Students Defy Lockdowns, Protests Surge Forward
In these days of regimented curricula, high-stakes tests, and the sheer soldiering through the day that typifies much of schooling, closed schools, closed by social strife, are often better than open schools.
Those who want to "Save public education," need to recognize that behind not-so-public education for "knowledge and the common good," lies the force and violence of the cops who will be used, invariably, against poor and working class kids--trying to drive them back into the warrens that are called schools--forcing them back to be subjected by curricula and teaching methods that promote lies and obscurity--alienating kids so much from learning that they learn to believe it has nothing to do with them--a remarkable achievement of unpublic schools today.
Given the nature of the protests against racism and nationalism related to the many immigration bills, it is not possible to strip racism and nationalism from imperialism--and war---as many elites would like to do. The kids seem to recognize that, if their self appointed leaders do not.
The reason that poor and working people flood into the US is, in part, because US backed regimes in their home nations make life nearly impossible and, on the other hand, because low-wage employers in the US feed on them and draw them in, use them, then seek to kick them out, or to shift the burden of their needs onto other workers inside the US. The minor differences between the many "immigration" bills in Congress only serve specific interests among elites, ie, the growers' interests, the meatpackers' interests, some xenophobic nationalist interests, and the interests of the US military as well, desperate for bodies to fight its wars.
There is no way out of this dilemma under the system of capital, which requires nationalism, racism, imperialism and war. Nor is there any way out of the immigration dilemma for the US ruling class. Just as they are trapped in Iraq, unable to stay and win the war, unable to leave and leave the oil---and the social/political damage this debacle has created; so they are unable to deal with the reality of 12 million, or more, workers in the US, who have decided to not just stay, but fight back.
Despite the fact that these demonstrations are often misled by adults who seek to drive kids to church, the polls, or even the military, it remains that the youth have taken courageous, direct action---examples for all the rest of us who should be both inspired and shamed by their nerve in facing down ridiculous levels of police repression in order to stand up for their own, and others' dignity.
Many, many demonstrations are scheduled for the next few weeks. Depending on shifts in the law and congress, perhaps the biggest will be the mass walkout now set for May 1, Mayday, all over the world, perhaps rekindling the international communist holiday that it once was--dovetailing nicely with antiwar actions scheduled for the April 29th weekend.