigs and the coal barons of the Midwest are planning on building five more – the largest and dirtiest being the AMP project.

Determined to put an end to this economic and social injustice, concerned Meigs residents have been working with student and youth activists to organize and empower communities to break out of the socio-economic slavery of king coal. Mountain Justice Spring Break – an event where many students, rather than spending their holidays in Florida or Cancun, have opted instead for more meaningful pursuits in building solidarity, developing consensus, discovering affinity and exploring nonviolent direct action – showcased this collaboration over this last week.

Today marked a watershed moment in the movement against King Coal in Ohio. The activists’ demands were simple: cancel plans to build the coal plant, fund renewable energy, and schedule a meeting between the AMP Board of Trustees, local students, and frontline community activists to discuss how AMP can best chart a course towards these goals.

Demands Met - Action Success

So, this morning, about fifty student and youth activists – most of whom had never participated in a direct action – marched to AMP headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, at which point a group of four negotiators entered the building and demanded a meeting with Gerken. Even when confronted by irate AMP employees, the youth negotiators kept their cool and stuck to their demands. They not only managed to meet with Gerken, but also got him to commit to a meeting between students, Meigs County activists and the AMP Board – and to agree that AMP wouldn’t begin construction on the plant until after this meeting has taken place.

This action was part of an ongoing campaign by activists – including residents of frontline communities, and student activists from groups like Mountain Justice, Ohio Student Environmental Coalition, Earth First, and Student Environmental Action Coalition – against AMP’s plans to bring further destruction to Southern Ohio. On a Sunday morning in early March, a group of concerned citizens visited the home of CEO Marc Gerken, and demanded that AMP reconsider its plans to move forward with the plant. (At that point, Gerken brushed off their requests for a meeting.) Earlier this week – as part of the Listening Project – several students visited the homes of Meigs County residents, listened to their concerns about the AMP project, and empowered them to take action and join the campaign against the coal plant.

Today’s action was the biggest step to date in this campaign, and has laid the groundwork for even bigger victories against King Coal in Ohio. Stay tuned for updates on what this collaboration will do next!

Adrian & Ananda in Columbus