Another World is Possible, Another System is Necessary

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Mark your calendars! The Third US Social Forum (USSF) will be taking place from June 24 to 28, 2015. This year, organizations and activists will convene in Philadelphia, PA, Jackson, MS, and San Jose, CA to build stronger relationships, collaborations, and social movements across fronts of struggle for political understanding and strategic direction as a powerful political force.

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2012 Green VP candidate Cheri Honkala challenges standardized testing in Philadelphia schools

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Green Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential candidate is taking a leading role in public school parents’ challenges to high stakes standardized testing.  Cheri Honkala, the parent of a child in the Philadelphia public school system, is also the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

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The 17th Annual Homelessness Marathon

The 17th Annual Homelessness Marathon is set to air.  If you’ve never seen or heard it, it is, literally, like no other broadcast in the world (except for our daughter broadcast, the Canadian Homelessness Marathon). This is the world turned upside down and looked at from the perspective of the poorest-of-the-poor, and featuring their voices as they speak for themselves.

The broadcast will start tomorrow (Tuesday the 17th) at 7p.m., eastern time, and it will run for fourteen hours until 9a.m., eastern time, on Wednesday the 18th.

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Free Rev. Edward Pinkney!

Today we stand in solidarity with our dear friend Rev. Edward Pinkney who was sentenced yesterday to serve 2.5 to 10 years on election fraud charges. He was convicted by an all-white jury in Benton Harbor, Michigan that was presented with no evidence of Pinkney’s guilt. His conviction relates to a recall petition for Benton Harbor’s mayor. He has been locked away for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING other than wanting to change the corrupt system we live under.

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Activist and former homeless mother promotes poverty awareness

Homelessness is a major national issue, as well as a local one in the city of Rochester. That is why the Social Work Department at the College at Brockport brought Cheri Honkala to campus to speak about her firsthand experience as both an activist and former homeless mother.

“I’ve lived a very surreal kind of life,” Honkala said. “I live in, like you guys do, one of the richest places in the entire world and I consider myself to be fairly educated and smart and resourceful and yet I found myself living in a car with my 9-year-old son driving around trying to figure out where I was going to sleep on any given night.”

To prevent herself and her son, Mark Webber, from freezing, she began taking over abandoned government properties, like vacant houses.

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The Fight for Education

On Monday, October 6th, the School Reform Commission (SRC) cancelled the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ (PFT) contract, costing teachers their health care benefits. This is yet another destructive act in a long line of attacks on Philadelphia’s public schools. The SRC and Governor Corbett have eliminated jobs, school programs, plus 24 schools. Yet, at the same time, Corbett is advocating for $1.7 billion in tax breaks for Shell Oil. The big business plans to build a plant in Beaver County that is expected to rank in the top ten air polluters. Philadelphia schools and our environment are breaking under the burden of these big business tax breaks. Teachers are being told it is their time to make sacrifices but they have been sacrificing all along with limited resources, over crowded classrooms and fulfilling extra roles such as counselor and nurse due to lack of funding for full time staff.

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